Live: OF MICE & MEN // Alexandra Palace, London
The American metalcore band certainly shook the capital with their gargantuan riffs.
The Southern California-based quintet Of Mice & Men brought all the heat with them on a wet winters day in London. Despite the torrential downpour happening outside, the fiery energy inside the people’s palace showed no signs of being dampened by the less-than-ideal weather conditions. The band’s groundbreaking metal sound almost seemed to be made for Alexandra Palace, as they easily filled the 11,000 capacity venue with thunderous beats and blazing riffs.
Opening with Defy, the titular track off their most recent album, the blistering intensity of the track set the crowd up nicely for an energetic set of headbanging and moshing. The rousing chorus made for a loud singalong right from the very first track, and lit a spark that persisted for the rest of their set.
Warzone picked up the pace with bassist and vocalist Aaron Pauley demanding to the crowd “let’s open this shit up”. Guitarists Phil Manansala and Alan Ashby took to opposite ends of the stage, hair flailing round their face as they poured every emotion into their playing. Drummer Tino Arteaga tackled the blast beats with such ease that it appeared second-nature, and as the clean vocals of Aaron cut through the chorus, it brought a soaring melodic line that contrasts against the battering sections of the rest of the track.
However, the most melodic moment probably came in the form of Would You Still Be There, lifted from their third album, and the poppier drive certainly proved it to be as popular now as when it was first released. Contrasting with the brutal You Make Me Sick, Aaron displayed his screaming prowess with a mindblowing guttural bellow for the end of the track, sure to make the crowd shudder from its intensity.
Older fans weren’t disappointed either as they finished with The Depths, and between getting the crowd to kneel down, gathering a loud singalong and orchestrating everyone to clap along, Of Mice & Men showed that not only did they know how to deliver a mean riff, but they knew how to put on an unforgettable performance to leave an excited crowd.
Photos: Athena Kam