The crowd feels hostile and mischievous tonight. As we arrive at the legendary Kasbah venue we’re met with glares from fourteen year old kids. Of Mice & Men were always going to pull in a weird crowd though and they’ve proved it within seconds of arriving. Rumours run amongst the excitable fan girls that the headliners have been spotted in a beer garden somewhere. This is what I’ve had to put up with all night however I think the (odd) fan reaction is a good thing for Of Mice And Men who are relatively unknown on our shores.
Starting the proceedings are local band Scream Blue Murder (4). Someone needs to have a serious chat with these lads. Even though appearance has nothing to do with music, they’re dressed like how emos dressed back in 2006. They guitar chug their way through an uninspiring set list of deathcore, which leaves the crowd bored and impatient for the main event.
Next up are Japanese trancecore band Crossfaith (7) who are pretty impressive for a support. It can’t be easy only being known for a screamo cover of The Prodigy’s Omen but they do their best to break out of the slot they’ve been pigeon-holed into by everyone (it even says it on their Last.fm page). The crowd churns around as the lead singer screams encouragement in broken English. The band are a ball of energy and it’s fun to watch, however I was left a little confused how they only managed to play about four songs in half an hour. The songs weren’t even that long! Next up are British deathcore band With Our Last Breath (5). To be honest it’s a bit like watching the Titanic sink. The band suffers from microphone issues throughout their set. The lead singer desperately tries to keep the memento going by singing without the mic and by attempting to direct the crowd into a moshpit. The crowd would have been more obliging if the band had been the headliner or even main support but I think there was a shared feeling of “hurry up”. By the end of the set the whole band looks annoyed, half-heartedly attempting to put on a show. The songs they were able to play are heavy making my ribs ache with the vibration, yet they’re extremely dull.
Southampton rising stars Bury Tomorrow (8) bring the stage presence for their set. Playing a mixture of old and new the band drive the crowd wild, with the lead singer threatening to come out into the crowd and make us move. We’re repeatedly told that Bury Tomorrow is a “Party Band” which is so true. The biggest mosh pits of the night belong to this band with the atmosphere left sweaty after they depart. Headliners Of Mice & Men (8) get a rousing reception from the crowd with lead singer Austin Carlisle grinning in appreciation. The band is incredible live with Carlisle demanding everyone sing along to all their songs. Their set list however was awful. It felt like they’d taken two or three of their best tracks and mixed it with seven or eight of their tracks that I consider to be filler. Plus the departure of their bassist and clean vocalist has left a gap in the band that can’t be filled.
This is not really part of the review but then again the crowd at a show can often make the show. At this gig the crowd was horrendous. I saw a kid hold another kid down in the most pit and repeatedly punch him. I had to stand for twenty minutes and listen to some foreign kid lie to everyone saying he was in one of the bands and listen to the gullible 14 (and 50…) year olds believe him. I watched a guy stand on the edge of a moshpit and hit anyone who came near him. This kind of stuff at a gig isn’t cool and it’s why I groan and complain loudly when I see that the gig is open to 14 year olds rather than 18+. The crowd aside it was a fun gig with the supports bringing the energy and Of Mice And Men bringing the fun factor. I really hope this tour leads to a greater exposure for the band.