October 4, 2016 Of Mice & Men Celebrate Cold World In NYC 9-16-16 w/ Young Guns
Most of 2016 has been an emotional ride for Alternative Metal act known as Of Mice & Men. Faced with the health issues of Frontman Austin Carlile, who was born with a genetic condition; Marfan Syndrome, the vocalist and his bandmates have battled through tough times along the way. Overcoming obstacles, internally and externally, they entered House of Loud studio in New Jersey in the early spring. By the time the weather began to break in June, Of Mice & Men had completed their anticipated fourth studio album, entitled Cold World. A record that holds a great deal of high expectations after the massive success of 2014’s Restoring Force, which hit No. 4 on the Billboard Top 200 Album Chart and No. 1 on both the Billboard Top Independent and Top Rock Albums Charts, Of Mice & Men were up to the challenge.
With little downtime in and out of the studio, the band spent most of the summer on the road as opening support for Marilyn Manson and Slipknot. A great opportunity to introduce their brand of music to a fresh new audience, as the tour wound down, the release of Cold World inched closer. On September 9th, it officially hit the public. Rising quickly in the charts, Of Mice & Men first celebrated with a special release show on Cold World’s street date at The Roxy out in Los Angeles, CA. Then, on the 15th, they traveled to the East Coast to partake in an album signing at Best Buy on East 14th Street in New York City. If that was not enough, Friday, the 16th, they booked another album release show at Gramercy Theatre in New York City. A part of a string of North American stops before the band hopped on a jet plane out to Europe for the month of October, what would fans receive with this unique event? They would be gifted a performance from supporting act Young Guns and Cold World in its entirety. A hot ticket, the Gramercy Theatre show sold out rapidly and excitement was just about to begin as the line wrapped around Lexington Avenue.
Up first, out of Buckinghamshire, England, was Young Guns. With people streamlining into the open doors of the venue, Young Guns was set to begin. Those foggy on who they are, Young Guns’ history dates back over a decade, and in that time they have released four studio records, including this year’s Echoes. In fact, Echoes dropped the same day as this Gramercy Theatre show, so one could say this was also a celebration for Young Guns. Currently consisting of Vocalist/Keyboardist Gustav Wood, Guitarist Fraser Taylor, Bassist Simon Mitchell, Rhythm Guitarist John Taylor, and Drummer Chris Kamrada, an adoring fanbase anxiously awaited their set while others curiously wondered what Young Guns was all about.
As the intermission music faded and the lights dropped, a hearty applause was heard as Young Guns walked out. “New York City, how the fuck are we doing tonight?” shouted Wood to the excited crowd, who cheered in response. Without any further ado, Young Guns delved into their setlist, setting the mood with one of their heavier songs, “Rising Up.” Lights flashed across the stage and into the crowd, where hardly a person stood still. Keeping pace, the band followed up with the more upbeat Pop Punk style tunes such as “Brother in Arms” before flowing into melodic “Bulletproof.”
Continuing on, “This is our first time playing the Gramercy Theatre. How is everyone doing?” called out Wood, in between songs to the ever growing audience. Then the lights dimmed as they played new song “Echoes” to the pleasure of their fans. Indeed announcing this was their own album release party, Woods stated, “We’re a long way from home, thank you for making us feel so welcome here!” Receiving tremendous support, they went into the riveting “I Want Out” and finished with hit song “Bones” before thanking the audience one last time. With those parting words, Young guns left the stage to an overwhelming farewell cheer, assuring that they are also a band rising in the rankings.
Eagerly awaiting Of Mice & Men, the crowd mingled between the two bars as an unspoken energy flowed through the room. Still relatively fresh to the scene, Of Mice & Men has reached critical acclaim very quickly in their genre, with a dedicated following and YouTube hits in the millions. Hailing from Costa Mesa, California, the band consisting of Vocalist Carlile, Lead Guitarist Phil Manansala, Rhythm Guitarist Alan Ashby, Bassist/Backup Vocalist Aaron Pauly, and Drummer Valentino Arteaga put their focus on a heavier sound with Cold World. Capturing sincere emotions, the album may take a while for some to digest, but in the end, Cold World could become their crown accomplishment.
With that in mind, old and new fans immediately began to cheer as the venue turned dark as moody guitar chords echoed in the air. As the lights came to life slowly, Of Mice & Men had already taken their places on the platform, beginning their set with no faults as they jumped into “Game of War” from their new album. Keeping the ambiance, they followed up with vocal heavy “The Lie,” melodic “Real,” and “Like a Ghost.”
Greeting the amped up crowd, Carlile screamed out with enthusiasm as they began “Contagion” as a mosh pit began to form. Continuing the chaos, the pit provoked crowd-surfers everywhere as the band hammered into newest single “Pain;” a song which the audience went completely wild for. Taking a breath, Carlile questioned, “New York City, it feels good to be here tonight, and this is our new album! Are we enjoying it so far?” Responding with a ruckus cheer in approval, with no further ado, Of Mice and Men streamlined into heavy-hitting “The Hunger,” bass laden “Relentless,” vocal/melody focused “Down the Road,” and “+.” Taking another brief moment to humbly thank their fans, the band finished off their set with slower and more moody “Away,” and equally emotionally charged “Transfigured.”
Leaving the stage to an immediate demand of “Encore!” it was a surprise to no one when Of Mice & Men returned rather quickly. Although, what did surprise many was the band playing fan-favorite “Second and Sebring,” which brought more reckless moshing and head-banging to life. Praising everyone in attendance one last time, Of Mice & Men exited the stage of Gramercy Theatre for the final time that evening, leaving behind bunch of fans who bum-rushed downstairs for merchandise and chattered excitedly about the afterparty.
All in all, both bands brought their A-Game to New York City. Young Guns was all polished energy and enthusiasm the whole set through, while Of Mice & Men was high energy and aggressive. With both performers possessing immense stage presence, it was impossible to not feel engaged for the entire show. The Cold World Tour is taking no prisoners, with such a strong start and professionalism so early on, look out for more North American dates come 2017.