Papa Roach review: ‘they had Norwich in the palm of their hands’
- Credit: Paul Jones
Californian nu-metal megastars Papa Roach rolled up in Norwich last night on the latest leg of their gargantuan world tour, promoting their tenth studio album 'Who Do You Trust'.
Amongst the heavy weights of the genre, selling twenty million albums worldwide, they have outlasted the majority of their peers who burst onto the scene in the late 90's and early 00's, putting out an album on average every two years, whilst smashing out large arena and stadium performances across the globe. They have managed to keep the quality up, evolve their sound and stay relevant in a hugely saturated market at the heavier end of rock music.
To say I've been looking forward to this gig for a long time is an understatement, especially after photographing them at Leeds Festival last year where they headlined the Lock Up Stage on the Sunday night. Witnessing them play 'Between Angels and Insects' at close range as 2,500 people in a heaving tent sang their hearts out behind me still gives me goose bumps.
First up on stage were Eleven Seven Group label mates 'Nothing More', a rock quintet from San Antonio, Texas. Now these guys are not your usual support acts as they're already hugely successful with multiple Grammy nominations, tours with Five Finger Death Punch and Breaking Benjamin, as well as their own world tours. I've caught them a couple of times before at Download and Reading Festival where they were amazing. To be honest I'd have paid to see them play the LCR as headliners themselves, so this was a bonus.
Lead vocalist Jonny Hawkins is the main focus of the band and he starts off by scaling a very tall pole/ladder, before covering every inch of stage then playing a Mad Max style drum kit, finishing the set riding what looks like a gargantuan scorpion tail. Of course he's soon shirtless, and to be honest if I was as ripped as he is, I'd pretty much walk around shirtless too. Musically they're fantastic and I'd rate them amongst the best support bands I've seen at this venue over the years.
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Then, after much anticipation throughout the sold out venue, Jacoby Shaddix and the rest of Papa Roach enter the stage and launch straight into their monster anthem 'Last Resort'. The big question was; now they're in their forties, and after a mid-career lull in the early Teenies, do they still have it'. The answer is yes. Yes they definitely do.
They rip through 'Who Do You Trust' and new album banger 'Renegade Music' before unleashing the monstrous 'Between Angles and Insects'. By this point the crowd are in full voice singing along, phones cameras are out and Papa Roach have Norwich in the palm of their hands.
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The huge 'Blood Brothers' soon follows and before you know it the encore has arrived and an hour and a quarter has flown by. A nice tribute to the late Keith Flint is made by Shaddix and a cover of The Prodigy's 'Fire Starter' is pounded out followed by 'Infest' and 'Born For Greatness' to close the night.
My only criticism would be the conflict of the bands original anti-capitalism ethos and the lyrics Shaddix still sings including 'it's too bad the world is based on greed', with tickets for the night priced at £32.50 plus booking fee whilst the multi-millionaire band mates charge the best part of £200 for the VIP package including a meet and greet.
But that's me being hyper-critical, because we got a fantastic quality of production tonight and two top level bands on top form.