First it was the band’s name that was discomforting to say out loud and take seriously. Then there was the album art featuring giant cockroaches, appropriately titled Infest, that got attention. But once one looks past the silly names and creepy crawlers, Papa Roach’s music is contagiously energetic. Papa Roach headlines its current tour, visiting Jannus Landing in St. Petersburg on Saturday.
The California-based band emerged into mainstream in 2000 and rode the wave of nÃ¼-metal right into a No. 1 spot on Total Request Live countdown with their rage-filled suicide single “Last Resort.” Coby Dick, now known as Jacoby Shaddix, exposed his upsetting childhood in “Broken Home,” voiced his opinions of materialism in “Between Angels and Insects” and roared about vengeance in “Snakes.” Papa Roach surfaced with its strong underground following, which apparently appreciated Shaddix’s mixture of hardcore rock and abrupt Fred Durst-like vocals.
In their 2002 release, Lovehatetragedy, Shaddix opted to sing the lyrics rather than rap them. The band upgraded musically in the studio by working with Pro-Tools — a digital audio sound recording system that is considered top-of-the line by most professionals.
Lovehatetragedy is slightly more positive than Infest, with lyrics one would not expect from the cynical Shaddix. The same band that once said “It’s our nature to kill each other. It’s in our nature to kill, kill, kill,” now alludes to Sept. 11, on the title track and exclaims “It’s sad it took war just to bring us together. I believe in love, I believe in forever.”
Though Shaddix reveals a benevolent side, the band’s live performance should not weaken. Lovehatetragedy also contains post-punk inspired tracks, including “M-80,” and has just as much angst as their debut album. His reputation holds true, from frequent stage-diving to slamming microphones against his forehead. Shaddix, diagnosed with attention-deficit disorder, has even gone to the lengths of duct-taping his shoes to his feet in order to keep them on during his close encounters with the crowd.
Blindside, the opening act on the tour, brings the same flavor to the Papa Roach tour. Imported from Sweden, Blindside released its American debut, Silence, in 2002, a more modern rock album under Elektra compared to its previous hardcore releases under Solid State Records. Blindside was pushed in the limelight by the recommendation of Sonny of P.O.D. and Howard Benton, P.O.D.’s producer.
These Scandinavians (who only go by first names) bring intense energy to the stage with a commanding presence, not to mention the one-handed, synchronized cartwheels Tomas (bass) and Simon (guitar) have pulled off in the past.
The lyrics of silence suggest deeper meanings that surpass stories of lustful relationships and being mad at Daddy. The album may sound dark and depressing, but all of the songs show the light at the end of a tunnel. Christian, Blindside’s lead singer, belts out each tune intensely, combining hardcore screaming with fierce vocals. In concert, with the combination of Blindside’s powerful songs and the band’s live performance, the songs off Silence can only be enhanced.
In addition to Blindside, Unloco will also be opening for Papa Roach. Saturday’s show starts at 7 p.m., and tickets cost $15.
Contact AndreaPapadopoulos at firstname.lastname@example.org