Amongst the pioneers of a crossover genre embracing skater punk, hip hop, heavy rock and rap, Papa Roach certainly require no introduction.
Words: Dany Jones, Pictures: Aggie Anthimidou
The Californian rockers entered the scene in 1993 and have managed to establish themselves as a true pillar of American rock history ever since, proof being the fact that they had to specially add an extra date at the London Kentish Town Forum, due to the first night selling out in only a few hours.
With an impeccably sleek image, tons of charisma and an energy second to none, they open the set with a proverbial ‘bang’, jumping along to the very familiar lines of ‘Last Resort’ and needless to say the entire house is in a frenzy and the mood is set for what is yet to come.
Quickly follow the lines “I think I need help, I am drowning in myself,” and ‘Help’ is now resounding through the walls of a very packed Forum, while chants again rise in the air.
May it be the haunting and ultra-catchy refrain of ‘Getting Away With Murder’ or the raucous motif of ‘Renegade Music’, including the cheeky RATM signature shout out “mutthaf***!”, Papa Roach have a lot to say about the evils of our society and the recurrent political themes.
‘Who Do You Trust’, the third song in the set and self-titled from the most recent album, is again a politically charged number, questioning the veracity of mainstream news reporting. This has a catchy groove and strong yet melodious vocals that typically evoke the greatness of peers including Chester Bennington and RATM frontman Zack de la Rocha.
Never lacking controversy, Papa Roach now launch into ‘Hollywood Whore’, another bombastic number. “Hollywood whore, I am sorry but the party is over”, is about how shallow and fake the Hollywood groupie scene is and tackles the topic that external beauty is, indeed, fleeting.
It is then the turn of some classics including the epic ‘Scars’ and ‘Forever’, the latter which was filmed on home turf, on a dreary cold day in Brighton, UK. Jacoby Shaddix even mentions how great it is to be back and how fondly he remembers past times, like when they played the now closed down Mean Fiddler in London.
Absolute highlight of the night is the first song of the encore, which sees the band pay tribute to the recently passed Keith Flint, performing a blistering rendition of ‘Firestarter’ and the moment is truly magical.
The sound of Papa Roach has evolved over the years, going from a rather raw punky pop, typical of the early 90s, all the way to a carefully crafted and more contemporary production, utilising all the tricks in the bag including a ton of dynamics, breakdowns, driving beats and an overdose of groove.
‘Feel Like Home’ and ‘Born For Greatness’ are true testament to that, however, Papa Roach offered a very generous nineteen song set, drawing on all eras and covering the full spectrum.
Their incredibly well received appearance only proves that they are at the apex of a long and healthy career and, especially, that they are not quite done just yet.
Who Do You Trust?
Getting Away With Murder
Between Angels And Insects
Not The Only One
Feel Like Home
…To Be Loved
Firestarter (The Prodigy cover)
Born For Greatness