The dreaded Monday. Very few people like Monday’s let alone get excited for a Monday. This Monday had an exception though. People made their way to line up at 170 Russell to catch California rockers Papa Roach tear up Melbourne and give them a reason to dread Tuesday instead.
Touring for the first time since Soundwave Festival 2015, Papa Roach decided that it’s time to tour Australia on their terms. With a bizarre marketing plan starting with only single shows in Melbourne and Sydney, it wasn’t long until they listened to the fans and made it a five show tour with an extra show announced for both Melbourne and Sydney and a show for Brisbane to make it an east coast exclusive. Bizarre as the marketing plan was, however, people were pumped even at the high price for tickets.
Starting the night was hometown support The Ugly Kings. Definitely a choice that was out of left field for a band like Papa Roach as their power blues style didn’t seem to mesh with the style of the night. As much as I loved the raw vocals of Rusty and the beautiful guitar twang from Christos, I just couldn’t feel the vibe that they gave in the end. It wasn’t because they were bad. They were actually quite good and in the right atmosphere would work amazingly yet it just didn’t hit that spark for what was to come.
After absolutely blowing the roof off the night prior, it was obvious that Papa Roach would try to raise the bar yet again. There were a few fans returning from the night before (and some even still going from Brisbane and touring around) that said they expected the night to be one of the best they had.
From the moment Jacoby Shaddix hit the stage you could tell they were right. Starting off with the title track off their latest album ‘Crooked Teeth’, the whole venue went insane. It was as if a cage had been unlocked and everyone was set free. The insanity kept growing through the follow up song ‘Getting Away With Murder’, ‘Between Angels and Insects’ and ‘Face Everything and Rise’.
When the new anthem single ‘Born For Greatness’ kicked in, it was an absolute spectacle on stage. It was quite easy to see that Shaddix, lead guitarist Jerry Horton, bassist Tobin Esperance, keyboardist Anthony Esperance, and drummer Tony Palermo were here to put on the biggest show for everyone there. This wasn’t just a concert, it was a pure entertaining performance. With people singing along and throwing their soul into it was a sight to see. Especially seeing as the follow up was the classic single ‘Scars’ which had people shout at the top of their lungs “I TEAR MY HEART OPEN…” and reverting back to the teenager we were when it first released 13 years earlier in 2005.
It was at this point as well that I realized the most peculiar sight of the year so far. In the mosh pit happened to be a few guys in bunny suits. Having seen the video for ‘’Help!’ it makes sense but to see it in a venue where heat is one thing that never escapes made myself and a few around having a good laugh
Following on from ‘Periscope’ and ‘Gravity’, Papa Roach decided to have more fun with the mosh pit and ripped out a cover of Blur’s infamous ‘Song 2′.
As crazy as things were, things went slightly somber with ‘Forever’ as the band slotted in a loving nod to the late Chester Bennington with mashing in Linkin Park classic ‘In The End’ at the end of their song. Having been a man that inspired countless people, I’m not surprised to see that Chester also has inspired the boys of Papa Roach.
Finishing the main set with ‘American Dreams’ and ‘Help’ from the latest album, the chants started. Everyone wanted more. I think even security wanted more even though they were catching crowd surfer after crowd surfer. Everyone was having the night to remember.
As soon as the band hit the stage, it was back to it with ‘None of the Above’ and 2000 classic ‘Dead Cell’. It was the penultimate song for the night that brought it all crashing down and had everyone going so crazy that it was hard to contain myself.
With everyone screaming their lungs out to a unison of “CUT MY LIFE INTO PIECES! THIS IS MY LAST RESORT!”, the number 1 single off the 2000 album Infest, ‘Last Resort’ could have easily ended the night right there and then. It was easily the favorite of the crowd and the most loved. This one song alone would make the night worth it for anyone.
The Californian rockers rounded out the show by blasting out “To Be Loved”, which saw the crowd explode into a frenzy that made the main set crowd pale in comparison.
If you have never seen Papa Roach live before, I highly suggest it as they will put on one of the best, most intense shows you’ll ever see.
Papa Roach still have TWO FINAL SHOWS of this Tour. Go catch them at the Metro Theatre in Sydney. TICKETS HERE!
Photography by Vanessa Jarvis