May 6, 2015 Papa Roach & We Are Harlot rattle The Paramount Huntington, NY 4-28-15
Following a co-headlining winter tour with Seether, Papa Roach has stayed true to the road these past few months in support of their newest release, F.E.A.R (Face Everything And Rise), via Eleven Seven Music. Scheduled for a run of shows including appearances at Fort Rock, Rise Above This Fest, Carolina Rebellion, Rock on the Range, and Rockfest, the road warriors set out for a bunch of North American dates with support from We Are Harlot. With the fifteen year anniversary of their triple-platinum album Infested occurring on April 25th, through years of progression and chart topping albums, Papa Roach are still Hard Rock’s darlings. With experience and time on their side, the band stay true to their engaging stage show, and that is why, on Tuesday April 28th, fans piled into The Paramount in Huntington, New York for an evening of guitar crunching Rock. Marking their first time visiting the top ranked venue, it would also mark Papa Roach’s first visit to Long Island in many years, thus provoking even more of a buzz.
Opening the night was local band Static Summer from the greater New York City and Long Island area. Formed in 2010, the band consist of vocalist Rene Mata, drummer Dante Renzi, bassist Chris Bonet, along with guitarists Nick Cavagnaro and Vin Alfieri, formerly of national touring band The SmashUp. Having shared stages with the likes of Cypress Hill, Filter, Fuel, Lit, and Helmet, Static Summer are a band that is ready to make their mark on Hard Rock. Met by an impressive response from a growing crowd, clearly having a strong hometown support, Mata worked to elicit responses as the band played original tunes such as “Drive” and their catchy single “Heart Break.” Showing tribute to some of their influences, the band played a spot-on cover of Nirvana’s “Breed” and closed with “Automatic.” They are currently working on their debut album, so be on the look out for this Rock band with edgy guitars and soaring vocals.
Next up was Los Angeles, California based We are Harlot. After a brief intermission, the band was greeted to the roar of a fairly packed house. Most attendees made their way from the bar to the stage as Johnny Cash’s “When the Man Comes Around” blasted through the monitors. Formed in 2011, this supergroup of sorts consists of former Revolution Renaissance drummer Bruno Agra, former Sebastian Bach guitarist Jeff George, Silvertide bassist Brian Weaver, and former Asking Alexandria vocalist Danny Worsnop. Signed to Roadrunner Records in 2014, the band released their debut self-titled album on March 27th and already are making a mark, selling five thousand copies in the first week. With all members fully concentrating on We Are Harlot, the tour comes with much anticipation for audiences looking to indulge in the band’s live performance.
With everyone pumped up, the band came out with the track “Denial,” ready to set the stage on fire. With a sound influenced by late ’70s and ’80s Classic Rock, the vocals of Worsnop further explore the range he displayed on his final Asking Alexandria album From Death to Destiny (2013). Worsnop definitely has a set of pipes, with vocal melodies that nodded to everyone from Freddy Mercury to Sebastian Bach. George’s riffs and fret-flicking solos rivaled even the best from Led Zeppelin or Motley Crue and the rhythm section duo were in sync, keeping a steady 4-4 beat for the crowd to rock and sway. Worsnop’s cheeky interaction with the crowd after introducing all of his band mates (“I’m just here for the free liquor”) really sends the vibe that the guys are in it for the love of Rock and Roll and want nothing more than to have a good time. Playing their catchy single “Dancing on Nails” in addition to a cover of Queen’s “Tie Your Mother Down,” really demonstrated the band’s prowess on stage before they closed with “One More Night.” They say if someone loves what they do, then it is never work, and that is exactly the kind of attitude We Are Harlot convey.
After a riveting set from We are Harlot, the time had arrived for the main course with Papa Roach. There is a reason why Papa Roach has made so many of those “bands to see live” lists in modern Rock magazines, as well as Jacoby Shaddix ranking in Revolver’s top frontmen of all time article, once upon a time. This reason is quite simply, these guys bring everything they have to the platform, and more. Followers from the early days of Infest through the times of 2004’s Getting Away With Murder, all the way through 2012’s Connection, and now F.E.A.R (Face Everything And Rise) know what to expect from this four-piece band.
Coming out, guns blazing, Shaddix immediately demanded the crowd’s undivided attention and participation with their new single “F.E.A.R.” Not only did the band sound crisp and cohesive, but age seems to have taken no toll on guitarist Jerry Horton and bassist Tobin Esperance as both seemed to defy gravity with their movements, not to mention Horton’s seemingly back-bending arch during sonorous riffs. Combined with the hard hitting stick work of Tony Palermo (formerly of Unwritten Law), Papa Roach was on fire and showed no sign of extinguishing the flame. Moving right into “Between Angels and Insects”, the crowd’s cheers suggested the presences of many old school fans. When it comes to a band like Papa Roach, who have a plethora of number one singles ,and were, at one time, the top of MTV’s TRL and huge touring festivals, it is hard to find a set list that pleases everyone and includes a little bit of everything. Papa Roach did a stellar job of taking on the task though, and weaved tracks from their newest album, like “Broken As Me,” in between classics like “Blood Brothers” and “Forever.”
With the opening chords of “Getting Away With Murder” from the band’s third album, Shaddix had fans gushing along with the infectious chorus, adhering to his beckoning cries to sing along. An interesting reprieve came when the band launched into “Tightrope,” a bonus track off of Infest, with its reggae groove and laid-back feel. In addition, they managed to play arena blasters like “Lifeline” and “Kick in the Teeth.” Shaddix never stays in one place, and often finds himself roaming the venue as if he were a member of the audience during songs. Playing for well over an hour, the band drained whatever was left of the audience’s energy, before closing the night with an anticipated encore that included “…To Be Loved” and of course, “Last Resort.” On their final number, all of Long Island could have easily heard the crowd chanting the chorus from inside the venue as the pit opened up, swallowing the floor whole.
Another day, another venue, and another crowd was sent home rattled by a unearthly performance by Papa Roach. The exceptions were met and exceeded ten times over, and Papa Roach still retained the title “a band Rock fans much see live.” There are a few more dates on tap for May before a couple of dates in July, so be sure to get out and see them in living color.