After 24 years together as a band, Papa Roach showed London no signs of letting up anytime soon. Jacoby Shaddix, Jerry Horton, Tobin Esperance, and Tony Palermo returned to our fair city in support of their recently released new album Crooked Teeth. This is their ninth studio album and it has already scored them their 4th consecutive Top 20 entry in the UK.
Papa Roach’s last visit to the UK saw them celebrate the 15th anniversary of their generation-defining album Infest by playing it in full to a crammed London’s Roundhouse. And tonight, Brixton Academy is full of enthusiastic fans who have been waiting for this moment for the last two years. The intro itself “This is a public service announcement, now put your middle fingers up” already set the audience on fire and the band opened with the brand new and energetic song ‘Crooked Teeth’, which also started the first of many mosh pits. When Jacoby asked if there were any old school Papa Roach fans in the crowd, the crowd responded with a resounding yes and this lead into ‘Getting Away With Murder’ followed by ‘Between Angels and Insects’. Literally, everyone in the audience was singing and cheering and even the seating area became a standing one.
Crowd surfers were riding the waves of their fellow fans and the atmosphere was great. The band was feeding off of this energy and Jacoby seemed to constantly want more. He is definitely one of those frontmen who is made for that role. This feature becomes even more obvious during ‘Born For Greatness’ whose live performance was also used to be filmed for their new upcoming video. And when one thinks the level of energy has just about reached the top there’s more to come. As Jacoby kept mentioning to play songs “for the old school fans”, we got to enjoy the unforgettable hits ‘She Loves Me Not’ and ‘Scars’ followed by a random but well executed Blur cover of ‘Song 2’ and a very moving ‘Forever’ which ended with a snippet of ‘In The End’ by Linkin Park. The crowd could feel the emotion radiating from the whole band who knew Chester Bennington before his tragic suicide earlier this year. With head bowed and eyes closed, Shaddix concluded this heartfelt tribute by saying, “We love you Chester!”. This was definitely the highlight of the night, I personally shed a tear too, as I remembered growing up with both bands. After a slow version of ‘Life Line’ which struck straight into the hearts of the audience giving indescribable emotions and goosebumps, we almost got to the end of this show which was more like a journey between past and present of Papa Roach.
Their two main hits concluded this phenomenal gig, ‘Last Resort’ and ‘To Be Loved’ which left us thinking that this band still got it and their undisputed talent and good hearts certainly explain such a long, successful and well deserved career.