Red light filled the O2 Forum in Kentish Town as Of Mice & Men took to the stage. Opening with Pain from their latest album Cold World, the metalcore band from Orange County, fronted by Austin Carlile, seized the attention of the entire venue from the start. Passionate fans could be seen singing along with vocalists Austin and Aaron, as pints of beer flew from across the pit.
The lights dimmed and the audience cheered as the intro to The Lie started playing, Of Mice & Men are a band known for putting on a good show, and this night seemed no different. With the crowd clapping in unison alongside Aaron Pauley, the energetic, angry anthem was a fitting song to follow on from Pain, and paved the way for the rest of the show. After kicking off the set with two songs from their newest album Cold World, the house lights came on and Carlile's voice resonated across the venue "We are Of Mice & Men from Orange County California, and this is Feels Like Forever!"
Restoring Force was an album that charted 1st in the US Independent and Hard Rock charts, and 2nd in the UK Rock Chart when it was released, and Feels Like Forever was a song that got the whole audience singing in unison, the catchy chorus and hard hitting verses, backed by powerful guitar riffs from Alan Ashby and Phil Manansala, was all successfully tied together by Austin's formidable stage presence.
Of Mice & Men continued their set with the hugely popular Would You Still Be There, a song which was well recieved by the crowd who passionately sang along to every word, following that was Real, a heartfelt, single from Cold World, and Broken Generation.
Aaron Pauley took a moment between songs to address the crowd, thanking them for the bands ongoing support
The evening continued for the most part, with Of Mice & Men performing material from Cold World and Restoring Force, the band played through songs such as +, a heavy, fast and angry track, which had never been performed in London before and saw crowd surfers and moshers alike throw themselves around in chaotic rhythm, following +, was Away from their latest album.
There was a feeling that night, particularly towards the beginning of the set, that Of Mice & Men were straying from their older music in favour of the newer material, however fans of the bands first two albums, the self titled Of Mice & Men, and The Flood, were visibly excited when The Calm, The Storm, The Flood, and The Depths were played consecutively at the end of their set. Pits opened up toward the finale of The Calm, which decended into chaos for The Storm, a perfectly sychronised light show accompanied the band as they blasted through the song with raw, emotive energy.
The Flood was greeted by a sea of fists in the air and an impressive wall of death, followed shortly by The Depths, a mammoth song and single from their second album, for which Austin got the crowd to kneel on the floor beforehand, stating "We're Of Mice & Men, and this is The Depths." As soon as his vocals started, the floor erupted into mayhem which continued for the duration of the song.
As Of Mice & Men exited the stage with a quick but sincere "Thank you", the fans continued to cheer, and with an encore consisting of You're Not Alone, and the famous Second And Sebring, Of Mice & Men have proven to anyone who may be skeptical that they're still an epic band capable of great things.
Listen to Pain from Of Mice & Men's latest album, Cold World below!