Gig Review by Fran Prince with Photography by Sophie Jones

Of Mice & Men

Hit with a gross humidity as I enter crowded venue of the O2 Academy, awaiting Of Mice & Men, the suspense is high in the sold out arena. As I settled in with a beer in hand the room swallows us up in a blackout and a siren of alarms set off a deafening roar of screams from the audience.

The distinguishable metalcore scream of lead singer Austin Carlile creates a mosh pit down-front with beer glasses being instantly slung in the air and reverberation of jumping beats alongside the heavy metal opening song PSA. The fast paced guitar strumming of second song Glass Hearts engulfed my body in a mass of vibrations, though I felt more as if I was having a minor heart attack with the thuds of the bass that came at me like an agonising chest pain.

Of Mice & Men

Easing me into a gig where the genre is usually not my forte, was third song Broken Generation where the powerful punk rock vocals of singer Aaron Pauley allow my heart to relax a little and begin to enjoy this style amongst the rough and throatier rock vibes of the band. Although the strobe lightshow could’ve set off a seizure alongside the extreme decibels, the audience seemed to love the trippy effects.

Of Mice & Men

Carlile states “It feels so good to be back in the United Kingdom!” and the fans screamed with excitement at the band from California. The loud volumed, pacey drumming of each song carried on the thunder of metal vibes in the room, with the quick changing silhouettes on stage creating a required rock hand signal, the audience followed the singers every beckon call. With raised lighters, clapping along and head banging throughout, the audience truly got involved, I even saw a shoe bounding around in the audience at one point – not that I see the need for loss of clothes and I’m sure the band don’t appreciate your stinky feet either, but there you go.

Of Mice & Men

Bones Exposed and Feels Like Forever are great crowd pleasers and with a drop of blue mood lighting and a slow paced start to Another You the band are able to take a long needed gulp of oxygen. Impressive as it was that committed lead Carlile could create almost animalistic sounds with his hardcore take on music, surely he was suffering from a severe case of dry mouth by now, even my throat felt like it had had sandpaper rubbed across it, somebody get this lad a drink.

Of Mice & Men

Just as I stand there thinking about his poor throat, the band take a break to appreciate each and every member, with the guitarist even having his 27th birthday that very night. This band do have a fun side, with jokes about jazz hands and tracks like Identity disorder (where there are lyrics people can actually establish) they tell us how ‘privileged’ they feel to have such a huge fan base in the UK.

Of Mice & Men

Finishing on an up tempo rock track, the audience are not giving in, with a few ‘we want more’ chants, the band are back on stage and getting the audience as low to the ground as possible, ready to jump up with track Depths. Ending on You’re Not Alone, the audience get a final kick out of the pumped up chorus and instrumental to the track.

Support acts The Amity Affliction and Volumes, though slighter softer than the headline act, had already set about a sweaty environment by the time I walked in, I imagine these bands had the audience on their feet throughout, so be sure to give them a listen.

The Amity Affliction

The Amity Affliction

The Amity Affliction

The Amity Affliction

The Amity Affliction

Volumes

Volumes

Volumes

Volumes

Volumes

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