Of Mice & Men with The Amity Affliction and Volumes @ Ancienne Belgique, Brussels – 24 March 2015
On 24 March, Ancienne Belgique hosted a show in which the Belgian audience reached the level of being the main act. On that evening, Brussels simply ruled over Los Angeles, Brisbane and Orange County. Volumes, The Amity Affliction and Of Mice & Men found themselves disarmed by the wonderful attitude of their fan base, which exceeded any expectations.
The Los Angeles metal band Volumes was an excellent opening act. Everything about them is intense, strong and precise with a two-way flow of interaction between them and the audience. They did an awesome job in warming up a venue which at 7.15pm was filled up only by quarter of its capacity.
With two frontmen who can alternate if needed clean and harsh vocals, with a solid drumming and an awesome stage presence, Volumes acted as if their only mission on earth was to make sure the audience is having a good time. To their surprise, not only that those present took little time to respond to their energetic incentive but also returned huge enthusiasm and lyrics knowledge, singing their songs along. Seeing that more people recognized their songs than they had thought, they asked who has seen them before and hands rose up in a second.
Lots of dynamism on stage, headbanging, excellent blend of djent, groove and melody, metal riffs and breakdowns. A special moment on ‘Edge of the Earth’, when everyone was invited to light up their phones and keep them up. Which was done to the point where the song was performed only in this light. Great job at identifying their biggest fans in the audience, establishing contact with them and dedicating them special songs. And thanking, lots of thanking. To the audience, to their manifested fans, to Of Mice & Men. Highpoint with ‘Wormholes’ which ended the show. Without being aggressive at all in style, they were the heaviest band of the evening.
The Amity Affliction
The Amity Affliction from Australia brought a transition towards a slightly less dynamic stage acting, also because one of the vocalists, Ahren Stringer, is playing bass as well. Metalcore in sound and image, with aggressive passages and melodic chorus and quite known to the audience. But just like Volumes, they seemed well surprised by the crowd reactions, which didn’t even need the jokes on marihuana to heat up. ‘First time we played in Belgium was for so many people.’ says Joel Birch pointing to the left corner of the venue counting maybe up to 50 people. Now they had uncountable more audience, the presence almost doubled since the previous show. Their request for circle pit was: ‘Run like you’re running from the fucking police!’ Joel Birch also found the time to present the songs, alternating new and old stuff. ‘Lost & Fading’, ‘Chasing Ghosts’ or ‘Weigh Down’ are only some of the titles performed, accompanied by a crowed which was singing along, clapping, jumping and moshing in complete enthusiasm for the explosion of sound coming from the stage.
Of Mice & Men
We are told to wear earplugs for protection from loud live music but nobody mentions anything on loud crowd cheering. That sound highly competed with the sirens introducing the opener Public Service Announcement.
The setlist was a mixture of songs from all three albums but with a particular focus on their last year release. They played ‘Restoring Force’ almost entirely. ‘Glass Hearts’ and ‘Broken Generation’ were chosen to follow. The signs for circle pit started during ‘OG Loko’ when nobody was longer allowed to stand still. And how anyone could do such thing, especially on ‘Let Live’, an amazing live song, good for stepping out of any comfort zone. ‘You Make me Sick’ restarted the new songs’ parade and made one of the heaviest moments of the evening, which gave to Austin Carlile no other choice then turning the microphone over the audience. A small break on ambiental slow music and no lights, followed by Carlile jumping out the darkness to start in force ‘This One Is for You’ and demand ‘I want a circle pit!’ The madness and the thunderous drumming continued on ‘Feels Like Forever’ and ‘Bone Exposed’ to slow down a bit for a special moment with ‘Would You Still Be There’, when Aaron Pauley took lead of the vocal part.
As if the answer hadn’t been obvious judging by the amazing feedback, Carlile keeps asking “Are you having a good time, Brussels?’. With ‘Do you wanna here a few more new songs?’ he was introducing two new tracks ‘Another You’ and ‘Identity Disorder’, the latter preceded by a short singing lesson given by Aaron. The closing came with ‘The Ballad of Tommy Clayton’ and ‘Second & Sebring’. Before calling the night off, they retuned for two encore songs, ‘The Depths’ and ‘You're Not Alone’. On 'The Depths', everybody was invited to sit down and then jump up at a signal. The venue released tons of energy at once.
Only one conclusion, more of a reinforced fact: you can have wonderful bands on stage, great sound, awesome venues, but the very core element of any unforgettable evening remains an excellent concert crowd. Chapeau for all those present there.
FULL SETS OF PHOTOS:
Volumes @Ancienne Belgique - Brussels - 2015/03/24 - Photo reportage by JP Daniels
The Amity Affliction @Ancienne Belgique - Brussels - 2015/03/24 - Photo reportage by JP Daniels
Of Mice & Men @Ancienne Belgique - Brussels - 2015/03/24 - Photo reportage by JP Daniels
You can also read this report on ALIve Reports