Gig review: Papa Roach – O2 Academy Brixton, London – 10/10/17

Papa Roach are one of my favourite bands. I’ve been following them for over ten years, ever since I heard a song of theirs on the radio one day and fell in love with it. I’ve seen them live many times over the years. They are one of the best live bands out there. They always put so much passion into the performances. Jacoby Shaddix is the ultimate frontman, he knows how to engage with the crowd and make everyone feel like they are a part of the show.

Last night’s gig at Brixton Academy was awesome. They played a great mix of songs from old and new albums. In fact, I was amazed at how many brilliant songs they managed to fit in to the show. They have such a fantastic back catalogue, it must be increasingly difficult for them to decide which songs to play and which to leave out! I think last night’s show contained just the right mix and it was a phenomenal performance.

I arrived about ten minutes of so before the band took to the stage, just enough time to soak up the pre-show atmosphere. The stage was shielded by a ‘curtain’ with the ‘Crooked Teeth’ cover design on it, which was dropped just before the band got on stage. I could feel the anticipation and excitement in the crowd around me before the show. This is a band with a lot of positive energy that always finds its way into the audience.

The band came on stage at about 9.30 and played for over an hour and a half. They launched into “Crooked Teeth” as soon as they got on stage; the title track from their latest album. That’s one of my favourites from the album, and was featured as Track of the Day here last November.

After that, Papa Roach played a couple of older songs, “Getting Away With Murder” and “Between Angels and Insects”; I was going to say they are a couple of my favourites, but I think most of Papa Roach’s songs are my favourites 🙂 I am a BIG fan of this band ❤ . I love all their music from the old school rap/rock style to the newer more mixed-genre rock style. They’re always creative with their music, evolving and letting the inspiration lead the way. I always admire that quality in any artists.

“Face Everything and Rise”, the title track from their 2014 album was played next. That F.E.A.R. album is one of their best.

The band then previewed a new song “Geronimo”, which is expected to appear on their next album.

The next song was “Born For Greatness” from their latest album. Throughout this tour, the band have been shooting a live music video for this track. Last night was the final day of shooting for the video, so the cameras were on while this song was performed. It was an amazing crowd with most, if not all, of the fans singing/jumping/bouncing/dancing 🙂

The band then took us back in time with “She Loves Me Not”, from one of the earlier albums, “Lovehatetragedy”. That was followed by one of their most popular songs, the emotive “Scars”.

Next, they played one of my favourites from the new album: “Periscope”; that was followed by the thought-provoking “Gravity” from the album “F.E.A.R.”

Then came a surprise cover, a song I wouldn’t have imagined Papa Roach would ever play, “Song 2” (Blur) 🙂 It was a great version, though, and went down well with the crowd.

They followed that with another new song, “Traumatic”, from the latest album. If you haven’t heard the new album, you should get a copy (iTunes); it has so many great tunes.

One of the many highlights of the show was when they played their awesome hit “Forever”. At the end of the song, there was a tribute to Chester Bennington; Papa Roach played some of “In The End”. This was particularly poignant for me as the last time I was at Brixton Academy was to watch Linkin Park, in July, just a couple of weeks before Chester Bennington’s untimely death. That was such a great gig and the band had been on top form. Last night, when Papa Roach played the tribute, I was standing in almost the same spot at the venue as I had been when Linkin Park played the song.  Jacoby Shaddix has always openly talked about his own personal battles with mental health, so it was touching to hear his tribute to Chester. It was also World Mental Health Day yesterday. Jacoby made a heartfelt plea asking fans to help anyone they know who may be going through mental health issues.

Following that, Papa Roach played “American Dreams” a great song from their new album, a song that highlights the current socio-political climate with some insightful lyrics.

They then played a really cool acoustic/slow version of “Lifeline”, followed by “Help” from their new album.

When the band left the stage, the crowd were not going to let them get away so easily, demanding an encore with clapping and chanting. After a short break, Papa Roach resumed and played an extended encore: “None of the Above”, “Dead Cell”, “Thrown Away”, “Last Resort”, and “…To Be Loved”. It was a fantastic way to end a fantastic evening with some of their heavier and crowd-engaging tracks.

The band seemed to be enjoying the show as much as the audience and that’s one of the great things about bands like Papa Roach, their passion and enthusiasm for the music is something that is always evident. They are also one of those bands that truly appreciate and value their fans. An outstanding night of entertainment!

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