LIVE: Papa Roach / Ho99o9 @ O2 Academy, Brixton

By Christopher Lee

Papa Roach are one of those bands that seem like they’ve been around forever, and that’s because they have. The band released their eighth studio album ‘Crooked Teeth’ earlier this year and are now touring the globe reminding fans both new and old just why they’ve managed to sustain a career spanning over two decades.

Up first however are a band making their own waves throughout the industry, while perhaps not being the obvious choice of a support act, New Jersey hip hop come punk band Ho99o9 take to the stage. If you’ve ever had the privilege of seeing them live you’ll know that they’re not like anything else around. Their raw power and energy is unmatched and they manage to merge the two genres perfectly. Their hip hop flows are as good as any out there and when it comes to punk these guys know how throw down with the best.

It’s because of this that their performance seems a little lost on the huge Brixton crowd, sure there’s the hardcore group of fans down at the front but around them a lot of the crowd seem to be simply trying to take it all in. But this in no way reflects on what is another excellent performance for a band on the rise.

The crowd do eventually get what they’ve come for and what they’ve come for are Papa Roach. As the intro track plays the band take their places and explode into the title track from ‘Crooked Teeth’ as a huge curtain drops to the ground. Frontman Jacoby Shaddix’ vocals are as great as ever delivering classics such as ‘Getting Away With Murder’ and ‘She Loves Me Not’ in exemplary fashion while the crowd lap up every second.

But the crowd lose their collective mind when Shaddix explains that for the next track they’ll be finishing up the filming of the live video for next single ‘Geronimo’. Throughout the 90 minute set the guys jump back and forward through their considerable catalogue of tracks ensuring that there’s something for everyone. They sound incredible through it all, never putting a foot out of a place through some huge choruses and brutal riffs.

There’s even time for a fun cover of Blur’s ‘Song 2’ something which surprisingly is lapped up by the crowd and sparks mosh pits galore. That’s not the only cover we get though, during a beautiful rendition of ‘Forever’ Shaddix launches into Linkin Park’s ‘In The End’ which is still incredibly emotional for a lot of people, it’s a beautiful and hair raising tribute to the late Chester Bennington.

Closing what has been a great night on arguably the bands two biggest hits ‘Last Resort’ and ‘… To Be Loved’ reminds us all just much of a pivotal band were for not only the generation that have grown up listening to them in the early days but also the generation growing up listening to them now, Thank you Papa Roach.