It’s about time we had some decent weather in the UK so, while the rest of the UK takes in a few rays over this Easter Bank Holiday weekend, nearly two thousand rock fans are jammed into the O2 Academy in Leeds for the return of American rock titans Papa Roach. The band are here as part of a long-overdue UK run in support of their current Who Do You Trust? album and they’ve brought fellow American alt-rockers Nothing More with them.
Nothing More hit the stage like a tornado with frontman Jonny Hawkins spending the first few minutes perched high above the crowd clinging onto a stage prop. For the rest of the set, though, like his band mates, the frontman is a ball of energy throwing himself around to a soundtrack of thunderous alt-metal. Next stop for the band is a US tour supporting doom-pop stars Ghost and they’ll be hitting those dates on fire given the energy they threw into this performance. They wind up their stint on stage with a rendition of Queen’s classic “We Will Rock You” having delivered the kind of show that proves they weren’t here just to make up the numbers.
Before Papa Roach frontman Jacoby Shaddix has finished the opening line to “Last Resort,” the packed out crowd here have taken over his job and finished the lyric for him setting the tone for what will be an incredible night. Now we all know that Papa Roach can smash it live and tonight, unsurprisingly, was no exception. This was the alt-rock giants at their most explosive. Through the pummelling “Between Angels & Insects” to the modern alt-rock of “Elevate” to the emotional “Scars” to the sleazy trash rock of “Hollywood Whore,” the set not only showcased the diversity of their material but also showed that, like today, when they hit the stage, Papa Roach are quite simply untouchable.
Encore time saw the band pay tribute to the late Prodigy frontman Keith Flint with a suitably rowdy rendition of “Firestarter” while “Infest” and “Born For Greatness” rounded off their phenomenal set. Over the years there have been some great rock bands pass through this venue and tonight, Papa Roach add their name to that list with a performance that not only fizzed with energy and passion but was delivered by a band who were utterly faultless.
See why Papa Roach were always going to “Elevate” above the rest of the competition: