It was a slow start to Of Mice & Men’s The Earth Tour and the band Blood Bather opened with an unfortunately small crowd. However, it was early and it was a Monday. The band had high energy on stage and the crowd cheered very loudly but the numbers weren’t there yet. While the songs Blood Bather performed their songs well but were a bit sloppy during the brief moments of silence between songs. Two members stepped over each other’s words as they told a story of driving almost two days from Florida, having a van breakdown in Texas, and almost dying (which they didn’t expand upon). While the mosh pit was mostly pit and fewer people, the few who were there made it wild.

The energy in the room slowly grew, but it’s hard to create a tidal wave in a puddle. Having seen solid out Erra and Northlane show last week at the Teragram Ballroom, the level of intensity wasn’t there yet for Thousand Below. That being said, their music was especially catchy and those who were in the crowd helped elevate the energy. I have been wanting to see Thousand Below for a bit now, but after this show, I’ve decided I must see them again. Seeing them play “Sinking Me” felt cathartic and nostalgic after listening to the song for a long time. This is one band I’m definitely going to keep my eye on.

High pitched, screeching microphones started this problematic set, but eventually everything was sorted out. More people ventured in from the Los Angeles street, but the venue felt like it was only at 40% capacity. As the direct support to Of Mice & Men, For The Fallen Dreams did a great job of getting the crowd hyped up for the headliner. Hands waved through the air like those blow-up dolls in front of a car dealership. Devil horns were thrown through the air in an attempt to summon the devil, but he didn’t show up due to “a lack of decent souls.” For The Fallen Dreams’ drummer, Marc Esseses had a ridiculous amount of energy for a drummer. Unfortunately, For The Fallen Dreams had their set cut short, which I assume was due to the earlier technical difficulties.

Psychosocial by Slipknot blasted over the speakers before OM&M came on and the crowd belted out the lyrics in unison. Aaron Pauley’s lengthy hair flipped and twirled as he screamed into his microphone. For the first time that I’ve seen, Aaron was not playing the bass while singing. They had another bassist, who was not introduced, who played for the entirety of the set.

With the somewhat lackluster crowd, I felt like Of Mice & Men called an audible and chose to play an entirely different setlist than they intended. For naming this tour The Earth Tour, promoting their upcoming album earthandsky, I felt like Of Mice & Men only played the singles they’ve released. The rest of the songs, however, were huge hits from previous albums in their career. “Defy, Bones Exposed, OG LOKO, The Depths, Would You Still Be There,” and “Unbreakable” were all played to an enthusiastic but sparse crowd. The drummer, Valentino Arteaga, had a drum pad that played a deep subwoofer sound that hit the crowd with a shock wave of morphine during the breakdowns.

Overall, Of Mice & Men’s show was epic due to the number of old hits they played. To me, this felt like the right choice because the album wouldn’t be released for 4 more days and the crowd wouldn’t know any of the new songs. We’ll just have to wait and see if they play a different setlist later on. See you at the next show!


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