Home / Opinion / Event Reviews / Of Mice and Men – O2 Academy Bristol, 27/03/15

Of Mice and Men – O2 Academy Bristol, 27/03/15

Music is subjective to an individual’s taste – nobody is going to like every single genre or artist that’s ever existed. What’s most frustrating, however, is those who associate a band or artist with a particular style, image or fan demographic and immediately discredit them as substandard and not ‘worthy’ of playing the music they do. Certainly, Of Mice and Men (8) are an outfit who have been lumped in with others like Bring Me the Horizon, Black Veil Brides and Asking Alexandria as ‘not metal’ and ’emo’. It couldn’t be further from the truth from a creative aspect; latest album Restoring Force is incredibly heavy across its eleven track, forty minute output and they’ve risen to become one of the leading ‘gateway bands’ of metal, introducing the genre to a new generation of young fans who will then go on to discover older, more established acts like Sabbath, Maiden and Metallica.

Tonight, Bristol’s O2 Academy is sold out, with people queuing for a good two and a half hours before doors open. It’s an early gig due to the Academy’s club night afterwards and it appears the staff haven’t quite adjusted to that, opening doors late and meaning that people are still streaming in as Volumes (7) take to the stage. They do enough to get things started, Edge of the Earth in particular going down well, and the odd person dotted around is singing everything back as loud as they can. Vocalists Michael Barr and Gus Farias bounce off each other well but they seem, erm, a little lazy. It might just be their style to live shows, but it came across as a lack of interest in being on stage which was a certain detract. The Amity Affliction (8), on the other hand, are clearly bigger than people realise – they come on to a chorus of screams and do what they do best. A lot more participation ensure here and every song seems to be the crowd’s favourite. Pittsburgh, Lot and Fading, Never Alone, Open Letter…they all garner a huge response. The best is definitely saved until last though in Don’t Lean on Me – big singalong from all corners of the room and a sense that The Amity Affliction have bigger things ahead of them

Now, the reason why it’s has taken me a few days to stick this review online is because I’ve only just regained my hearing; truthfully, I’ve never heard an audience scream so loudly as the light in the Academy dimmed for Of Mice and Men’s entrance, and then get even LOUDER as singer Austin Carlile walks on to begin Public Service Announcement. It’s a big opening and the first of ten songs from latest album Restoring Force to be aired tonight. Curiously, it’s this material that garners the greatest response tonight, not least in the middle of the set when the band hit us with You Make Me Sick, This One’s For YouFeels Like Forever (which harks back to Linkin Park’s heyday) and a stunning rendition of Bones Exposed one after the other. The set might be a little imbalanced for some of the older fans tonight who have been with them since the beginning, but it’s not a huge deal in the long run because Of Mice & Men are giving their all. Special mention must go to Austin as well, who is turning into a superb frontman. Coming across as an incredibly humble individual seemingly overawed by the reaction his band are getting tonight, he is effortless in controlling the 1600 people present tonight, even masterminding an effective version of Slipknot’s ‘Jumpdafuckup’ towards the end as well. It’s by no means perfection from Of Mice & Men tonight, but they’re still very much in the ascendancy. If the next album is huge then who knows where they’ll go.

Of Mice and Men Setlist

Public Service Announcement
Glass Hearts
Broken Generation
O.G. Loko
Let Live
You Make Me Sick
This One’s For You
Feels Like Forever
Bones Exposed
Would You Still Be There
Another You
Identity Disorder
Second & Sebring
The Depths
You’re Not Alone

About Elliot Leaver

PlanetMosh's resident Iron Maiden fanboy and Mr. Babymetal. Also appreciates the music of Pink Floyd, Rammstein, Nightwish, Avenged Sevenfold, Slipknot and many others. Writing to continue to enjoy life away from the stresses of full-time employment.