None More Black played the Knitting Factory in New York on 2/12/2005 with the Loved Ones, the Unseen and Strike Anywhere.
Instead of summarizing each band, the focus of this review is on None More Black, the band I went to see. This was a very solid show with each band delivering a great set. It was my first time seeing the Loved Ones, who impressed me with their simple, straightforward melodic songs. The Unseen got the crowd going, but most of the audience was there to see Strike Anywhere, who got everyone in the place dancing and singing along with their anthems.
None More Black took the stage after the Loved Ones. This was their first show in four months, their last being the Rock Against Bush tour with the Soviettes, Strike Anywhere, Avail, Dillinger 4 and the Bouncing Souls, also in New York (one of the best shows ever).
Lead singer Jason Shevchuk took the stage and roared right into their first song, causing the crowed to form a substantially-sized pit. Fists flew in the air as a good portion of the crowd sung along. NMB packs so much punch into every one of their songs, the floor felt like it was moving. Each member of the band puts everything they have into each chord that, together, they are one of the tightest sounding bands around. NMB sounded great and you could hardly tell they hadn't played in front of an audience in four months. The only indication of their time off was that they turned their backs to the audience for the first few songs and looked like they were back in their rehearsal space.
They played almost every song off their new EP, Loud About Loathing, and some of their "hits" off of File Under Black. The new material is a slight departure from File Under Black, but playing live, NMB rocked it harder than ever. My only complaint was that some of the "whoooa's" and background vocals couldn't be heard too well. That was to be expected though. Also, NMB does one of my pet peeves that a lot of bands do these days - after each song, they turn to their amps and tune their guitars for a good 30 seconds. I want their guitars to be in tune and each song to sound good, but come on, tuning doesn't have to be done after every song!
Highlights from the show were the songs "Oh, There's Legwork," which the crowd really responded to, and "Dinner's For Suckers." This was my fourth time seeing NMB and they always come off as very underappreciated. Maybe it's because they're always one of the opening acts and never a headliner. It's interesting watching the crowd as they're playing, because you can see before your eyes new fans being won over. They're a no frills type of band, but they deliver a powerful sound with really intelligent and thought-provoking lyrics. Maybe it's their role to be the second or third band that plays before the headliner, but they do it damn well!