Concert Reviews

Last Night: Papa Roach and Hellyeah! at the Palladium Ballroom

Papa Roach, Hellyeah!, 12 Stones, Seasons After
May 5 2010
Palladium Ballroom

Better Than:
cutting your lift into pieces, suffocation, and no breathing.

There are very few bands on the planet that will beckon the audience with punk chants of "oy, oy" along with hip-hop call outs like "Let me hear you say Papa Roach!... Now scream!"

But Papa Roach is a band that can somehow manage it.

The last act of a four-band bill at the Palladium Ballroom last night, Papa Roach was welcomed to a stage drenched in fog by an excited audience before quickly dishing out hits from its diverse library. Singer Jacoby Shaddix, in his eye shadow and long dyed hair, provided and elicited energy output comparable to the stage's impressive light setup. The colors were vividly themed--most at one of the band's newer tracks, "Hollywood Whore."

The constant use of strobe lights was intense and disorienting. It got old fast. So did the band's music: The first of the older tracks performed was "Blood Brothers." Later, hit "Scars" had the audience at its height, singing to the chorus "Tear my heart open/ And sew it shut." The track ended with a recitation of the chorus in Spanish. It wasn't the only instance of Shaddix showcasing a command of a few foreign languages. The singer peppered his chatter with phrases in German and Spanish.

But the heaviest song of the set was the 2002 track "Born With Nothing, Die With Everything." Things still managed to get bigger, though: Shaddix elicited a "Wall of Death" mosh pit for the track "Into the Light."

Unsurprisingly, the set ended with Papa Roach's most popular hit "Last Resort."

The band's opening act and "very special guest," the Dallas-founded metal group Hellyeah, took the stage earlier in the night, surrounded by steel steer skulls and pinatas under a fiery background littered with sirens. A loyal local audience in Pantera and Dimebag memorial t-shirts--plus, a few cowboy hats--welcomed the band. The set started abruptly with the song "Matter of Time." The band's set continued with tracks that the audience knew and recited, including "Goddamn." And, despite it being a new song, the audience kept up when singing along to the recently released free download "Cowboy Way." The band then took an intermission as crew members, dressed in sombreros and rainbow ponchos handed out tacos and burritos to the audience as a Cinco De Mayo gesture. Vocalist Chad Gray even handed off the mic to Vinnie Paul for a short homecoming greeting.

The set continued with the Southern good-times ballad "Alcaholin' Ass," followed by the upcoming single "Stampede," the heaviest song of their set. It all ended with the band's titular track "Hellyeah!," followed by the audience pumping their fists to the chant of the same word(s).

Opening for the two heavyweights were 12 Stones and Seasons After. 12 Stones provided straightforward, and often dry rock. The highlight of the set was an ode to the troops, the track "We Are One." Seasons After offered a Killswitch Engage-influenced metal sound. The highlight of their set was a hardcore rock cover of "Cry Little Sister" by Gerard McMahon.

Critics Notebook
Personal Bias:
I only ever followed Papa Roach on their first major label album, Infest.  It was kind of weird hearing these old songs from a band that has changed with the times, taking on more punk influences during the decade. I would describe hearing "Last Resort" again as awkward walk to the past.

By The Ways: I suspect something is not right up there in Jacoby Shaddix's head between a deep maniacal laugh after a track and an awkward sexual request to a random member of the audience. Oh well: Crazy sells.

Random Note: Seasons After's cover obviously brought to mind the film The Lost Boys.

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Shahryar Rizvi
Contact: Shahryar Rizvi