Papa Roach Headlines Tour Stop At Jacobs Pavilion

August 23rd, 2019

Southern California-based Nu Metal outfit Papa Roach headlined a frenetic evening of harder rock at Jacobs Pavilion Sunday night.  The quartet played a seventeen tune set, highlighted by a balance of songs from their early years as well as four offerings from their newest release, Who Do You Trust?

The band has sold more than twenty million albums since first bursting onto the scene in the late 1990s. Known for a fusion of Alternative Rock and Nu Metal, frontman Jacoby Shaddix led lead guitarist Jerry Horton, bass player Tobin Esperance, and drummer Tony Palermo in a tight, hundred-minute set that left the fans pressed up against the barricade a little dazed, partially deaf, but never confused.  These folks, sans any type of hearing protection, loved the 110 decibels of teeth-rattling metal being pushed through them.  Not too sure about the residents of the luxury high-rise behind the pavilion, but, hey, that's what you get for living so close to an amphitheater that's facing your two-kay a month abode.

Starting their set with "Who Do You Trust?," Shaddix was in fine form.  He segued right into "Getting Away With Murder," from the 2003 album of the same name.  Next up was "Broken Home," from their 1999 major label debut Infest. If there was one theme as the evening progressed, it was the quartet was offering up a variety of music from throughout their entire career.  That's a breath of fresh air; many recent touring artists tend to stick to a certain period of time or a fan-fave album.  Not these guys; they tore it up with a bouillabaisse of songs from their twenty-plus year career. I don't recall them playing two songs in a row from the same album.

Covered in sweat after playing in almost ninety-degree heat, Shaddix and company closed out the night with "Last Resort" and "To Be Loved." A great metaphorical way to end the night.

English Hard Rock/Metalcore/Screamo band Asking Alexandria played an hour long set, priming the crowd for Papa Roach. Their ten-song set relied heavily on tunes from 2017's Asking Alexandria.  Half of their stage time was devoted to songs from that drop, including "Into the Fire" and "When the Lights Come On."   Frontman Danny Worsnop, decked out in an homage to a '70s leisure suit, burned through mid-set staples "Vultures" and "Someone, Somewhere" before closing out their time with one of their biggest hits, "Alone In A Room."


Perhaps best known for their 2018 cover of The Cranberries' "Zombie," supergroup Bad Wolves started everything off with an electric jolt of metal.  Frontman Tommy Vext (formerly of Snot and Divine Heresy),  lead guitarist Doc Coyle (formerly of God Forbid), bassist Kyle Konkel (former In This Moment), drummer John Boecklin (Devil Driver), and rhythm guitarist Chris Cain (Bury Your Dead), all took to the stage as the waning Cleveland sun was moving towards the horizon. 

Vext, taking a moment to discuss the importance of mental health, asked each audience member to turn around and hug a stranger.  It made for an interesting moment; rarely do you see that much love and reflection at a metal show.

Most of their set was culled from their 2016 release Disobey.  A mid set offering, "I'll Be There," is a new single that dropped late last month in anticipation of a forthcoming, untitled album.  The crowd waited for the quartet to break into their most anticipated song: Their manic, over-the-top version of "Zombie."  And, wow, did they deliver.  In a delicious changeup from the late Dolores O'Riordan's vocal prowess, Vext attacked the tune with a new delivery and completely original take on the older tune.

Review and Photos by Brian M. Lumley

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