Review: Papa Roach – Alexandra Palace, London

When it was first announced that Papa Roach were set to support Don Broco on the UK leg of their world tour, the internet went absolutely crazy – to have such a legendary group support Rob Damiani and co. was a massive prospect, with the four Bedford lads now having some very big shoes to fill. And let’s not forget that the final night of this tour is at the iconic, infamous, and downright legendary Alexandra Palace, one of London’s largest and (in my opinion) finest music venues. So it’s safe to say that this is a big one. Upon arriving at the venue, you can sense everyone’s excitement for seeing the legendary rock band in action.

And it’s not too long until the changeover from opening act Dance Gavin Dance begins and a black backdrop of a dead roach gets lifted up behind the drumkit. With that, Papa Roach finally take to the stage, and their set is quite literally infested (pun intended) with some of their biggest and best songs, as well as some brand new tracks taken from their latest album Ego Trip, released last year. It’s a vast collection of songs perfectly tailor-made for the die-hard fans and also songs for the newly acquainted, that pretty much makes up a whole headline set length-wise too!

They open with the visceral Kill the Noise, and by the time the instrumental kicks in, frontman Jacoby Shaddix takes a moment to stand in the red spotlight facing the crowd – without any need to ask or motion for it, the audience cheers at him, giving the group a warm welcome back to London. Jacoby gets so overwhelmed after the band power through Blood Brothers/Dead Cell that he completely forgets what day it is. “Ahh, Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday – who the fuck cares, we’re a rock band for fucks sake!” he says in response. And to be fair, if I had been touring non-stop for 2 months straight, I’d most likely forget my own name, let alone what day it was!

Throughout the mammoth 14-song set, the band decides to whip out a couple of covers as well. The first was a brilliant cover of Firestarter by legendary British rave group The Prodigy; the crowd jump along to every beat and sing every lyric back to them. Before they dive into Scars, they perform a brief instrumental version of The Cure’s 1989 hit Lullaby, suitably backed by gothic dark blue lighting. And lastly, as the outro to None of the Above plays out, Shaddix interpolates the outro to Bulls on Parade by Rage Against the Machine, before finishing with a short cover of Dr. Dre’s hit Still D.R.E. to put a cherry on top of all of the fun.

The cameras go up and the voices of the crowd grow louder when Shaddix takes the mic to sing the unforgettable lyrics “Cut my life into pieces, this is my last resort”, and before you know it, everyone’s inner teenager lets loose and the Palace goes ballistic. And as the set finale Born for Greatness comes to an end, the Californian group are left with nothing else to do except to bask in the glory and love given by everyone around. Even though the crowd is now all well and truly ready for their headliners, lots of them start chanting for one more song – the power they held over the audience tonight is insurmountable, and I can clearly tell that a lot of people are going to see them again when they next play the UK, including myself!

Review: Joe Richardson

Live images – Rob Wilkins/Celtography 2019

Forthcoming live dates:

“Cut My Heart Into Pieces” Australian Tour with The Used
April 2023
21st – Perth, AUS @ Metro City
23rd – Adelaide, AUS @ AEC Theatre
24th – Melbourne, AUS @ Margaret Court Arena
28th – Sydney, AUS @ The Hordern Pavilion
30th – Brisbane, AUS @ Fortitude Music Hall

Festival Appearances 2023
May 13th Las Vegas, NV @ Sick New World
June 2nd Nuremberg, Germany @ Rock Im Park
June 3rd Nürberg, Germany @ Rock Am Ring
June 4th Toul, France @ Festival Jardin du Michel (HEADLINE)
June 8th Interlaken, Switzerland @Greenfield Festival
June 9th Nickelsdorf, Austria @ Nova Rock
June 10th Hradec, Czechia @Rock For People
June 15th Dessel, Belgium @ Graspop Metal Meeting
June 16th Clisson, France @ Hellfest
June 23rd Ysselsteyn, Netherlands @ Jer On Air Festival
June 24th Münster, Germany @ Vainstream Rockfest
June 25th Gräfenhainichen, Germany @ Full Force
June 29th Lisbon, Portugal @ Evil Live Festival
June 30th Viveiro, Spain @ Resurrection Festival
July 15th Cadott, WI @ Rockfest
July 22nd Timmins, ON @ Rock On The River

Ticket information, here.


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