When you’ve grown up listening to a band for so long, you develop a certain level of respect for the ones that persist in making music and continue to tour around the globe. This respect cannot easily be described; more often that not it goes unnoticed as lives grow older and busier. Luck so had it that I received two tickets to see Papa Roach for my birthday – to my surprise. I knew the guys were in town but I’d almost pushed rock to the back of my mind. The year’s 2015, I’m in the middle of my degree and I’m pushing 20 years old, the only music I should love and respect should be house and whatever Andy Hoe spins on a Friday night. Yet, when I opened the tickets, every ounce of me wanted to scream out and reminisce of the years gone by where I’d walk to school, blocking out the world around me in the easiest way possible – which just so happened to be cramming my two ears full of ‘The Paramour Sessions’.
The air was thick with anticipation; I know the old saying goes ‘you could cut the air with a knife’ but it couldn’t be more applicable at this moment. Japanese rockers Coldrain had just warmed us all up with their high-energy metal guitar thrashing, but we hadn’t even touched the surface of satisfaction yet. Looking down on the crowd, I struggle to think of a more diverse group of people: fluorescent mohawks, half-naked teens, tatted-up biceps and patchwork biker girls seem to cover the majority however. Then, the house lights dimmed. The sold out crowd didn’t just jeer – it welcomed Jacoby and co. with the biggest roar Rock City had probably ever heard since The Undertones first popped the stage’s cherry.
F.E.A.R’s lead track ‘Face Everything And Rise’ couldn’t have been a more fitting opener as everyone under the one roof rose up and gave it their all. From the first chord, if you were anyone who was anyone you could taste what was to come. Papa Roach, although many might not realise, hold a hefty back catalogue of musical gems, as we the crowd were about to find out.
“you’re privileged enough to be witnessing such a spectacle, who really cares?”
Taking us further back to their roots, ‘Getting Away With Murder’ and ‘Blood Brothers’ all followed in quick succession with a couple news tracks slotted between. As a long time fan, I’ve noticed the gradual transition of influences in Papa Roach’s music. The gritty, hate-filled ‘Between Angels And Insects’ differs incredibly from new hits such as dubstep fused ‘Still Swingin” and even ‘Broken As Me’ has a slight electronic bridge. Despite that, when it all comes down to it and you’re privileged enough to be witnessing such a spectacle, who really cares? The vast differences seem to become none-existent when hit after hit is hurled towards you; the moment grabs you – Jacoby could be strumming a harp for one song and you’d still respect that for over two decades, Papa Roach has infested your brain with absolute anthems.
“We want more! We want more! Encore! Encore!”
It wasn’t ’til I watched the film ‘Pay It Forward’ in Year 8 did I realise just how astronomical the band had become (and this was 7 years ago!). Solid, infectious guitar riffs are part of the puzzle that have held Papa Roach’s foundations for so long, courtesy of none other than a Mr. Jerry Horton. To honour this, Jerry got his spotlight moment as he stepped up and owned the solo for ‘Lifeline’. It wasn’t soon before long that the main bulk of their set was over. The lights dimmed and the band exited the stage in almost a blink of an eye – people, as a result, refused to accept that this was the end. “We want more! We want more! Encore! Encore!” echoed around the hallowed walls of the UK’s best live venue. A direct approach, some might argue – it worked, nevertheless. Back out to play old, new and outright musical triumph; Jacoby, Jerry, Tobin and Tony graced the stage for a final time to unleash havoc with the live premiere of ‘Falling Apart’, fan favourite ‘Last Resort’ and WWE anthem ‘… To Be Loved’. The walls were shaking, the balcony was bouncing and the floor was heaving as the final resonant shrieks of “Take the past, burn it up and let it go” echoed their last echo.
To finish off in such fashion, I can’t say myself that I’ve ever seen a band so humble and appreciative of the reaction from the crowd. A certain connection was made that day where we knew this won’t be the last time we see Papa Roach take to the infamous stage. Mark my words.
“A special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group.” Google returns this sentence when prompted with the search ‘define: privilege’. “Why?” I hear you ask, “Why are you searching the definition of privilege?”. Some might say that being invited to play Rock City’s main stage is a privilege. However, a door swings two ways and the way I see the door swing today is this: Rock City had the utmost privilege of Californian rockers Papa Roach on Wednesday.