Making their Reading debut, Of Mice & Men sure know how to make a strong first impression. Drawing the biggest crowd this tent has seen all day, people spill outside, desperate to see the metalcore superstars or — to be more specific — Austin Carlile. Make no mistake, he's undoubtedly the star of the show.
During set opener Public Service Announcement he swiftly proves he has more energy than even the most fresh faced attendees celebrating GCSE results, running around stage, arms a whirlwind of fury. He has an almost messiah-like grip over the crowd, looming over them centre stage. Everyone follows his every command, and the walls of death and crowd surfers come in abundance.
His band mates deliver a performance that is damn near flawless, delivering every note with laser-like precision. They look and sound huge: so huge in they may have already outgrown this tent. They prompt a packed block of people to bounce along wall to wall, and it even spreads to those who can’t even get inside.
While the fans loudly lap up a setlist relying heavily on this year’s Restoring Force, not to mention the odd old favourite such as O.G.Loko, a few more hits may be the only thing preventing the California five-piece’s plans for world domination from coming to fruition. It’s easy to picture this show destroying bigger stages, and Of Mice & Men are certainly the betting man’s choice for metal band most likely to be topping bills in the future.