Of Mice & Men, Blessthefall, Fire From The Gods & Cane Hill
The Crofoot Ballroom – Pontiac, MI – 2.12.2018
Photographer: Robert Sherman
Having just released their first record, Defy, since the departure of talisman lead vocalist Austin Carlisle, Of Mice & Men immediately hopped on the road to begin the first tour on the Defy album cycle.
Defy has already exceeded expectations (you can read about that here in our album review) and has charted predominately well in the United States. The album hit number three in the Billboard US Top Hard Rock Albums chart, number six on the Billboard US Top Rock Albums, and number 48 on the US Billboard 200; and the popularity of the band was rabid in the near sold out Crofoot Ballroom.
MSCW (not pictured) started the night off not shortly after doors opened up with their brand of heavy metal, successfully being fronted by a woman in a male-dominated scene. Unfortunately, I was unable to catch MSCW’s set, and I was pretty bummed about that because I’ve only heard great things about the band and was looking forward to seeing them.
Next on stage was Cane Hill, who also just released an album. Too Far Gone has only been out for a number of weeks, but is also making waves with the bands blend of heavy metal and nu-metal nuances. We also reviewed this record, and you can read that here!
A short, but very enjoyable set was highlighted by songs “10 Cents” and “Too Far Gone,” which are probably the heaviest tracks on the album. I highly recommend getting to the venue early to check out this unique band.
Fire From The Gods rounded out the opening bill, and I honestly know nothing about this band…other than they absolutely rock. Every song they played was fast, heavy, and catchy. You could tell that a majority of the crowd didn’t know most of the songs, but that didn’t stop the Pontiac crowd from getting rowdy in anticipation of the main events.
Fresh off of signing to Rise Records in anticipation of their new record Hard Feelings, metalcore journeyman Blessthefall arrived to thunderous applause when vocalist Beau Bokan ran onto stage to the beginning of “You Wear a Crown But You’re No King.”
They went way back in the catalog to perform “Walk On Water” before debuting their new single “Melodramatic” to the Pontiac crowd. Taking a few seconds to collect themselves, the guys from Arizona busted into my favorite BTF song, “Hey Baby, Here’s That Song You Wanted.”
It was finally time for Of Mice & Men to hit the stage, and without a word played the title track from Defy, as well as two advanced singles from the record, “Unbreakable,” and “Warzone” before pausing to address the crowd.
Lead vocalist and bassist Aaron Pauley thanked the crowd for standing by them, even through the uncertainty of Carlisle leaving the band, and for embracing the new dynamic that OM&M has found success in.
“Would You Still Be There” and “Back To Me” sounded flawless, even with Pauley handling both of the screaming and clean singing on tracks from their back catalog.
My favorite part of the OM&M set came at the end, when the band performed the three part series that Pauley explained as being the montra of the band. The California band tore through “YDG,” “Still YDG’n,” and “Forever YDG’n” seamlessly before receding off stage, leaving the audience screaming for more.
Giving in to the wishes of their fans chanting for their return to the stage, OM&M finished their set with “You’re Not Alone” and the very heavy “The Depths.”