Papa Roach “Elevate” The Queen City With A Passionate Performance
Who Do You Trust Tour Rolls Into Charlotte Metro Credit Union Ampitheatre
“Cut my life into pieces. This is my last resort. Suffocation, No Breathing. Don’t give a f*ck if I cut my arm, bleeding.” These lyrics followed by a monster riff form the beginning of what would become one of the biggest rock and metal anthems in history. Every rock fan on the planet was pumping their fist into the air as Papa Roach literally infested the airwaves across the country with their 2000 release Infest. The album would eventually define a new era of rock and roll with the advent of nu-metal and rap-rock.
Led by charismatic frontman Jacoby Shaddix, the band would go on to sell over 20 million records, producing hit after hit, and headlining arenas and festivals around the world. Earlier this year, the California rockers kicked off 2019 with a new album, their tenth studio record, Who Do You Trust?
A headlining tour was subsequently announced much to the delight of fans everywhere. This past Sunday it was Charlotte’s turn to “come to Papa” as the band made a stop in the Queen City performing to a capacity crowd at the Charlotte Metro Credit Union Ampitheatre.
Opening up for the band on this leg of the tour is another California metal group, Bad Wolves. Formed in 2017, all the members of Bad Wolves have a long musical history, performing in various other groups before coming together in Bad Wolves. The group is probably best known for their intense cover of The Cranberries’ hit song from 1994 “Zombie,” along with “Hear Me Now” from their 2018 debut album Disobey. Frontman Tommy Vext is a powerhouse vocalist with a stage presence that is second to none as he jumped, spun, and ran all over the stage, interacting with the fans up front every chance he got. He took a moment to speak to the crowd about suicide, having fans give hugs to those who were at the concert by themselves and welcoming everyone to their rock and roll family. It was a superlative set and a perfect way to start out the evening. If you’re planning on heading out to check out this tour, be sure to get there early to see Bad Wolves in action for yourself.
Next up were the English rockers in Asking Alexandria
This is a band that has come a long way from their Warped Tour metalcore days and seems to really be hitting their stride. In fact, they have been on fire ever since the return of lead vocalist Danny Worsnop who parted ways with the band in 2015 but returned in 2016 much to the delight of AA fans everywhere as it just wasn’t the same band chemistry without Danny. Coming out first was drummer James Cassells whose massive kit sat atop a huge riser flanked by staircases on each side. Guitarists Ben Bruce and Cameron Liddell were on fire from the very first riffs as the co2 tanks fired up huge plumes of white fog all across the stage. Worsnop came out wearing a very dapper plaid suit and sunglasses as he led the crowd through the set. It wasn’t long before fans began the usual chant of “A f*cking A!” all across the venue. It was an exciting set to watch and the band seemed to be firing on all cylinders as they sounded great. Fans were treated to much awaited new music with “The Violence” and other AA favorites including the set closer “Alone in a Room.” My only complaint is that it was over too soon and when they exited the stage all I could think was “A f*ckin’ A!”
The main attraction of course was still to come as Papa Roach had yet to hit the stage. After a short break, the venue lights went dark and the LED screen at the back of the stage lit up in a dazzling display.
Blue lights lit up the stage and it was game on from that point of the evening. Drummer Tony Palermo was situated stage left atop a huge riser as guitarist Jerry Horton and bass guitarist Tobin Esperance made their way downstage. Frontman and lead vocalist Jacoby Shaddix was front and center at the top of the riser as the band kicked into the title track off their latest album Who Do You Trust?
There is just something special about seeing Papa Roach live that can not be explained but must be experienced. Their set is, of course, packed with all their hits and all the requisite rock anthems and catchy melodies we have come to know and love over the years.
Jacoby’s voice sounded better than ever and the band was musically solid as a rock but underneath all that is where Papa Roach really shines. To put things simply, they possess “it.” That unknown factor, energy, a vibe, whatever name you want to call it they have it and their passion and power come through in every second of their time on stage. This isn’t something that can be learned or crafted over time. It’s a chemistry or perhaps more like a bond between band members but more importantly between the band and their fans and this is, in essence, the driving force, the secret ingredient that makes Papa Roach a band like no other.
My oldest son was a toddler when Infest came out and he would bob his head to the beats as he sat strapped into his car seat, sipping on a juice box. Now he is a grown man, ready to take on the world and forge his own path and through the years Papa Roach has been a soundtrack to his life as well as mine. I thought they could never surpass the intensity and energy of that album, but somehow they always did, tackling social issues and personal struggles as the band grew and matured along with their fans.
The news of the weekend had everyone on edge with two shootings once again shaking the foundation of our nation as the venue was eerily quiet as Jacoby asked for a moment of silence. After that, he took the crowd to new heights with “Elevate,” as he came out into the seats, singing with the fans and for the fans as they happily snapped and videoed the moment for all posterity. There were so many moments during the show that I couldn’t possibly mention them all but the entire venue seemed to sing along to “Scars” and everyone was on their feet all night long. After closing out their set with “...To Be Loved,” Papa returned for a two-song encore with a fantastic cover of “Firestarter” by The Prodigy and of course capped off the evening with fists in the air for “Last Resort.”
All I can say is thank you for not only a great night of music but for always keeping it real. Who do you trust? In Papa, we trust!
Click here for tickets and tour information.