Social media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook have deemed The American Dream Tour to be one of the most hyped up tours of 2014. The Internet is filled with a slew of promotional material as well as tweets and facebook statuses from disgruntled fans unable to get tickets to the various sold out shows across the country. With one of the most anticipated line-ups featuring Of Mice & Men and Bring Me The Horizon touring off of their current records, Restoring Force and Sempiternal respectively, it is a tour people have gone to incredible lengths to see before it ends.
Being lucky enough to grab a ticket at the last minute, I found myself in line outside of the Best Buy Theater in Times Square, once again suffering through the unrelenting cold waiting to get inside. Though it appeared as if the show was delayed slightly due to technical difficulties, the crowd was kept at bay by the consistent appearances of YouTube sensation Bryan Stars waving at the audience from his VIP lounge. If starting the show off with a scene celebrity wasn’t the icing on the cake, the stage prowess of Of Mice & Men’s Austin Carlile and the light show accompanying Bring Me the Horizon’s performance definitely were.
Just in case the crowd didn’t know who was playing, Austin Carlile was there to remind the audience of who his band was about seven times during his set. At this point, I’m pretty sure every single person was fully aware that “Of Mice & Men from Orange County, California” was on stage. But apart from redundancies in stage interaction, OM&M gave one hell of a live performance. With the addition of bassist Aaron Pauley’s clean vocals, the stage became a foreground for new sounds and moves employed by OM&M. Tracks like “Would You Still Be There” and “Bones Exposed” were instant crowd favorites while tracks like “You’re Not Alone” proved that some songs were written solely to be played live. Though older singles like “Second & Sebring” and “Ohioisonfire” were left out of the set list, the songs that were included provided living proof that OM&M no longer need to fall back on big hits to push their musical maturity forward.
I feel it’s rare to see Of Mice & Men open for anyone, but if they are going to, it should be someone as capable and talented as vocalist Oli Sykes and his band Bring Me The Horizon. After learning how to actually sing for the group’s fourth record, Sykes was a blast to see live. He encapsulated an energy only frontmen who have been doing what they do for years upon years seem to embrace. Vocals and stage interaction were on par, leaving the crowd in uncoordinated chaos as the theater erupted in roars and out-of-sync jumping to tracks like “Shadow Moses” and “Antivist.” Impressively, as Sykes loses his ability to scream the way he did on the first few BMTH albums, throwbacks like “It Never Ends” and “Diamonds Aren’t Forever” sent the crowd into a frenzy showing how much the band has grown in popularity since those tracks were first released.
Practice makes perfect when playing live shows again and again, but it also makes progress as both bands were able to display with their respective New York performances.
Be sure to support both bands and purchase a CD and buy concert tickets at individual band websites.
Natasha Van Duser
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