Review by Stephen Pearson. Live photography by Lee Allen (taken from our review at o2 Academy in December 2013).

It’s sometimes hard to believe how long Papa Roach have been together. Halfway through tonight’s show, lead singer Jacoby Shaddix points out they formed back in 1993 which makes half of the crowd feel very old and the other half realise they weren’t born at the time! They released their 9th album ‘Crooked Teeth’ a few months ago which has received great plaudits from critics and fans hailing it as their best work in a long time!


Before Papa Roach play we have support act Ho99o9 (pronounced “Horror”) who hail from New Jersey and now relocated to Los Angeles. They released their Debut Album ‘United States of Ho99o9’ back in May and this is a big deal for them as tonight’s gig is sold out. Unfortunately, I only catch half of their set due to the horrendous Nottingham Friday night traffic and also the gig starting an hour early! (Friday at Rock City is alternative disco night so the curfew is 10pm!)

It’s difficult to describe their sound, Industrial Metal with elements of Punk, Hardcore and Hip-Hop. Try to Imagine ‘Nine Inch Nails’ crossed with ‘Bad Brains’! They are loud, very loud to the point that the sound is very distorted and unfortunately the sound issues continue during Papa Roach’s set. That being said they do a good job of warming the crowd up and they also have one of the most energetic drummers I have seen who is playing like it’s his last gig ever!

Following the success of the grunge era in the early 90s, there was a lull in the rock scene until the Nu-Metal era came to the fore. Spearheaded originally by ‘Korn’, Papa Roach were thrust into the spotlight back in the Year 2000 with their album ‘Infest’ along with bands such as Slipknot, Linkin Park and Limp Bizkit as Nu-Metal really came into the mainstream. Fast forward to 2017 and Papa Roach are still going strong, producing some of their best work and are as popular as ever!

Papa Roach

Papa Roach

They arrive on stage at 8:20pm (10pm curfew remember!) kicking off with the title track from their latest album. There’s no let up from them as they then launch into ‘Getting Away with Murder’ and then ‘Between Angels and Insects’ from their most commercial album ‘Infest’. We are even treated to a new track ‘Geronimo’ and the word is they are already writing new tracks for their next album! They are clearly in a purple patch in terms of song writing!

There’s a real mixture of old and new tracks tonight and ‘Scars’ which is one of my own personal favourites produces a full audience sing along! I’ll only mention it once more but the sound is at Spinal Tap Levels of 11 tonight! The bass is up way too high and is really noticeable on the track ‘Periscope’; if I had to rate the sound it would be a 6 out of 10 tonight which is a shame as Rock City is usually on point in that regard.

We are treated to a cover of ‘Song 2’ by Blur and then one of the highlights of the set tonight is ‘Traumatic’ from the latest album which has the crowd going crazy! We have an emotional moment at the end of ‘Forever’ where they break into ‘In The End’ by Linkin Park and Jacoby mentions the passing of Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell and how it affected him personally.

They finish their main set with ‘Help’ from their latest album, the subject matter is about surviving mental health issues and seems fitting after Jacoby’s speech a couple of tracks earlier. He has also overcome his own personal issues in the past and has now been sober for 5 years.

They return for a 4-track encore finishing with their massive hit ‘Last Resort’ and then ‘…To Be Loved’ and everyone is going home happy! Papa Roach truly are like a fine wine which improves with age and they have a real connection with their fans! Nu Metal is alive and well in Nottingham tonight and long may it continue!

Crooked Teeth
Getting Away with Murder
Between Angels and Insects
Face Everything and Rise
Born for Greatness
She Loves Me Not
Song 2 (Blur Cover)
Forever (with a snippet of “In The End”)
American Dreams (with a snippet of “Another Brick in the Wall)

None of the Above
Dead Cell (with a snippet of “Thrown Away”)
Last Resort
…To Be Loved (with a snippet of “Blitzkrieg Bop”)

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