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Beartooth and Of Mice and Men at The Strand Ballroom, Providence, RI (United Sates) 14/5/19

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HEADLINER:
Beartooth
SUPPORT ACTS:
Of Mice and Men, Hands Like Houses, Dead American
VENUE:
The Strand Ballroom
LOCATION:
Providence, Rhode Island (United States)
DATE:
14th, May, 2019

Columbus, Ohio metalcore outfit Beartooth brought along Of Mice and Men, Australia’s own Hands Like Houses and Dead American for one of the final stops on their current tour to the Strand in Providence, Rhode Island this past Thursday.

The bill of heavy music proved to be of a high enough quality to fill most of the Strand’s general admission lower ballroom from the very beginning of the show, despite the night of music starting on the early side.

Dead American, fronted by former Saosin lead singer Cove Reber got things started in Providence with a short but aggressive set of music comprised primarily of the tracks off of the band’s debut EP, “The Shape of Punk to Come.” The band’s truncated set still managed be almost violently urgent, yet the easy connections with the crowd Reber was able to make also made the band’s time on the Strand’s stage come across as quite accessible.

Dead American – The Strand- Providence, RI (United States) – May 14, 2019

Next up where Canberra. Australia natives Hands Like Houses.  Much like Dead American before them. Hands Like Houses set was brisk, energetic and rather upbeat.

Vocalist Trenton Woodley was able to entice countless smiles from the crowd when he wasn’t encouraging them to crash and bang into one another in several of the circle pits that broke up during the band’s time on stage.  Despite the warm welcome that both Dead American and Hands Like Houses received from the masses in Providence, it sure seemed like most in attendance were a bit more amped up for the sets by Of Mice and Men and eventual headliner, Beartooth.

Hands Like Houses – The Strand- Providence, RI (United States) – May 14, 2019

Aaron Pauley and Of Mice and Men focused their set in Providence mostly on their more recent music, leaving but a few tunes from the Austin Carlie era to be played on the evening.

Fans in Providence were treated to raucous live takes of both of the new songs Of Mice and Men have released this year in the forms of “Mushroom Cloud” and “How to Survive.” The former is one hell of banger with a built for arenas chorus with the later coming across as this crushing force of heavy grooves and riffing that whipped the crowd in Providence into a flurry of fists and flying kicks that dotted across the entirety of the Strand’s lower level ballroom.

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Of Mice & Men – The Strand – Providence, RI (United States) – May 14, 2019

The rest of the material played on the evening by Of Mice and Men came from the band’s latest full length LP, 2018’s Defy. The song selection not only made sense because of its focus on the band’s post Austin Carlie era but also because the songs’ off of Defy all have these huge hooks, monstrous grooves and lyrics that fans can easily connect with.  The dark and extreme pummeling of Defy track “Warzone” was balanced nicely by a track such as “Instincts” with its frantic instrumentation and soaring vocals.

Of Mice and Men choose to close their set out by going back in time and dipping into a deep cut off of the Flood that only appeared on the record’s 2012 deluxe reissue in the form of “The Depths.”  Between the quality of the band’s new music and their ability to pull off delightfully beautiful but brutal live performances, it’s becoming more clear that the post Austin Carlie era Of Mice and Men may end up being the band’s most resplendent.

 

Of Mice & Men – The Strand – Providence, RI (United States) – May 14, 2019

Last to take to the Strand’s stage in Providence this past Wednesday were hardcore punk and metal outfit Beartooth.

It’s almost hard to call Beartooth an actual band as if it you peel back the onion a bit on their orientation you’ll find that their music is entirely the creation of front man and multi-instrumentalist, Caleb Shomo.

Shomo is the jack of all trades behind Beartooth.   In the studio Shomo tracks all the instruments in addition to being the sole force behind the lyrics and the production of all of the band’s records.  Thus when playing in a live setting Beartooth really is just Shomo being back by a band of touring musicians, some of which also contribute to the studio recording process of their albums.

Beartooth – The Strand – Providence, RI (United States) – May 14, 2019

What’s most striking about the aforementioned statement is when you see Beartooth live, you’d swear they are a united collective that has been recording and touring with one another for decades.

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Whether this is a result of the brilliance of Shomo or a nod to the chemistry that exists within the make shift group, who knows?  What’s up for little debate, however, is the fact that if you’re seeking out a live show buoyed by high level instrumentation, driving melodies and massive sing-a-longs, look no further than Beartooth concert to quench your metal thirst.

Beartooth’s time in Providence was heavily focused on music from the band’s most recent record, the critically well received Disease.  The growled vocals and more biting sharpness that served as the backdrop for the band’s first two records, 2014’s Disgusting and 2016’s Aggressive, has mostly been replaced by a more traditional radio friendly anthems.  That being the case, it made sense that Beartooth would choose to point their lives shows in favor of a record such as Disease because quite frankly, the music is likely to draw more of a crowd through any venue’s doors to see the band perform.

Beartooth – The Strand – Providence, RI (United States) – May 14, 2019

Don’t’ be fooled though, the tracks off of Disease still contain more than their fair share of brutality and the screams featured on the record remain as sadistic as anything Beartooth has ever produced.  However, it’s worth nothing that Disease is Beartooth’s most accessible record. A big reason for this condition’s existence may simply be the fact that the vocal performances by Shomo on the album are by far and away the most impressive work he’s ever laid down.

The title track “Disease” and “Fire”, both of which were played in Providence, feature well executed breakdowns and the type of arena rock anthems that fans clamor to experience and connect with in a live setting.

Beartooth are already hard at work composing tracks for an album that, as of today, currently slated to be released later this year.  Should the band’s performance in Providence this past Wednesday be a harbinger of what’s to come in terms of Beartooth, I’d say most, if not all of the fans, in attendance can’t wait for the future to get here.

Connect with Beartooth, Of Mice and Men, Hands Like Houses and Dead American via the links below:

https://www.beartoothband.com/  https://www.ofmiceandmenofficial.com/

https://handslikehouses.net/  https://deadamerican.com/

DATE:
14th, May, 2019

HEAVY Photos – Billboard


Robert Forte

In addition to my outlet writing & photography contributions I serve as a gear photographer for Banker Custom Guitars, Collings Guitars & Elixir strings. I've provided tour photography for bands such as Anthrax, Royal Thunder & the Marcus King Band. My photography has appeared on major label record releases and it's also been used by high profile bands for tour merchandise & promotion.
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