Live Gig Underground

Of Mice & Men, Issues and Beartooth

Of Mice & Men, Issues and Beartooth(26. April 2014)  The Cologne Underground hs been sold out for several weeks. The uncomfortable weather does not prevent a good 80 kids from being there already at five. "Kids" is in the case exactly the right word, some forlorn parents on the edge of the scene reinforce this impression.
This tour seems to be an association of ex-singers-resolved scene heroes. OF MICE & MEN singer Austin Carlile once roared on the debut of Electro-Metalcore-pioneer ATTACK ATTACK!. He was replaced by Caleb Shomo, who hinself has a new band with BEARTOOTH. ISSUES not made up of old ATTACK ATTACK! members, but of some of WOE, IS ME. Since both bands have been relatively successful in their lifetime, it is somehow not really a surprise that they are quite famous among the kids.
BEARTOOTH start the evening at half past seven. The hard sound of the guys may surprise one or the other ATTACK ATTACK! Lovers. No keyboards, no trance, but metalcore without any extras. The numbers presented sound organic and are very up-to-date through the nu-metal influence in the guitar work. The audience is very text safe at the songs of the "Sick" EP, and they also anticipate the new material well. Most newcomers only dream of such a devotion. Singer Caleb Shomo and his boys give all they got and earn euphoric audience reactions. 25 minutes long BEARTOOTH work on a good first impression.
However, the fans seem to be even more excited about the next band ISSUES, which is on tour in Europe for the first time. I personally do not like the band with their mix of LIMP BIZKIT, Break Downs and Justin Timberlake-R'n'B. What I have to attest the band, however, is that it has the audience completely under control. They play songs from the first EP "Black Diamonds" and the debut "Issues". Especially the album's songs seem to be popular. The singing duo Tyler Carter and Michael Bohn is the focal point of the performance, with the rest of the band acting only as extras. But it may also be due alto the small stage, which provides the sextet little room for movement. Good performance on the one hand, too predictable songwriting on the other.
But it is clear that the audience has just been waiting for Austin Carlile and OF MICE & MEN. Beginning from the first few bars of the intro to 'Public Service Announcement', the audience is in top form and in motion. What follows in the next 55 minutes is like a triumphant victory for the Nu Metal / Metalcore mix of the U.S. band. The whole group gives it all during the entire set, but singer and teen heartthrob Carlile seems particularly prominent. He is always the middle point of the event and the focus of female fans that screeching take photos of him. Apparently there is a small ditch of hysteria between metalcore and boy band.
They offer a good cut of "Restoring Force" and its predecessor "The Flood". 'Second & Sebring' is the only song from the self-titled debut. But probably anyway only a few attendees will have actively noticed that album a good six years ago. I myself saw OF MICE & MEN opening for August BURNS RED in the exact same location and was not really thrilled. What OF MICE & MEN delivers today is some classes better than it was back then. The show is very entertaining and also fun if you stand further back. This is especially due to the more multi-faceted numbers of "Restoring Force," which represent their very melodic side.
After the addition of the new favorites 'You're Not Alone' a sweaty band takes leave of the same sweat-soaked audience. Long before 22 clock the youth escapes into the night (or the arms of parents waiting before the hall). OF MICE & MEN have now made more than a good job and improved greatly in recent years as a live band. Honestly, I didn't exüect such a strong performance.

Text by © by Heiko Eschenbach