Papa Roach + Ho99o9 @ O2 Academy, 5 October 2017

Californian band Papa Roach kicked off the UK leg of their Crooked Teeth tour with a bang at Birmingham’s O2 Academy. They showcased their new album along with a worthy selection from their back catalogue including Getting Away With Murder, Between Angels and Insects and Scars.

The gig attracted a packed audience who sang along to every word. There were a wide mix of ages and a lot of enthusiasm which earnt the title of ‘the craziest crowd of the tour’.

Supporting Papa Roach were New Jersey band Ho99o9 who performed a contemporary hip hop/ metal set. The two singers had great chemistry and a lot of enthusiasm, as well as using torch light to enhance their cult-like performance. Overall they were a lot heavier than Papa Roach and maybe not what the crowd were expecting, but they kept us entertained with their exciting hair and sound effects.

Baby-faced frontman Jacoby Shaddix looks no older than when Infest was released in 2000 (maybe he could tell us his secret!) and his vocals were spot on. The crowd particularly enjoyed helping shoot parts of an upcoming live video for Born For Greatness which saw Coby filming himself crowd surfing with the warning ‘If anyone tries to steal my mic I will scratch their eyes out!’.

The addition of keys in most of the tracks from the new album gave the band a fresh depth and balance to their sound without detracting from the fullness. This came off best in fourth single Periscope which on the record features pop-singer Skylar Grey. The new album also gives a nod to Roach’s rap-influenced roots on songs like Reckless and Crooked Teeth.

Lead guitarist Jerry Horton was on form with his colossal riffs, particularly during None of the Above, and the addition of Anthony Esperance on this tour (who has previously done some acoustic sets with the band) provided some great rhythm guitar as well as the opportunity to have two drummers on some of the more fist-pumping tracks.

Clearly a highlight of the evening was always going to be a rendition of Last Resort, which the band played as their penultimate track of the encore. The audience participation was so loud you could barely hear the music, and it saw a second round of Coby leaving the stage to crowd surf.

Another highlight was a cover of Song 2 by Blur which had the whole house jumping, as well as a slow, stripped back version of Lifeline.

The band took time out to pay tribute to some of the fantastic artists we’ve lost so far in 2017, namely Chris Cornell, Chester Bennington and Tom Petty. They smoothly transitioned from Forever into a snippet of In the End by Linkin Park before going to on talk about mental health struggles and urging everyone to reach out and take care of each other.

The show ended with an explosive version of …To Be Loved and a lot of crowd surfing!


Set List

  1. Crooked Teeth
  2. Getting Away With Murder
  3. Between Angels and Insects
  4. Face Everything and Rise
  5. Geronimo
  6. Born For Greatness
  7. She Loves Me Not
  8. Scars
  9. Periscope
  10. Gravity
  11. Song 2 (Blur cover)
  12. Traumatic
  13. Forever (with In the End by Linkin Park)
  14. American Dreams
  15. Lifeline
  16. Help


  1. None of the Above
  2. Dead Cell
  3. Last Resort
  4. …To Be Loved


Reviewer: Chrissie Duxson

Photographer: Adriana Vasile

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