What do you get when you cross one of the biggest metalcore bands in the world with crazy Aussie hardcore band and a Kingston nightclub? That’s right: two hours of pure chaos.
So when Of Mice & Men took to the stage, the crowd was chomping at the bit after a thrashing support set fromHellions who, despite the intense feedback on the microphones and sludginess of guitar sounds, put on a fantastic show. Announcing they would be going home tomorrow incited a sympathy within the pit but that could not have truly explained the moshing that occurred during their set; only a band of a certain description can get a crowd ready single-handedly in half an hour for an Of Mice & Men show, but it was pretty clear to see Hellions are that type exactly. [7/10]
The first track on the Of Mice & Men setlist was Bones Exposed, which unsurprisingly had everyone off their feet in seconds once frontman Austin Carlile had strolled out into the sight of the crowd. They proceeded to power through track after track of Restoring Force: Full Circle material like it was easy before taking a pause for drinks to allow the dystopian car alarm intro to come through the PA before Austin called out his Public Service Announcement for the entire world to hear, and the audience gave him what he wanted. Circle pits and pure moshing became a staple of the show’s crowd interaction, and every song had at least one opening during a build-up period before the crashing climax inevitably hit to close it back up again with manic results.
The first real pause of the night came after the band had hit the final notes of Would You Still Be There? as Carlile informs the crowd of how Of Mice & Men came into being, saying “I didn’t believe nine months ago I would be where I am today, let alone nine years ago! This whole thing started those nine years ago when I lost someone special; I lost my mama”. The following track, naturally, was Another You and at several points Austin is visibly closer to tears than he would like to admit but puts his heart and soul into the performance, as he does with everything he does in general. Last up before the band left the stage came “an old one” in the form of 2010’s self-titled fan favourite track Second & Sebring with that gargantuan chorus that could bring down an entire army, and this was no different, of course bringing the loudest singalong of the night to this point.
The band then give the audience a heartfelt farewell, with promises that the album is finished. Of Mice & Men are always very focused on their community and support base and last night was no different, if anything the tiny capacity made it a whole lot stronger than even huge collectives like at Brixton all those months ago. All in all, a fantastic night from a fantastic band. [9/10]