Monday night’s hard rock show at Manhattan’s Gramercy Theatre celebrated the return of one of the more underrated live modern acts of the last decade, Florida quartet, Nonpoint. Since emerging with the release of their 2000 debut album “Statement,” featuring the hit single “What a Day,” the band has become the definition of road dogs, touring relentlessly as both support and headliners on each of their 7 releases.
Their latest effort, 2010′s “Miracle” feels like a return to the roots that the band never truly abandoned, their signature sound- howling vocals building to a scream, incredible drum work, and pounding guitars- sounding just as tight as it did over a decade ago. While the band may be a good ten years older, their performance Monday shows they have no plans of letting up.
The lights dimmed promptly at 10:10pm, after 45 minutes of the familiar, but truthfully underwelming opener Pop Evil, who we had looked forward to checking out for the first time. SiriusXM Liquid Metal jock, Jose, was out first to introduce the band. The crowd popped big time as the shadowy figures began to take the stage, before launching into the title track from the band’s latest, “Miracle.” Frontman Elias Soriano defiantly standing on a small riser, dreadlocks down to his waist fluttering in the light show with every vocal burst, his right hand wrapped tight around the microphone, screamed for reciprocated love from the small but energetic crowd, exclaimed with an exasperating “New York City” shout out. In the dimly lit background, drummer Robb Rivera pulverized his sideways facing drumkit, as thick fog pushed its way onto the stage and the setlist progressed.
Concert Review: Nonpoint at Gramercy Theater
The aforementioned “What A Day,” surprised as the show’s third song, but drew raucous cheers from the tightly packed crowd, starting one of the largest, and more intense moshpits that continued throughout the remainder of the show. Soriano and his band mates treated the capacity crowd like family, and the fans reciprocated in kind. Throughout the performance, moshers, who were mostly clad in Nonpoint shirts, circled up in the pit at the frontman’s instruction, would help lift back up any fans violently knocked down in the middle of the massive circle. The family vibe continued when Soriano brought a longtime fan up on stage praising him for sticking with the band since his youth- clearly a friend of the band, but a nice touch nonetheless.
No surprise here, but the band’s singles provided some of the standout moments. Closers “Alive and Kicking” and the chorus-laden “Bullet With a Name On It” literally encouraged the moshers to become unglued, as did the familiar Phil Collins cover of “In The Air Tonight,” which was in a word: awesome. Noticeably absent from the set however, was “Frontlines,” arguably the band’s most recent successful single- but the supportive, intense crowd didn’t seem to mind in the least.
With Nonpoint, you know what you’re getting- an always consistent, high-energy, hard rocking show. We’ve seen them perform live so many times that we take for granted their talents, and Soriano’s utter command of the stage and of his fans. With such mediocrity plaguing the rock music of today, a throw back to a band who truly brings it night in and night out is a refreshing change of pace in an otherwise stale music scene, and one that even we are guilty of not fully appreciating enough.
- Jane Van Arsdale