Awolnation brings new sounds and friends, Nothing But Thieves through Charlotte

 By Keely Caulder

February 26, 2018

After dominating the charts with “Sail” back in 2011, Awolnation has continued to prove they are not just a one-hit wonder. Sunday night the alternative rock band returned to Charlotte with fervor with the Here Come the Runts tour promoting their latest album. Released on February 2, the band didn’t waste much time before hitting the road, only nine days later. Having waited three years for a new album, fans were eager and excited to hear the band’s new music live for the first time.

Harry Hayes of Irontom. Photo by Keely Caulder

Kicking off the night was one of the two opening acts, Irontom, a psychedelic indie rock band hailing from Los Angeles. Within the first song lead singer, Harry Hayes, had won the attention of the crowd. Hayes’ energy became contagious as he jumped from one side of the stage to the other. Irontom looked as if they enjoyed their performance as much as the crowd did. They finished with “Be Bold Like Elijah,” a catchy song with ’80s rock influence.

Next up, Nothing But Thieves hit the stage and the fans expressed their appreciation with sing-alongs throughout the set. They skipped over their hit “If I Get High,” but didn’t forget to play popular songs “Sorry” and “Amsterdam.”

Conor Mason of Nothing But Thieves. Photo by Keely Caulder

When it was Awolnation’s turn to take the stage, lead singer Aaron Bruno ran into the audience and hopped on top of the bar, immersing himself in the crowd while the band walked onstage. Awolnation appropriately opened up with “Here Come the Runts,” the title track off their latest album. Here Come the Runts was recorded by Bruno at his home studio in Los Angeles. The band felt recording at Bruno’s home would bring more authenticity to their sound.

Aaron Bruno of Awolnation. Photo by Keely Caulder

After meandering his way back to the front of the venue, Bruno greeted the crowd and dived straight into “Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf).” They played a majority of songs off Here Come the Runts throughout the night, including their latest single “Passion,” which they played early in the set. A fan favorite seemed to be “Table for One,” a slower pace compared to Awolnation’s typical upbeat synth-rock rhythms. 

Aaron Bruno of Awolnation. Photo by Keely Caulder

While Awolnation has continued to stick to their rock roots, they have also experimented with new sounds on Here Come the Runts. After introducing the band members before ending the night with “Sail,” Bruno expressed how he has always turned to music for therapy. He then proceeded to tell the crowd that when making the new album, he wanted to make music that fans could relate to and connect with.

Check out the remaining 2018 Awolnation tour dates.

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