April 16th, 2023
Its always a great sign when I arrive at The Admiral and I’m greeted by a line stretching down the block. I’ve never had a bad experience with a rock concert at this venue, and its always better when the floor is packed with anxious fans.
Once Thousand Below took the stage, they wasted no time whipping the crowd into a frenzy. It’s been almost six years since the San Diego hardcore band has visited Omaha, but Nebraskans never forget a band with Thousand Below’s energy. While they were still relatively unknown back in 2017 when they played The Slowdown with Silent Planet, and The Devil Wears Prada on their first full USA tour, it was really cool to see more than a few people in the crowd singing along tonight and matching the band’s high energy.
As great as it was to be re-introduced to Thousand Below, and as excited as I was to be seeing Nothing More again, I was beyond rabid for the chance to finally see Crown the Empire. I’ve been trying for years to make it to one of their shows, no matter who they were touring with. Well the stars finally aligned and my expectations were incredibly high for their performance. Judging by the size of the circle pit that opened midway through their set, I wasn’t the only one excited. Every expectation I had was dwarfed by the reality of their set. I can only name a few bands that I find even better live than from their studio releases.
Its only been a few months since Nothing More rocked the former Sokol Auditorium while on tour with In This Moment, and Sleep Token. Vocalist Jonny Hawkins had injured himself a few days prior to that set, but refused to cancel any of the performances, instead Hawkins wrapped his chest to prevent further injury and put on a slightly less energetic show. A fully healed Hawkins would spend tonight’s set making up for that doctor’s order lack of energy at the last show.
Its always impressive to watch bands grow from grassroots efforts into formidable acts who’s music will not only influence generations to come but that the band continues to evolve and become a solid mainstay in the rock and metal genres. I’m still wrapping my head around the thought that the band I first saw open KQRC’s Rockfest in 2014 is now headlining a nearly sold out show at The Admiral in front of a few thousand screaming fans.