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Thu. Dec 12th, 2019

Madness To Creation

Where Insanity and Creativity Collide!

(Concert Review) PAPA ROACH & NOTHING MORE Live at Manchester Academy in Manchester, England (4/20/2019)

5 min read

American rockers Papa Roach are regular visitors to the UK shores-their recent set of mostly sold out dates was to promote their tenth album release “Who Do You Trust”which was just released a few months ago.  Special guest slot on this run are Nothing More, whom if I correctly recall, opened on an arena tour which passed through Manchester several years ago.

Despite Nothing More having existed as a band since 2003, they only made the leap to major recognition and success when drummer Jonny Hawkins stepped forward to the front of the stage towards the end of the decade.  This culminated in the band being nominated for three Grammy awards in 2018.  The band’s fifth album “The Stories We Tell Ourselves” have continued to build on the successful foundation of its predecessor which has allowed the band to continue to tour extensively with heavyweight acts such as Volbeat, Shinedown and Ghost.  Their stock as a live band has continued to rise not solely on Jonny but as a creative strong musical unit.

The band’s frontman doesn’t overly rely on props although they do form a strong visual attraction that sets them apart from all the other rock bands playing currently.  Using an air raid siren proves to be a unique touch as it precedes the set opener “Let ‘Em Burn”.  The band’s energy onstage is quickly mirrored by the heaving Manchester audience.  It is immediately clear that all the touring they have done in recent years has really allowed the band to perfect their delivery.  A great coupling with Papa Roach and a relationship that has long been established since the two bands began touring together back in 2018.  Unlike many opening bands that generally only receive a muted response from the audience, it is clear that the crowd are as familiar with Nothing More’s songs as indeed that of the evening’s headliners Papa Roach.

Nothing More does possess a rather unique element as part of their live visuals.  The band is known for its elaborate and energetic live performances and it actually has set up two separate drum sets for their live show, one for the band’s primary drummer and one for Hawkins to join in on intermittently, who had previoiusly been a drummer himself in the early years of the band.  The performances also include a number of contraptions created by the band themselves, including “The Scorpion Tail” in 2016, which is an animated structure created out of actual scrap metal and salvaged auto parts weighing 400 pounds and measuring 14 feet tall.  Hawkins rides the structure, while also using it to create digital electronic effects for the songs as well.  Its design is based on the “Drumtron/Bassinator” contraption the band has used prior, which also allowed the band to perform three person bass solos by Hawkins, Vollelunga, and Oliver.  This unique element allows a dual effect as it allows the the band’s sound to be enhanced, which serves as quite a treat visually to their audiece.  Finishing up with a cover version is not usually something that I would favor in a band’s support slot, however, with their selection of a Queen track it actually worked.  Nothing More used a popular song in fully engaging the audience with a crowd participation element that actually cranked up the intensity before the band before the band exited the stage.  Nothing More are building up their career and I feel sure that it won’t be long before the band takes that next step up to doing a headlining tour on their own.  A 40 minute support set which saw the band deliver as if they were the show headliners.

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*  Photo Credit for Nothing More:  Christopher James Ryan Photography
Finally it was time for Papa Roach to raise that already existing energy level even higher. Having long ago cast off the labels and shackles of nu metal which dogged their early career their subsequent album releases have allowed the band to spread their creative wings and broaden their sound and style.  Who would have believed that they have actually been around for twenty six years-where has that time gone?  Opening with one of their early tracks “Last Resort”serves to ignite the touch paper as chaos ensues from the opening bars of the song. The setlist itself is a perfect mix as it traverses through the different eras of the bands history.  New songs sitting comfortably side by side with their older songs.
To merely list the songs played would not effectively convey the rush and excitement that was clearly palatable throughout the evening.  Personal and more slower melodic favorite “Scars” was visible while higher energy songs such as “Getting Away With Murder” and “Between Angels and Insects” raised temperature levels inside the venue as the stage security struggled to battle the energetic onslaught of people crowdsurfing over the stage barriers throughout the evening.  What was clearly apparent, however, was that the band have established a very strong catalog of work that I feel they don’t effectively get fully recognized for.
Culminating in a tribute to recently departed Prodigy front man Keith Flint was a poignant and yet at the same time a powerful message as all the previous craziness was surpassed when the classic “Firestarter” was served up to the heaving and energetic mass of bodies.  Quickly following with their own classic “Infest” ensured that energy levels did not drop as the audience were left dripping,hot -and almost broken by their exertions.  Papa Roach closing out their set with “Born For Greatness”.  It was clear that Jacoby enjoyed the show-the band does seem to have a genuine rapport and relationship with their British fans. Papa Roach so much more than Nu-metal I think Now-metal is a more apt description.  They are current and relevant -still…

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  • Photo Credit:  Christopher James Ryan Photography

Papa Roach will be wrapping up their U.K. tour with Nothing More this Monday night.  Check out the gig dates below:

Sat. 4/27- UEA in Norwich

Sun. 4/28- Rock City in Nottingham

Mon. 4/29- O2 Academy in Birmingham

For tickets and further information, click here.

Fans can find PAPA ROACH at the following locations:

www.facebook.com/paparoach

www.paparoach.com

 

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