Papa Roach

support Glamour Of The Kill + Franklin Zoo
author PP date 12/11/13 venue Amager Bio, Copenhagen, DEN

For the Papa Roach show Amager Bio is populated by a surprisingly mixed crowd. Given the band's 20th anniversary and diminishing relevancy in terms of recorded output, I had half expected everyone to be in their late 20s or older, revisiting a memory from their youth one more time before closing that chapter of their musical history once and for all. Yet there's a sizable portion of teenagers already hanging by the fence when I arrive for Franklin Zoo, suggesting that the band does still have some potential in reaching the younger crowds as well. It turns out all of my preconceptions of Papa Roach being somehow irrelevant in 2013 are pretty much false, as they put on a defiant showing tonight at Amager Bio. But more on that in a moment. Let's take a look at the supporting cast tonight before we get ahead of ourselves.

The next Chris Cornell in the making? - Franklin Zoo

Franklin Zoo

Local support band Franklin Zoo was selected through a contest where bands could enter freely, and then Papa Roach (or at least someone involved with the band) would pick a number of bands they best liked out of all the entrants, before these would be cast under a popular vote from the band's fans on Facebook. Given tonight's nostalgic mood, it only makes sense to have a band like Franklin Zoo open up the festivities, given that their sound is almost directly cloned from the 90s grunge scene with Soundgarden/Audioslave at the forefront. Rasmus Revsbech's voice is incredibly similar to Chris Cornell's grungy croon, and so most of their support set is spent by the crowd admiring his ability to deliver solid, far-reaching vocal work like the 90s never went away. He occasionally leans down for some heartscraping screams when it's time to up the volume, but as a whole the band is in dire need for more charisma before they'll start turning heads properly. For some of their songs, there's much rocking out taking place with headbanging and movement all over the place, but elsewhere the band are standing still in a rather static manner, as if they believe more in some tracks over the others in their repertoire. They have solid songs already, which sound very authentic if you take the 90s grunge scene as a starting point, now all they need is more energy on stage to make it a more engaging experience overall. Not bad, though.

7

Glamour Of The Kill

Glamour Of The Kill

Glamour Of The Kill start with an uphill battle ahead of them to impress me. Five years ago, I saw these guys in support of Darkest Hour in London and they were almost comically awful. Tonight, they fare much better, but it's still difficult to appreciate the band for putting on a deliberate stage persona that screams fake from a mile away. Musically, they are playing Bullet For My Valentine style metalcore, though with mostly clean main vocals, with few forays into dynamic riffs, breakdowns and brief screams for good measure. They're not particularly good when it comes to metalcore bands, but thankfully they make up for any deficiency in the songwriting department (embedded electronic samples etc) through good energy and enthusiasm on stage. Problem is, the band are complete posers on stage. Starting from the opening sequence where the lead vocalist runs in delayed to the set and shouts "Copenhagen, JUMP, JUMP" as well as his pre-rehearsed "we love you Copenhagen" screams, there's never really a moment during the set where I don't feel like the band are putting this on just for the show. I just don't buy it. Either way, they get the crowd to jump along, lap, and all that, meaning mostly the younger crowd at the front who haven't yet developed a filter to see through this kind of stuff. It's decent, but their sound is very dated and kind of pointless in 2013, highlighted by the absolutely miserable wall of death during the last song (why do bands force this? It always feels super lame when orchestrated from the stage).

Papa Roach

Papa Roach

You're faced with a dated sound and diminishing popularity, where people are questioning whether you're at all relevant musically anymore. How do you react? Most bands tend to fade away and become shadows of themselves when the aforementioned happens. Papa Roach? They double-down aggressively and deliver a live performance of a magnitude that should convince even the most hardened of skeptics that Papa Roach are still very much alive in 2013. Not only have the band considerably upped the tempo of their songs from their studio versions, they are also played with undying passion and conviction of a band that simply believes they have written great songs no matter what anyone else tells them, period. From the moment "Burn" opens Amager Bio into loudly repeated "Burn, Burn" shouts during its chorus until the predictable mass sing along of "Last Resort" which closes the set 90 minutes later, Papa Roach present us a high-energy onslaught that never sees the band cease moving as they are drenched in sweat already after the first song.

