Fancore


Live Reviews

PAPA ROACH

Birmingham Academy 18/04/09

 

 

Mediocre Rockers Dear Superstar (3) get the festivities under way by repeatedly introducing themselves. “We are Dear Superstar” as if they would have changed names between songs. Sadly this is a band with nothing original or particularly interesting to say. We get boneheaded dedications of songs to “people who hate their mums, their girlfriends, their dads or their boyfriends”, tiresome gang vocals and sloppy, one-paced riffage. When the highlight of your set is a stage dive, something went wrong.

 

Just when you were desperate for someone to say anything other than “We are Dear Superstar”, Richard Patrick jumps in with the simple words “We are the Rock band Filter (8)” and Rock they do in great style. Opener “Welcome to the Fold” soars with anthemic optimism while “The Take” swaggers and chugs with mighty industrial stomp. This is a lesson in support band excellence, only slightly marred by a group of tweenie berks who opt to chant the headliner’s name whenever Patrick pauses for breath. It is a testament to Filter’s appeal that those same people proceed to mosh like lunatics to roof-removing set closer “Hey Man, Nice Shot”. Attention span much?

 

A ballistic reaction from young and old greets Nu-Metal survivors turned Rock ‘n Rollers Papa Roach (9) and doesn’t let up until the last bars of classic “Last Resort” ring out. As the night wears on, you truly realise the impact the band have had on modern popular Heavy music. Every song aired tonight is a classic, or in the case of the new album material, on its way to becoming one. “Getting Away With Murder”, “Dead Cell”, “…To Be Loved” and new tune “Lifeline” are all greeted with bellowed vocals from the sold-out throng while latest single “Hollywood Whore” is greeted as enthusiastically as any song the band airs tonight.

 

One reason why this band has endured is its connection to the fanbase, eschewing the more aloof attitude of Fred Durst for instance, they coolly chat with a room of 2000 people like they were packed into a rather large living room. Frontman Jacoby Shaddix is clearly happy to be here, and he oozes easy charm while spewing vicious fury in equal measure while the rest of the band sound musically tight. New drummer Tony Palermo seamlessly fits in with the group’s style and Shaddix’s voice sounds gargantuan. The band are planning on returning before the end of they year, with festival appearances scheduled for June and another tour in October. On the strength of this performance, there will be no shortage of fans to welcome them back.


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