Papa Roach is touring up a frenzy this year but the band has made time, amidst its busy schedule, to return to London for tonight’s gig, just five months after performing at The Forum in April. The band’s charisma is a giant fan-magnet and the crowd gathered at Brixton Academy waits in anticipation for what it knows will be one heck of a show. The event is opened with the rock ‘n roll sound of UK-born Heaven’s Basement and Madina Lake have been allocated the all important task of pumping up the crowd before the Roaches hit the stage.
One can’t help but wonder if the ‘no crowd surfing’ signs posted all over the venue are in protection of the poor dears who have collected en masse at the front of the stage to witness pop-punksters Madina Lake. There is nothing quite like the welcome of screeching teenage girls and the band revel in the attention. The Chicago quartet open with angst-filled Me vs. The World, which sets the tone for a performance that sends fans into a delirious tail-spin of delight. The words of Never Take Us Alive:
There’s no fear inside.
This is our time, no giving up.
When we connect our hearts, to our minds,
There’s no stopping us
remind the crowd why the band has grown in popularity since winning Best International Newcomer at the 2007 Kerrang! Awards. Madina Lake’s perceptible connection with the crowd is the result of the band’s energised execution of songs that explore the uncertainty and loneliness that comprise the individual’s quest for independence and self-assertion – a tad emo but fans are DIGGING it and are treated to the best of Madina lake: Me vs. The World, House of Cards, Never Take Us Alive, Let’s Get Outta Here, Da Limp, Here I Stand, Welcome To Oblivion, Not For This World, Legends for Adalia and True Love)
By the time Papa Roach burst onto stage, the crowd can barely contain itself. Frontman Jacoby Shaddix is the ultimate rockstar. The singer’s stage personality infiltrates every nook and cranny of Brixton Academy as his voice breaks through the hysterical cheers of the crowd. The setlist, which focuses primarily on the band’s two most recent albums, Metamorphosis (2009) and Paramour Sessions (2007), showcases Jacoby’s vocal talent: Dead Cell is dispatched with a forceful aggression that seems ironic when juxtaposed with the soulful melancholy of The World Around You. Old-school fans pertaining to the Infest era of nu-metal’s rap-core hip-hop vibe almost bring the roof down when Dead Cell, Blood Brothers and Last Resort rear their heads in the 21-song setlist, featuring: Days Of War, Change Or Die, Lifeline, She Loves Me Not, Dead Cell, The World Around You, Had Enough, To Be Loved, Getting Away With Murder, March Out Of The Darkness, Scars, I Almost Told You That I Love You, State Of Emergency, Harder Than A Coffin Nail, Blood Brothers, Forever, Hollywood Whore, Angels & Insects ENCORE: Time Is Running Out, Into The Light and Last Resort.
A decade of experience certainly stands Papa Roach in good stead. The band’s carpe diem attitude is so welcome within a music movement that often focuses on the negative. Papa Roach has the ability to ‘keep it real’ whilst transmitting an intense vitality that makes listeners want to get up and just … be awesome. Change or Die says
Are you corrupted by the status quo
The repetition kills us all
Is the rat race dragin’ you down
Are you stuck in that dead end town
Are you looking for the way out
Change or die were looking for the answers of our lives tonight
Change or die the answer is for you to do what’s right tonight
We wont go down not tonight
This is our battle ground were ready to fight
The band has a great likeability, which is translated so well in tonight’s performance. It’s always cool for fans to leave a gig thinking, ‘man, those dudes are just like my buddies at home’ and Papa Roach do just that!
Check out review and killer pics on ClinkmusicMagazine