LIVE: Of Mice & Men/ Issues/ Beartooth @ Great Hall, Cardiff [23/04/14]

By Lais

Tonight’s all-American bill sold out a long time ago, and that’s no easy feat for bands at the moment. Headliners Of Mice & Men are getting bigger and bigger all the time, and support acts Issues and Beartooth are both gaining a huge amount of hype in their own right, so it’s no surprise the crowd are absolutely raring to go tonight.

First up are Beartooth, who are fronted by former Attack! Attack! frontman Caleb Shomo, and although they only formed recently, they manage to completely smash their show. Aside from hitting a couple of off notes, the set is hard to pick a fault with. Beartooth already have a commanding stage presence, and they’re clearly going somewhere. Keep an eye on them.

Next up are Issues, who should probably need no further introduction at this point. But if by chance you aren’t familiar with them yet, then here you go: Issues, fronted by Tyler Carter (ex-Woe, Is Me), are polarising opinions all over the rock world. With their mishmash of metal riffs and R&B-style vocals, people seem to either fiercely love them or hate them. Either way, tonight they are brilliant entertainment. Playing a mixture of songs off their self-titled debut album and previous EP ‘Black Diamonds’, they absolutely smash it. Songs like ‘Love Sex Riot’ are so catchy that the crowd go wild. It probably won’t be long until Issues are headlining these stages themselves.

And last but not least are California’s Of Mice & Men, who seem to be taking over the metal world one day at a time. They’re pretty well known as being a fantastic live band, and frontman Austin Carlisle is becoming one of the most recognised faces of the rock world. There’s a reason for this: they exude energy and charisma onstage, and they have some pretty darn good songs.

Tonight is probably not the best show they’ve ever played, as the sound isn’t 100%, but nevertheless, if you come to see Of Mice & Men, you’re always going to get have a good time. They mix older hits like ‘Second & Sebring’ and ‘O.G. Loko’ with newer songs like ‘Bones Exposed’. They finish with ‘The Depths’, but after the crowd scream for more, they come back on for an encore. Controversially they choose to finish on a new song, ‘You’re Not Alone’, but it goes down a storm anyway. There’s a reason why Of Mice & Men are so big, and this is it.