Not long after Bury Tomorrow blew the roof off Joiners, the intro music to Of Mice & Men’s set began, allowing them to enter the stage and explode rapidly into ‘Still Y’DG’n’. Austin Carlile’s screams were inevitably veracious, but it was his clean vocals that really impressed. Their bassist and clean vocalist, Shayley Bourget, departed the band in early 2012 and the singing duties were thrust firmly on Austin, but he delivered like he had been the singer for years.
A nice mix of tracks from both the self-titled Of Mice & Men and The Flood was played on the night, flowing from ‘Those in Glass Houses’ into ‘Ohioisonfire’. The standard heat you come to expect in Joiners was apparent from the sweat dripping off the band, but there was not a beat or note missed as they powered through.
A particular crowd-pleaser came when Austin screamed “I don’t really think that you’ve ever walked a mile in my shoes”, and the band broke into ‘Ben Threw’. The song title’s play-on-words is completely enhanced when you witness the passion and commitment from the band as they headbang and interact with the crowd as if there is no stage present.
The level of power that Of Mice & Men can produce was taken to a new level with ‘Product of a Murderer’. The insanely heavy breakdowns and fast chorus keep drummer Valentino on his toes, whilst the guitarists energetically move around the stage.
The band encore with ‘Second & Sebring’, and the emotional motive behind the song meant that Austin called upon singer Jason Cameron of Bury Tomorrow and Kenta Koie of Crossfaith to perform his vocal duties whilst he stood and witnessed from amongst the crowd. It was brilliant to see a unity between the touring bands, but to hear Austin’s voice would have been the ideal.