Concert Review: OF MICE & MEN deliver true Superbowl performance

Blessthefall, Fire from the Gods, MSCW

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Even though it was Superbowl Sunday, the Boise Of Mice & Men show had a fantastic turnout with some dedicated fans. The halls on the Knitting Factory filled up fast and the smoke patio went up in a haze as fans waited to see opening acts, MSCW, Fire from the Gods, and Blessthefall.

Their first band up, Southern California’s MSCW (Moscow), delivered a heavy almost classic rock vibe. The set was short, but Tsaritsa (queen) killed it and did a cover from Motley Crue’s “Live Wire” which helped energize the crowd. They also played their latest single, “Black Widow.” Tsaritsa is from Russia and she puts on one hell of a show. I was not expecting a female vocalist as the guitars started the intro track. It was an awesome addition. She has some brutal vocals. There were quite a few new fans picking up a copy of her debut EP, Queen of Sin, after the performance.

Next up was Austin’s Fire from the Gods, who truly rained fire from the gods on the Knitting Factory that night. Their rap metal vibe was lively and passionate. All of the music covered subject matter centered on moving forward from your past and not letting it hold you back. Frontman AJ Channer got down with his fans and of course got the crowd to throw those middle fingers up, but honestly, who doesn’t love throwing the bird at metal shows? Even just as openers, fans were not letting these guys go. They demanded an encore even though they were just the second act. Fire from the Gods is bringing a massive banner on tour and encouraging every single one of their fans to sign it. Three simple rules to it, no dicks, no racism, and no sexism. It will definitely be something worth holding onto for these guys. They had some very dedicated fans in the crowd.

For those who have never been to a BlesstheFall show, go, but prepare for rain. Even if you are indoors. Vocalist Beau Bokan’s signature move, if you will, is to somehow make a 16 ounce water bottle explode in the air. I still haven’t narrowed down the technique, but I am determined to learn. If you do not want to get wet, I strongly advise staying out of the splash zone. Bokan puts on a fun performance. He came out wearing a Michael Jackson Thriller tank and asked the audience what team was going to win the Superbowl. I couldn’t even tell what was the response was. Judging by the blank look on his face, he couldn’t either, but it was fun nonetheless. Bokan even got a small circle pit going in smaller indoor venue. It was pretty impressive.

Boise got down harder than Salt Lake City Warped Tour. I was blown out of the water. I personally liked “Hey Baby,” better at Warped Tour, but the energy levels seemed so much higher at the Knit. I hear people say “I’ve already seen them,” so much! Go see your favorite bands whenever you can. Not only are you supporting their music, but no show is ever going to be the same. BlesstheFall opened the set with two tracks off their latest release, Hollow Bodies, and wrapped up with a hard version of the title track that definitely got fans hyped for Of Mice & Men.

As a new Of Mice & Men listener I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this show. I was actually kind of tired after BlesstheFall, but that soon changed. Of Mice & Men killed it. Their screams were on and the sound was good. I did hear some complain they didn’t play enough old songs. The band pulled heavily from their latest release, Defy, playing a good half dozen songs from the album including; “Back to Me,” “Instincts,” and “On the Upside,” as well as opening with the title track, “Warzone,” and “Unbreakable.”

The best part of a great final act is seeing fans use the rest of their energy to go as hard as they can, and did they! The mosh pit seemed endless. It just kept growing. I witnessed some sort of wall of death mosh pit, if you will.. It was more like human bullfighting. One guy, don’t ask me how he got elected ref, stands in the middle of where a mosh pit would be and picks two people who are literally staring at each other, like bulls, to run into each other as hard as they can and he moderates it….. Maybe it’s an Idaho thing? I have never seen it before. It was entertaining though. Fans also crowd surfed the biggest guy in the crowd all the way to the front! The pit seemed to just keep growing throughout the show. Even fans in the balcony had high energy levels.

Of Mice & Men nailed all of their guitar solos and they did a cover of Pink Floyd’s “Money” with some modern twists which sounded awesome. You could tell they put a lot of effort into it. All of the screams were just brutal. Of Mice & Men did two songs as their encore; “Still YDG’n” and “Forever YDG’n.” It was a concert worth missing the Superbowl for. In fact, it was almost better because mid-set during the Of Mice & Men performance some random guy yelled, “Eagles Won!” The halls shook with excitement and fans in the pit went even harder. It was a great night.

All photos © 2018 Katarzyna Cepek Photography

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