Vocalist Jacoby Shaddix embraces his past fully, engaging in elaborate hip-hop style dancing on top of the platforms set up at the front of the stage. Have you ever seen anyone on coke and speed at the same time? That's pretty much the hyperactive presence that he has on stage, dominating from his platform, and really performing his songs with a vengeance. The band powers through their songs very quickly leaving little if any pause in between, instead building the crowd control into their songs. That wall of death thing I was talking about earlier? Instead of asking the crowd to split, Shaddix merely gestures fervently a splitting movement mid song, and the audience takes care of the rest in one of the most natural wall-of-death moments I've ever experienced live. It's the constant gesturing - the constant performance art that Jacoby is exhibiting on stage - which leads into all eyes being fixated on him as he bounces feverishly from one side of the stage to the other throughout the show. But even though all eyes are on the front man, at the background the guitarist and the bassist are doing crazy shit amongst themselves, throwing their instruments around and crashing around with at least as much energy as Shaddix himself. The energy levels are simply ridiculously high to the extent you wouldn't believe it's possible for Papa Roach to perform songs in this manner, especially those from "The Connection" and "Metamorphosis", which simply do not have this kind of passion on record. basically, if you're not moving in the crowd, you're starting to feel like an outsider for not participating, because everywhere around you, people are going crazy jumping, moshing, even circle pitting amongst themselves, while Papa Roach deliver one of the tightest sets I've seen in recent memory simultaneously. I simply can't believe this much activity is taking place on a Tuesday night, when shows are usually completely dead otherwise.

Papa Roach

It helps, of course, to deliver a fantastic setlist. "Between Angels & Insects" sees a huge sing along for the "There's no money, there's no possession" part. "Silence Is The Enemy" has everyone jumping along, and "Scars" has another echoing sing along moment to it. "Blood Brothers" is a nostalgic throwback to 2000, just like "Dead Cell", and even the poppy "Lifeline" sounds fantastic tonight.

That leaves the question to be asked: what do you do with your slower songs, such as "Leader Of The Broken Hearts", in order to not interrupt the excellent dynamic flow of the concert? Turns out Shaddix has an answer for this as well. Once again gesturing for the crowd to split, he quickly vaults himself into the empty space in the crowd with his microphone, and starts dancing, and moshing by himself whilst the crowd gathers around him in a circular form. Before we know it, he's leading the pit with everyone jumping around him feverishly - way to solve a slow song.

Papa Roach

As the encore comes around and the band are busy engaging the crowd in another anthemic sing along for "Getting Away With Murder", I find myself arguing down from a nine rather than up from any other rating. This is how a genuine, passionate show looks like. I honestly didn't think Papa Roach had it in them to put on a show this fantastic in 2013 - it shouldn't be possible for a washed out nu-metal band to awe the crowd in this way when everyone around them keeps saying they aren't relevant. Well, I've got news for you people, based on this show Papa Roach are more alive than they ever have been. Go see them when they roll into your town, you won't regret it.

Setlist:

  • 1. Burn
  • 2. Silence Is the Enemy
  • 3. Blood Brothers
  • 4. Give Me Back My Life
  • 5. Between Angels and Insects
  • 6. Where Did the Angels Go?
  • 7. Forever
  • 8. Leader of the Broken Hearts
  • 9. Still Swingin'
  • 10. Born with Nothing, Die with Everything
  • 11. Scars
  • 12. Lifeline
  • 13. ...To Be Loved
  • --Encore:--
  • 14. Getting Away with Murder
  • 15. Dead Cell
  • 16. Last Resort

Photos by: Julie Weitmann Decome

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