Review + Photos by Frank Ralph

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Texan rockers Nothing More are an incredible band musically and visually. They’ve impressed us before on this very stage but it seems they’ve taken things up yet another notch and showed that it won’t be long at all until they are headlining shows of this size.

Frontman Johnny Hawkins ends the show where he started it, 15 feet in the air. Beginning at the top of a ladder whirring an air raid siren and ending it stood on top of a hydraulic drum kit whilst leading the crowd through a version of Queen’s ‘We Will Rock You’ that sounded like Skrillex had had a hand in it.

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Brilliant stuff and with their tracks like ‘Jenny’ and ‘Fade In/Fade Out’ striking a chord they won over a fair few new fans. Heavy, energetic and visually engaging through out they are a band you need to check out as soon as you can.

They played to a fairly full venue but it was clear to see people had been enjoying an extra hour of the glorious beer garden weather this Easter weekend had brought us as the Academy filled to the brink between the bands ready for Papa Roach to hit the stage.

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Papa Roach’s set began with 10 of the most iconic and recognisable words in rock with the explosive intro to ‘Last Resort’, and playing ‘Last’ first was a bit of a masterstroke getting everybody going from the outset.

What followed was pretty much a master class in rock music delivered by a combination of a band on top of their game and a crowd who were there to enjoy every single minute. Jacoby even acknowledged the unfurling chaos in the audience as the lifeblood of Papa Roach and you could tell the band were feeding off the incredible energy in the room.

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There were many highlights throughout the set with ‘Scars’ and ‘Between Angels and Insects’ being notable but the likes of ‘Traumatic’ and ‘Hollywood Whore’ were also massive crowd pleasers.

‘Who Do You Trust?’ from the new album of the same name is an absolute stomper and Elevate shows their mature musicality, but the beauty of a Papa Roach show is the variety of styles they can easily jump between.

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Always energetic and designed to make you bounce they can flip between rock, rap, metal and much more, easily making sure everyone is catered for. One style that flows through most of their stuff for me is punk and is clear by the A-O Let’s Go shouts in set closer ‘To Be Loved’ but none more apparent than when they drop a tribute to Keith Flint in the encore with an incendiary version of ‘Firestarter’ with Jacoby perfectly embodying the punk spirit of Flint.

Papa Roach are an absolute force and any chance you get to see them should be taken. You won’t leave disappointed.

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