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Metalcore Madness: Nothing More and Wage War Shake Avondale Brewing Co. in Birmingham, AL

Nothing More played a show with Wage War, Veil of Maya, and Sleep Theory at Avondale Brewing Company in Birmingham, Alabama.

wage war

Avondale Brewing Company is a cool medium-sized outdoor venue behind a small bar. The entire yard for the concert space is enclosed in shipping containers, which makes for a cool and functional look. The venue also served pizza and craft brews. I haven't been to Birmingham since pre-covid, so seeing so many familiar faces and dear friends was so nice.

Sleep Theory was formed in 2019 in Memphis, Tennessee. The band is known for its eclectic mix of influences ranging from grunge to alternative rock. Despite forming in 2019, their first EP was released in 2023. Their EP, Paper Hearts, has over 33 million streams. 2023 was a big year for them, but 2024 will be even bigger! The band members include lead vocalist Cullen Moore, Daniel Pruitt on guitar, Paolo Vergara on bass, and Ben Pruitt on drums.

Sleep Theory

With many shows I've been to, many people do not show up until the headliners are going on. However, the venue was filled as soon as the doors opened. Sleep Theory brought their A-GAME. I love when you can tell that the band is having fun! Every band member was energetic and fed off the crowd in a fantastic never-ending energy loop.

Sleep Theory

Sleep Theory captivated the audience with their lyrics about inner struggles and rising above their circumstances. The audience was actively engaged with vocalist Cullen Moore, singing along with him.

In conclusion, Sleep Theory delivered a concert experience that was nothing short of exhilarating. Their powerhouse performance, infectious energy, and genuine connection with their fans proved why they're poised to become the next big thing in metal. If you have the chance to catch Sleep Theory live, don't hesitate. I love this band's sound and can't wait for new music to head our way!


Veil of Maya is an American progressive metal band hailing from Chicago, Illinois. The band formed in 2004 and has since become known for their unique blend of deathcore, metalcore, and djent elements. Veil of Maya is known for their heavy, technical guitar riffs, complex rhythms, and intense breakdowns. The band consists of Mark Okubo on guitar, Lukas Magyar on vocals, Danny Hauser on bass, and Sam Applebaum on drums.

Veil of Maya

As the sun set and the rain began, Veil of Maya took the stage. The show started with a bang as opening notes of "Tokyo Chainsaw" rang out through the venue. Multiple circle pits of spinning bodies and flailing limbs started. I may or may not have gotten too close and lost a lens hood.

Veil of Maya

Guitarist Marc Okubo's intricate riffs sliced through the air like a chainsaw, while drummer Sam Applebaum's thunderous beats laid a foundation of pure aggression. Frontman Lukas Magyar's vocals soared above the chaos, alternating between guttural growls and soaring cleans with effortless precision.

The crowd's response to Veil of Maya's performance was nothing short of explosive. Despite the chaos, there was a sense of camaraderie among the audience—a shared bond forged through a mutual love of heavy music. Veil of Maya fed off this energy, encouraging the crowd to scream along to every lyric and mosh harder with each punishing breakdown.

Veil of Maya

Veil of Maya put on a great show! I can't wait to see them at the Summer Slaughter Festival later this year.


Nothing More is an American rock band formed in San Antonio, Texas, in 2003. The band consists of lead vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Jonny Hawkins, guitarist Mark Vollelunga, bassist Daniel Oliver, and drummer Ben Anderson. The band is known for their 2014 self-titled album which has some of their biggest songs "Jenny," "Mr. MTV," and "Here's To the Heartache." The band has garnered three Grammy nominations and made quite the name for themselves.

Nothing More

The crowd grew to a roar as the lights dimmed and "Kiss From A Rose" by Seal began to play. A sort of inside joke among metalheads, to play a complete reverse of what the band about to play sounds like. It never fails to make the audience laugh, and then break into song. Many audience members lifted their cellphone flashlights and swayed them. As the song finished, the projector screen lit up with the band's name and the crowd went ballistic.

Nothing More

"If It Doesn't Hurt" began their set. A rather impactful song, and my first-ever exposure to Nothing More. Hawkins has a way with words that I rarely see with other musicians.

I took notice of a little one in the VIP pit, he had dawned Hawkins' iconic black body paint, although most of it had been ruined by the rain. I think he was the most hype person in the crowd. With permission from his mom, I snapped a few photos of him. He even had a sign parodying "If It Doesn't Hurt" that read "Told my mom that report cards don't hurt at all so they don't mean a thing!" I want to be just as cool as him when I grow up.

Nothing More

When the guitar solo of "Don't Stop" began, guitarist Mark Vollelunga jumped down into the pit and climbed the barricade to play. Security raced to his side and nearly knocked me off my feet. The other photographers and I took that as a hint to get out of the pit. We enjoyed the rest of their set from the VIP pit. Nothing More has devastating lyrics but their music is also so easy to dance to.

During the intro to "Jenny" Hawkins asked the audience "How many of you know a Jenny?" The song tackles mental illness and was written about Hawkins' family members. It was a touching moment as the crowd swayed together to the song. "Fade/In Fade/Out" was dedicated to Hawkins' father, and I felt myself getting a little teary-eyed. I'm not usually for music that tugs at the heartstrings but it may have been added to my playlists.

Nothing More's set was a phenomenal experience that showcased the band's incredible talent and energy.


Nothing More

Wage War is an American metalcore band formed in Ocala, Florida, in 2010. The band consists of lead vocalist Briton Bond, rhythm guitarist and clean vocalist Cody Quistad, lead guitarist Seth Blake, bassist Chris Gaylord, and drummer Stephen Kluesener.

Known for their heavy and aggressive sound, Wage War has released three studio albums: "Blueprints" in 2015, "Deadweight" in 2017, and "Pressure" in 2019. Their music often features a combination of melodic hooks, breakdowns, and intense screaming vocals.

Wage War

As the rain poured, Wage War took the stage by storm. "Stitch" was the perfect opening song. The lyrics of "Stitch" touch on themes of betrayal, anger, and inner turmoil, reflecting on the pain and anger of being wronged by someone close to you. The song repeatedly chants "Rip the stitch out!" I got CHILLS as the crowd screamed in unison with vocalist Briton.

My favorite song began to ring out across the crowd. "High Horse" is such a fun song. I remember seeing Wage War at Knotfest in 2021 and going into my first mosh pit. Although it's not the smartest idea to hop into a pit with all my photo gear, I did start a two-person circle pit with the other photographer there that night.

Highlights of the night included fan favorites like "The River" and "Low," as well as newer songs from their latest album. The band's stage presence was captivating, with each member fully engaged and interacting with the crowd. The show closed out with "Manic" Ironically enough, the pouring rain became a torrential downpour as the show ended.

Overall, Wage War put on a phenomenal show that left fans thoroughly satisfied. It's clear why they are one of the hottest bands in the metalcore scene right now. This was definitely a show to remember!



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