The California rap-metal band, Papa Roach rolled into Norwich as part of their UK tour promoting their new album Who Do You Trust?, The album is a firm favourite of mine and had been on repeat in my car for a while.
The evening opened with Texan heavy metal band Nothing More. I’ve not heard of these guys before so didn’t quite know what to expect. I need not have worried, Nothing More are the band to see. Their performance was an epic jaw dropping experience. Front-man Johnny Hawkins walks on and immediately scaled a tall ladder to sound a siren. From then on in it’s a roller coaster of musical thrills. Before long Johnny is shirtless bouncing around the stage, playing drums before playing something that wouldn’t look out of place in a sci fi movie.
For me the highlight of the set was a cover of Skrillex’s “First of the Year” and Queen’s “We Will Rock You”. Overall a totally brilliant set. By now the audience have ben warmed up. There’s are real feeling of anticipation, the atmosphere is almost electric as we wait for the main act. A steward says “The first song is going to be insane” which only adds to the anticipation.
Papa Roach take to the stage, launching straight into “Last Resort”, the 2000 nu-metal tune. The room explodes with the audience singing along at the top of their voices to the song before continuing with “Who Do You Trust?”, the title track from the new album. Lead singer Jacoby Shaddix is a masterful showman. He has the audience eating out of his hand. He’s full on, full of energy that doesn’t stop, jumping, bouncing and wailing his arms around. The crowd are in good voice when the band unleash “Angels and Insects”. The band rattle through “Elevate”, one of my favourite tracks from “Who Do You Trust?” There is a sea of waving arms, mobile phones held aloft as the audience sing along to “Scars” and “Feel Like Home” finishing the set with the classic “To Be Loved”To start their encore Shaddix pays tribute to the late Keith Flint before the band launch into a cover of “Firestarter”. The room explodes with the audience dancing / jumping as hard as they can while singing along to the rave track, Papa Roach end their evening on a high with “Infest” and “Born for Greatness”.
In roughly 90 minutes, it’s all over. Far too soon in my opinion and the fans are crying for more. It’s cold and wet as I walk back to the car but I’m left with a warm feeling, a broad grin and “Firestarter” still ringing in my ears.
Mark Stimpson LRPS
Music and Events Photographer