Concert Review: Nothing But Thieves at Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff, Wales

By Jana Vollmer 12.4.18.

Photo of Nothing But Thieves by Jana Vollmer (shot on film):

Hi, my name is Jana Vollmer and I am a beginner Photographer and big music fan from Germany. I feel honored and really happy about being a part of  Galaxy Magazine and get the opportunity to share my experiences and love for music and photography. I absolutely adore Yising's work from the first time I met her back in December 2017 when we both shot a gig by The Wrecks in San Diego. That night, she and the other photographers really inspired me to keep up my photography. So back in Germany, I started practicing by shooting portraits and a few gigs. You can find my work on Instagram ( and Facebook ( if you're interested ;-)

The most recent concert I have been to was alternative rock band Nothing But Thieves at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff, Wales on Monday, November 19th, 2018. After some tour dates all over Europe, they went back home to the UK starting the last leg of their fall tour in Cardiff, ending in Dublin. This tour included some of their biggest headline shows to date. I have seen Nothing But Thieves several times before in Germany and the US, including a show at the Lanxess Arena in Cologne back in March 2016 when they opened up for the band Muse, for a sold out show with 19.000 people. Back then, I already knew that Nothing But Thieves sound is made for big crowds in huge arenas. Over the last years, it made me so happy to see that the potential of their work has been heard and seen and that they grew so much, gaining a huge following all over the world.

When I entered the venue in Cardiff, I was stunned for a moment because I couldn't believe how big that venue was. After seeing Nothing But Thieves in several more intimate venues, it was such an incredible feeling standing in that arena with a capacity 5000 people. Even though it was one of the only nights on that tour that wasn't sold out, the crowd still felt really big. The night started with Demob Happy, a band of three members now based in Brighton, UK. Even though some of their songs had some really nice bass riffs, their sound got pretty boring to me after a short time and I felt like the crowd agreed on that. The second opener was Sunset Sons, a band of four members based in Hossegor, France that toured with Imagine Dragons in 2015, and they really got my attention after that. I am a big fan of Sunset Sons and really enjoy their chill sound. I know that the members of Nothing But Thieves and Sunset Sons have known each other for a long time and it made a few fans, including myself really happy to see them finally tour together. However, their style seemed to not fit too well with Nothing But Thieves' crowd and it was a pretty weak start to what was ahead us.

When Nothing But Thieves came on stage, the crowd was completely changed. The energy started to build up as Conor Mason's unique voice with an incredibly wide vocal range, filled the room. To me, it felt like their sound was where it belonged; in front of big crowds that are willing to go absolutely crazy with the powerful riffs of their songs. Hearing so many people sing and dance along to songs of their first and self-titled album left me speechless.  I heard the songs of their newest EP What Did You Think When You Made Me This Way? live for the first time that night and they definitely did not disappoint. Take This Lonely Heart is really powerful live and was performed with a lot of emotion. The band finally had the chance to include some really fitting visuals in their show, using a big screen and lots of square-shaped LED lights hanging over the whole stage. Throughout the whole set, several mosh pits formed, encouraged by Mason who was very happy about coming home to the UK, because that is where the crowds know how to mosh. The band closed the concert with Amsterdam, leaving the fans satisfied and happy after a night of energetic sounds and emotion.

For the past 18 months, these guys have been touring the world constantly. I am really proud of what this band has become in the time that I have been following their work.  From the first time listening to Itch, which they released with their first EP in 2014, until now, I think this band is definitely on the right path to becoming really big and even more successful and that we will hear much more of them in the future.

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