Nothing But Thieves at The Wiltern – Live Review
Nothing But Thieves, The Wiltern, Los Angeles, CA., October 7, 2023
Nothing But Thieves, the UK-based rock sensation, achieved remarkable success throughout their US tour, with sold-out shows being the norm. Notably, their performance in Los Angeles was a mesmerizing shoulder-to-shoulder spectacle at the Wiltern! What makes this achievement even more extraordinary is the fact that they hadn’t graced the US with their presence in six long years, making this triumphant return nothing short of remarkable.
This trailblazing journey was ignited by their latest album, Dead Club City, which soared to the top of the UK charts, claiming the coveted Number 1 spot. My own discovery of this incredible band happened unexpectedly while I was tuning in to Spotify. The track Do You Love Me Yet? began to play, and I found it utterly addictive; it’s like musical euphoria for the ears.
Delving further into Dead Club City, I fell head over heels for the band, entranced by their fresh take on rock. Their sound seems to fuse elements of The Killers and Muse, creating a brand-new musical entity.
They stormed the stage, kicking things off with Welcome To The DCC and immediately igniting the crowd’s excitement. The diversity of the audience was truly refreshing; there was a captivating mix of men and women spanning generations, from young enthusiasts to those in their 50s and 60s.
Their setlist was extensive, featuring a staggering total of 20 songs, an impressive offering for a headlining act. They delved into their entire discography, providing a dynamic journey through their evolving sound from 2015 to the present.
The energy in the venue was infectious throughout the entire night, an experience I hadn’t felt at a live show in quite some time. It had been a while since I had been this excited about a performance, and everything about this band was mind-blowing. I deeply appreciated their commitment to a raw, unadulterated live sound. It’s disheartening when shows rely heavily on pre-recorded tracks. Just a few nights prior, I had attended a performance by an artist who leaned heavily on backing tracks, and it left me disheartened after paying a full ticket price for a half-live performance. Witnessing Nothing But Thieves deliver their music in its unadulterated glory while sounding absolutely incredible was a pure joy.
Conor’s vocals were even more remarkable in a live setting than on their recordings, a quality reminiscent of Brendon Urie from Panic! At the Disco. When singers can deliver such flawless performances live, it’s truly a wonderful experience.
Having only discovered this band last month, my knowledge of their history and singles is admittedly limited. However, I believe the very song that captured my heart, Do You Love Me Yet?, was indeed one of their singles. As the song’s opening chords filled the air, and the instruments came to life, the room erupted with an infectious blend of joy and excitement. It was clear that I wasn’t the only one smitten by this song, as the crowd couldn’t contain their enthusiasm, resulting in a constant wave of jumping and joy.
The atmosphere reached a fever pitch when they launched into Unperson, a notably heavier track that practically begged for headbanging. People in the audience were leaping, vigorously banging their heads in rhythm, and actively engaging with the music. The lyrics go as follows, “this is not what you think it is, it’s worse,” and Conor had the crowd fervently shouting, “IT’S WORSE!“
The show culminated with the band’s electrifying performance of Pop The Balloon, but the crowd’s unwavering chant of “NBT” resonated through the venue, prompting the band to return for an encore featuring Amsterdam and Overcome. Ultimately, this experience stands as one of the most extraordinary shows I’ve ever had the privilege of attending, leaving me determined never to miss any of their future performances. I hope that one day I get to witness them as the opening act for Muse during a full American tour. Until then, I’ll cherish the videos I recorded on my phone and eagerly wait for the day when I can experience their magic again.
1. Welcome to the DCC
2. Is Everybody Going Crazy?
3. Tomorrow Is Closed
4. Broken Machine
5. Real Love Song
6. You Know Me Too Well
7. City Haunts
8. I Was Just a Kid
10. Do You Love Me Yet?
11. Ce n’est Rien / Gods / Number 13
14. Green Eyes :: Siena
15. Trip Switch
18. Pop The Balloon
(Review and Photos by Talia Farber)
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