We’ve seen plenty of shows from big artists who run through their hit parade with the charisma of a human jukebox. That certainly was not the case yesterday at The Roxy, where nu-metal and alternative rock staples Papa Roach played the second of three energy-filled sold-out nights to a raucous crowd.
The band, originally from Vacaville, Calif. are riding high off their recently released ninth studio album, Who Do you Trust?
Going down memory lane is always a fun ride when seeing an artist or band you grew up listening to years later. It’s hard to fathom that the bands’ breakout debut Infest hit store shelves back in April of 2000.
If you closed your eyes and listened to lead singer Jacoby Shaddix scream, it would be hard to tell anything has changed close to 20 years later.
The singer’s partners in crime include lead guitarist Jerry Horton, rhythm guitarist Anthony Esperance, bassist Tobin Esperance, and drummer Tony Palermo. Each brings a valuable tool asset to the live experience, but there’s no denying Shaddix’s (“Mr. Dick if you’re nasty”) star power.
Coming straight out the gates with “Infest” and their radio hit “Last Resort,” Jacoby brought the energy and the packed house reciprocated in joy as drinks were flying and bodies were crashing. A circle pit began shortly after and it felt like the old days.
The group slowed things down ever so slightly, saying hello to all in attendance and introducing their new single, which shares the title of the aforementioned album. Things moved along swiftly with “Getting Away With Murder” from ‘04 and 2010’s “Burn.”
If you’re a fan of the WWE then “…To Be Loved” brought all the feelings back from the Monday Night Raw intro track days. The crowd sang along in unison like it was a radio hit from last week, the ultimate sign of dedication.
With a deep list of cuts spanning two decades, it was difficult at times keeping track of the set list. Nonetheless, Shaddix never relented. His love for music and admiration for their fans was adamant. At one point saying “This music saved my life, took me out of a dark place.”
A cool throwback moment came mid-set when the hidden track “Tightrope” (from Infest) was unexpectedly played. The reggae-infused banger drastically changed the vibe and gave everyone a moment to breath. Shaddix mentioned afterwards they played it during rehearsals and had to include it for the OGs.
— Papa Roach (@paparoach) January 24, 2019
Another twist was delivered when the guys covered “California Love” by Dr. Dre and “Song #2” by Blur, both surprisingly sounded crisp. The emo sing-along “Scars” provided the ladies memories from yesteryear and “Renegade Music” got the pit going once more.
Shaddix would eventually jump into the crowd to the delight of all, singing the whole time, never missing a beat. Remember, this is the Roxy, a super intimate venue with audio reverberating through the core.
Things wrapped up with “Dead Cell” and “Between Angels and Insects,” the band controlling the tempo perfectly and engaging the crowd with its call and response lyrics.
Shaddix and company took a well-deserved bow after a 20-song, 90-minute long blistering set. He also chewed up a set list before spitting it out, tossing it to one lucky fan in the back. They thanked everyone, waved goodbye and walked off stage right. Papa Roach lives on forever.
Michael Silver is a journalist and photographer based in Southern California. He covers music, sports, technology, and streetwear. Tips & pitches: [email protected]