Despite having tried to shake off the labels of nu-metal and rap-metal, it’s hard to dispute that Papa Roach’s popularity in these fledgling genres in the early noughties have helped them to sell out the Academy tonight. Formed in 1993 by a teenaged Jacoby Shaddix and his highschool friends, their sound has since evolved into a more mainstream hard rock and alternative metal style. Unlike many bands who have been in the business for so long, Papa Roach are still attracting a significant number of new young fans to their shows. Whilst there are plenty of older fans (mostly near the bar) who were probably in school when ‘Last Resort’ was hogging airplay on Kerrang! in 2000, a large proportion of the crowd are in their early twenties or younger. And, trying his best to look the same age, vocalist Jacoby Shaddix bounces around the small stage, only pausing occasionally on his little front-of-stage podium to lean into his approving fans. Opening with ‘Burn’ from their 2010 live/studio split Time for Annihilation the audience spontaneously erupt into a frenzy of jumping and moshing.
Focussing their attention on their latest album release, the band play no less than six tracks from The Connection; an album which they acknowledge includes a limited return to the rapping style dropped from the previous few releases. Most of their six other full-length albums are represented by a single track with more airtime being reserved for tracks from the triple platinum release Infest from 2000. During the heavier songs, Shaddix encourages the eager crowd to form circle pits, but the request is a big ask in a venue as small as the Academy. Circle pits are fine for larger venues or outdoor festivals where those who do not want to feel like an odd sock in a tumble dryer can stand aside. This doesn’t discourage the sweaty topless revellers from trying though, and on more than one occasion, Shaddix pays respect to the girl with the broken arm going crazy in the mosh pit. Unlikely to be a fan of RTE drama, but bearing LOVE/HATE tattoos on his knuckles, he dedicates ‘Forever’ to her and all the girly girls in the audience.
During an extended, fist-pumping, sing-along performance of ‘Born with Nothing, Die with Everything’, an unidentified object is thrown onstage from the crowd. Shaddix reveals to all that it is a tampon (thankfully unused), and remarks that it is a first for them. Before the two-song encore of ‘Murderer’ and ‘Last Resort’, he reminds the crowd “we’re celebrating twenty years! Welcome to the fucking party!”. Thanks for the invite.
Photo: Olga Kuzmenko