Nothing But Thieves, Newport Music Hall, Columbus, OH
“I can’t f---ing believe how many people are here to see us.”
Conor Mason, lead vocalist and guitarist for Nothing But Thieves, left it all on a second stage in Columbus (the band’s first visit was at A&R Music Bar in 2016). Both shows sold out for the Brit-rock five-piece, who happened to be short one piece last week at Newport Music Hall – Dominic Craik, the band’s guitarist and keyboardist, apparently shut his hand in a door. “We’ve had a weird couple days,” said Mason, as grandson guitarist stepped up to fill in.
Nothing But Thieves brought along the politically charged, rap-rock grandson and garage-rock fellow Brits Demob Happy to open the night. I personally was so blown away by grandson’s show that I had to sit down between sets. Ponder how we got to this point. Get another Coors Light. grandson’s lyrics are a raw look at the systemic failures of our country – tackling issues like mass shootings, corrupt politicians, drug addiction, and the disenfranchisement of the vulnerable. Everyone should give their debut EP, a modern tragedy vol. 1, a spin. Just grab a beer first.
Two Coors Lights later, Nothing But Thieves stepped on stage. Mason wore a plain, unassuming gray t-shirt, long on his short frame. But all eyes were on him through an oscillating mix of tracks from their freshman album, Nothing But Thieves, and latest sophomore album, Broken Machine – Mason’s shapeshifting voice casually jumping from high falsetto to brooding baseline and everywhere in between. The band saved their biggest singles “Trip Switch” and “Sorry” for the final sequence before asking the doting crowd, “Would you like a couple more songs?”
Mason’s final instruction was to, “Give us everything you have” during the band’s closing song, “Amsterdam.” I was this close to crowd surfing. But alas, I would’ve spilled my third beer.
Nothing But Thieves Setlist, Newport Music Hall:
I Was Just A Kid
Ban All the Music
Wake Up Call
I’m Not Made by Design
Live Like Animals
If I Get High
Forever and Ever More