The last time I was at the space that is now Music Hall Minneapolis was about seven years ago when the venue went by the name of Mill City Nights. While it still is the familiar space it was back then, I was still anxious about being there for the first time in years, especially for a lineup of bands that me seven years ago would have dropped everything for. The space proved to be the perfect size to see The Defy Tour, as it was big enough to hold the crowd and mosh pits, but small enough to feel like you were close to the bands regardless of where you were inside.
MSCW, a visually and sonically classic rock influenced band hailing from California, took the stage first. From the moment the band took the stage it became very evident that the group knows how to put on a show; the guitarists and the bassist ran around the stage, often times leaning on one another to play together, the drummer hitting his kit with unmatched intensity and accuracy, and the vocalist confidently prowling across the stage. MSCW proved to be a talented group of musicians well received by the crowd and a band that I personally need to see again.
Next up was Austin based metal core outfit Fire From the Gods, the band making their first return to Minnesota since Warped Tour last summer. The crowd reaction for this band was intense from the start of the first note of the first song; members of the crowd instantly started mosh pits to match the energy pouring from the stage. One of the best aspects of this band’s performance was watching the bassist fly across the stage from side to side while the vocalist matched that intensity while constantly engaging with the crowd. With each member of the group amping up the crowd, Fire From the Gods definitely set the tone for the rest of the night.
Gearing up for the release of their upcoming album “Hard Feelings” in March, Phoenix metalcore band blessthefall took the stage to the sound of high crowd anticipation and cheers. Right from the beginning, the band ran on stage with an unstoppable wave of energy, one that was unmatched by any band other band of the night and not one member the group let up at any point during their performance. The only disappointing aspect of blessthefall’s set was how fast their set went by, as their performance left both myself and the crowd wanting more.
Lat up for the evening was headliners Of Mice & Men supporting their January release “Defy.” The last time that I had seen Of Mice & Men was in Worcester, MA when they opened for Bring me the Horizon years ago, back when Austin Carlile fronted the band. Bassist Aaron Pauly led the rest of the band onstage to an outcry of cheers from the crowd. The California rock band similarly played a shorter headlining set than I personally expected considering the depth of their discography, however, the group proved that the passion for their craft remains abundantly clear.