Photo Copyright © Jo Forrest
It’s Easter weekend and it’s absolutely baking for a change so the perfect setting to be crammed into the O2 Academy with a couple of thousand equally sun-toasted rock fans. This is exactly what we did as American hard rockers Papa Roach rolled into town bringing the California sunshine with them for the latest date on this UK run in support of their “Who Do You Trust?” album.
Opening up for the rock heavyweights was San Antonio rockers Nothing More and frontman Jonny Hawkins was clearly in no mood to play second fiddle to the headliners as he scaled what can only be described as a TV aerial style prop. A whirlwind of energy, the frontman and his band mates lurched and stomped around their limited stage space whipping the audience up into a right sweat with their aggressive alt-rock. After the likes of “Let Them Burn” had pounded every corner of the venue, the band chose to close their set with their cover of Queen’s We Will Rock You having done exactly for the last forty-odd minutes.
Papa Roach might be veterans at this game now but they throw every ounce of energy into each and every live show playing like it is their first. As frontman Jacoby Shaddix stands in front of the crowd and the band kick into opener “Last Resort” both he and this crowd collectively lose their minds. For the next ninety minutes, the California rock stars put on the kind of show that you’ve come to expect from the band. Shaddix drips with sweat as the band plunder their hefty back catalogue to dish out tracks like “Who Do You Trust?” and “Between Angels & Insects”, “Hollywood Whore” and a jaw-dropping “Scars”.
Not one to accept less than a 110%, the frontman whips the crowd into a frenzy at every opportunity even enticing those in the comfy seats on the balcony up and onto their feet. Encore time saw the band play a suitably rowdy tribute to the late Keith Flint in the form of “Firestarter” while “Infest” and “Born For Greatness” brought this sweaty night to a magnificent finale.