Report: Nothing Live in Jakarta

By: Ralka Skjerseth |

The Philadelphia-based shoegaze act Nothing held a show in Jakarta back in October 11th as a part of their Asia tour. Beside Jakarta, they also played shows in numerous towns in Asia, such as Tokyo, Osaka, Seoul, Taipei, Hong Kong, Manila, Kuala Lumpur, Bali, Surabaya, Yogyakarta, Bangkok, and Beijing. The show was held at Rossi Musik Fatmawati. It actually wasn’t their first time playing in Jakarta, remembering they also have played at the same venue back in 2017, on a different floor.

Nothing themselves has characteristics of sound that revolve around hardcore punk-influenced shoegaze that has been put into comparison with names like Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine, as well as Whirr whom they have released a split EP with. They also converge thrashing aggressions and spacey heaviness altogether. I have seen them live twice and I should say that they have a very powerful stage presence with their blistering, loud resonances. They are also known for speaking out about mental health issues in their songs as they channel the battles inside their head into a catharsis.

The opening act for Nothing’s show is called Blood Pact, a post-punk act that hails from Singapore and used to be called Bruised Willies. Some of the members also play in the bands Marijannah, Doldrey, and Zodd. I honestly haven’t heard much of the band but they presented some Death of Lovers-esque otherworldly sounds when I first heard them live. I heard that earlier this year they also released a Cure-inspired release called Spiralling. Nothing opened their show with the distorted and intense track from Tired of Tomorrow, Fever Queen as the audience welcomed their presence with shimmering enthusiasm. The next song was Downward Years to Come, one of their old tracks. Then the third song they played was Zero Day, which is one of the most renowned tracks from their latest album Dance on the Blacktop. And then they played Somersault, which is also one of their old tracks from the album Guilty of Everything. Afterwards they came up with Curse of the Sun which, in my opinion, has a bit of Deftones-esque elements. Blue Line Baby was the sixth song they played, as they brought enchanting guitar lines and catchy drum beats altogether. The next song they played after that one was B&E, which is an acoustic track that they released in 2011. And then they presented one of their most renowned songs that probably almost everyone in the venue knew all the lyrics to; Vertigo Flowers. They closed their show with two songs from Tired of Tomorrow; Tic Tac Toe and Our Plague.

I personally was enthralled by the enthusiasm and wholesome energy that both Nothing and the audience radiated; the audience was so keen on headbanging, dancing, and moshing to almost all the songs played to the point where the show became very fun and wholesome. I think there was a tremendous positive energy at that time and it made me feel thrilled too being a part of the audience. Frontman Domenic Palermo crowdsurfed at the end of the show and it was one of the highlights too. There were some technical problems near the end of the show but don’t mind it, at least everyone was having fun!

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