Allan Kuylen

Wage War & Nothing More Bring Raleigh To Its Knees

Allan Kuylen
May 19, 2024
6 min read

It was the evening of Wednesday, May 15th, 2024 when Raleigh’s metal community descended upon The Ritz in anticipation of bearing witness to the might of Nothing More and Wage War. No one could have possibly expected what would ensue.

The show opened with support from Memphis, Tennessee-based Sleep Theory, who have tasted success quickly after their inception by finding favor with the TikTok algorithm in 2023. They were a very strong opener, warming up the crowd wonderfully and doing a fantastic job of setting the tone for the rest of the night. Their set was on the shorter side for a show of this caliber, but they didn’t need many songs to leave their mark on this stage. 

Up next was the insanity that was Veil of Maya, who got their start in Chicago in 2006. In addition to their stage presence which could be described as nothing less than powerful, Veil of Maya contributed tasteful notes of deathcore influence to this lineup. From soaring melodies to guttural growls, Veil of Maya did it all. Their set was when the crowd really began to move, with the sea of crowd surfers beginning its turbulent tide (this definitely isn’t foreshadowing…).

Now it was time for Nothing More. Formed in San Antonio in 2003, Nothing More finds itself classified more often as alternative hard rock than metalcore. They exploded onto the stage, literally coming out with a bang that scared me half to death, along with a fellow photographer in the pit who I was chatting with and god knows how many other unsuspecting audience members. Their energy did not let up the entire time and they had a presence and energy the likes of which I’ve never seen anywhere else. Being relatively new to Nothing More, I was very impressed by frontman Jonny Hawkins’ vocal capabilities! He was also super sweet in taking the opportunity to shout out just about every crew member in the venue.

Their sound had a familiar aspect to it that made me think, “This is probably what Fall Out Boy would sound like if they went metalcore”, and I mean that in the BEST way possible. They had not just the floor level jumping around, but also the balcony level was shaking a little from how many people were moving around. The lights were incredibly well synced up, and you probably guessed it – EVEN MORE crowd surfers. Security definitely had their hands full tonight.

Their set list taped to the stage read as follows:

  • If It Doesn’t Hurt
  • Let ‘em Burn
  • Don’t Stop
  • Angels
  • Go To War
  • Tired of Winning
  • House On Sand
  • Face It
  • Jenny
  • Fade In/Fade Out
  • Ocean Floor/Ballast

At last, it came time to bear witness to Wage War. The infamous and integral metalcore outfit hailing from Ocala, Florida came out with a fury and did not hold back. The crowd responded in kind and it was chaos in every direction. The high tables area on the upper balcony seemed to be the only place in the building safe from moshers and crowd surfers galore. In my time, I have been to numerous punk and metal shows at small and large venues as well as everything in between. Never once have I seen a crowd like this one. I’ve never seen a circle pit or a wall of death so large in an indoor venue, the crowd surfers were several per minute, and once again the balcony shook, only harder this time. The band, light and sound crew, and the audience were all locked in as one, making for a STELLAR performance. The vocalists sounded exactly like they do on their records, and for bonus points: they had super cool cryo special effects that were quite impressive when combined with the noteworthy lighting setup. 

With a fantastic blend of old and new songs, this show could only be described as a delightful blend of aggressive, majestic, epic, and beautiful. Their on-stage set list read as follows:

  • Stitch
  • Low
  • Gravity
  • High Horse
  • Godspeed
  • Magnetic
  • Prison
  • Teeth
  • The River
  • Alive
  • True Colors
  • Death Roll
  • NAIL5
  • Circle the Drain
  • Manic

The band anticipates their new album, Stigma, set to release on June 21. Keep an eye out for this one, you won’t want to miss it.

Links to all the band’s socials can be found below:

Sleep Theory

Veil of Maya

Nothing More

Wage War

Subscribe to our Newsletter and stay up to date!

Subscribe to our newsletter for the latest news and work updates straight to your inbox.

Oops! There was an error sending the email, please try again.

Awesome! Now check your inbox and click the link to confirm your subscription.