Papa Roach – 23rd April 2019 – Newcastle O2 Academy
Papa Roach are back in Newcastle promoting their latest album Who Do You Trust and it’s safe to say they trust their fans as the hall is rammed on a Tuesday night that boasts a good few other rock gig choices in the city and in fact one upstairs in the venues’ smaller room. As they come out to a massive reception Jacoby Shaddix raises the mic and let’s rip “Cut my life into pieces, this is my last resort” and the place goes crazy. It’s a bold opening when most bands save a big song for a set closer or encore this feels like it’s almost a dare like “yeah we know it’s a huge song if it’s the only one you know then you can f**k off home now“. No one is leaving though and the crowd are here for the whole package!
The set is nicely paced with title track Who Do You Trust being the first of five tracks from the new album and whilst a lot of bands of a similar age are going out and performing the “classic” big selling album in full Papa Roach aren’t sitting back on their laurels they’re picking tracks from the majority of their back catalogue. I missed a couple of tracks after taking photos as it was so full I had to exit via the stage doors to go back around front to drop my camera bag off in the cloakroom (that was the rule of the night) but came back in as the band went back to the Infest album for Between Angels And Insects with Jacoby leading the chant “there’s no money there’s no possessions… “with the whole of the crowd following suit. Not The Only One stands out in the new tracks with its straight-ahead pop mixed with the heavy drop and rap for the chorus building to its climax. I still can’t get away with Hollywood Whore though and for me, it’s the weak point of the set but I may be in the minority there.
Scars gets the fists raised arms waving before the ridiculously catchy Feel Like Home (strongest new song in my opinion) and To Be Loved end the main set. A heartfelt cover of Firestarter in memory of Keith Flint starts the encores and they absolutely nail it. They don’t try to “Papa Roach” it, they just play it as it is meant to be and you can tell they love it as do the Geordie throng as it brings the house down!
Infest and Born For Greatness see the night out leaving a sweaty mess of people to make their way home. This was an arena performance in a smaller venue, the band were tight, giving it 110%. Jerry Horton on guitar is a perfect right-hand man to Shaddix, whilst Tobin Esperance and Tony Palmero provide a monster rhythm section. Jacoby was on fire not making do with just a first few rows crowd surf he waded out all the way to the back of the room never missing a beat. Way way back Papa Roach played Northumbria Uni and was possibly the hottest gig I’ve ever been to. The band came to our club night upstairs afterwards and I still remember Jacoby (Coby Dick at the time) dancing to the Foo Fighters having the best time. Watching him onstage now he seems like he’s still that same guy a few years older maybe, but still having the best time.
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