Of Mice & Men Come Full Circle In Los Angeles

Of Mice & Men and Crown the Empire June 5, 2015 Wiltern Theater- Los Angeles, CA

       Out supporting their latest release, Restoring Force, Of Mice & Men and their Full Circle Tour have been going strong since April 25. They finally came to Los Angeles, CA on June 5, 2015, the second to last day of the Spring tour. Openers included up and comers Crown the Empire and Volumes.  Following Volumes’ energetic set to a packed house, the Metalcore sextet known as Crown the Empire came on stage around 8:20pm. Although the show was not sold out, the entire venue seemed packed full of anxious fans, with a large portion of the crowd sporting the CTE skull bandanas over their faces. Crown the Empire have been around since 2010 but released their first studio album in 2012, quickly gaining recognition for their singles Makeshift Chemistry and Memories of a Broken Heart. In 2014, the band released their second album, The Resistance: Rise of the Runaways and were catapulted to the #7 spot on the Billboard Top 200 in it’s first week and later went to #1 on the iTunes Rock Charts.. They also won Alternative Press Magazine’s award for “Best Breakthrough Band” and have been garnering thousands of fans since. Crown the Empire kicked off their 9 song set with Bloodline off of The Resistance: Rise of the Runaways. The slow intro was just the thing to make an excited crowd even more anxious; Then the double bass and guitar work kicked in and the mosh pit was on its way. The band’s cardio focused, tireless energy lasted Crown the Empire-12throughout the set, giving them hardly any time to stop and breathe. Lead guitarist Benn Suede never stopped moving; if he wasn't jumping up and down then he was stomping, full force on the ground. If he wasn’t head-banging, then he was spinning himself in circles or his guitar in the air. He was the most energized of the group and it was difficult to take your eyes off of him because of his performance. Lead vocalist Andy Leo and co-lead vocalist, David Escamilla commanded the stage. When they said jump, the crowd jumped. As Leo belted out his clean melodic vocals, Escamilla would contrast it with his growling screams and the crowd loved every minute of it. Being restricted behind the drums didn’t stop Brent Taddie from putting on his own show, constantly sticking his tongue out, vigorously hitting his drums and speedily playing the double bass so fast that our shins were hurting just from watching him! After almost every song he would quickly jump up and throw a drum stick into the crowd who all reached out and fought for them. The set continued with favorites, Voices, Memories of a Broken Heart, Makeshift Chemistry and the set ender, Machines. The band thanked the crowd and told them that they would be at the merch area because they wanted to meet all of their fans. The crowd cheered one last time as the band exited the stage. Not much later, it was time for the headliner, Of Mice & Men. The quintet hails from Costa Mesa, CA so this was the closest to a hometown show they would have and boy did all their fans come out for this one. Of Mice & Men have been on the scene since 2009 and have released three studio albums. After a three year wait since their second album, The Flood, OM&M released their third album, Restoring Force in 2014, the first album with the new bassist and clean vocalist, Aaron Pauley. The album hit #4 on the Billboad Top 200 albums chart and #1 on both the Billboard Top Independent and Top Rock Albums Charts. As the lights dimmed around 9:30, the crowd squeezed closer toward the stage. Lead singer, Austin Carlile was the first to come out on stage, smiling as he looked at the sea of screaming fans. Their set opener, Public Service Announcement started the night off energetically and the pit broke out into several mosh pits. Of Mice & Men_-25Guitarists Phil Manansala and Alan Ashby head banged throughout the night while Aaron Pauley on bass and Austin Carlile tag teamed with vocals. The 13 song and 2 encore set was a mixture of all three albums, with a majority being from their latest album. The band’s energy was mirrored by the crowd who held up their horns whilst moshing and singing along to Carlile and Pauley. As the set progressed, crowd surfers began making their way through the crowd toward the stage. In between songs, Carlile would take the time to thank the crowd for being there. He mentioned the familiar faces that he saw and thanked all the long time fans for their support and the new fans for coming and checking them out. His humble speeches made the crowd cheer in appreciation. The band performed several new songs including Never Giving Up and Feels Like Forever which are off of the band’s re-issue of Restoring Force, title Restoring Force: Full Circle. Crowd favorites including Would You Still Be There, Let Live and Broken Generation were performed effortlessly with gusts of fog shooting out of cannons, which were located on stage and above the stage. As the set was coming to a close, Carlile took a second to dedicate Another You to all the mothers out there. Following Another You the band performed their set closer, Second & Sebring, their most popular song to date. Following cheers and chants, the band performed two encore songs the first being The Depths in which David Escamilla from Crown the Empire came out and sang with the band. The night ended with You’re Not Alone. The band thanked the crowd one last time and exited the stage. The Full Circle was an absolute success. After being on the road for nearly a month, the bands sounded as fresh as ever and gave Los Angeles a night to remember. Although the tour is practically over, be sure to catch all the bands on some of the summer festivals coming soon. Review by: Nicole Lemberg  Crown the Empire Of Mice & Men