Papa Roach w/ The DISOWNED 03/04/09
Troubadour – West Hollywood, CA
Words/Photos by Reverend Justito
It was a warm spring night in Palo Alto California when Papa Roach and I decided to go our separate ways. The date was April 24, 2000 and as I exited The Edge Nightclub I knew in my heart the special thing we had was over. The next day, the band would release their major label debut Infest and tour the country with Taproot. Warped Tour would follow that summer and by then I knew it would be too late for the two of us. It was hard to let go, to say goodbye to something I loved so much. I felt it all, anger, jealousy, depression, happiness, but above all else I felt a sense of accomplishment knowing that my little band that I saw no less than 20 times between 1998 & 200 had made their dreams come true. For years, I lurked in the shadows and watched from a distance. The hits, the transformation from a funk/rap nu metal band to a red state rock band, the Pepsi commercials, the celebrity marriages and of course Jacoby “5 bucks what the F*ck” Shaddix hosting Scarred on MTV.
Walking into the Troubadour in West Hollywood on Wednesday night, I didn’t know what to expect. It had been 3236 days since I had last seen Papa Roach obliterate a club stage (heck any stage), but knowing that this small club show was to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of their discovery at the West Hollywood musical landmark, the time was right to say hello again. I knew I would not be playing video games in the lobby with Jerry like we used to at the Phoenix in Petaluma. I knew Jacoby would not lick the foot of my pal to convince her to buy a $5 demo. But what I didn’t know is if I could capture the old magical feeling that sent my pals and me following the foursome all over Northern California weekend after weekend.
The night started with some terrible band called Bangkok Five. If Buckcherry is a bad rip off of Guns N’ Roses, then do we really need a band who is a bad rip off of Buckcherry? Not at all, which is why I sat in the bar with my wife drinking the devils juice as poured by a VERY pregnant bartender (who we made sure to tip well). I did make sure to catch the opening set by Los Angeles power trio the DISOWNED. Watch out for this band, they bring it and bring it well. The only song I can name from their power packed 30 minute set was a rowdy cover of “Holiday In The Sun” by The Sex Pistols. With additional gigs across the southland on the schedule, I hope to catch this band again in the near future. But enough with the openers, lets talk about the main reason I paid those crooks at Ticketmaster $30. 74 for a $17.99 ticket – Papa Roach!
As always, the band hit the stage like a fireworks factory that catches fire. For 70 minutes, the band played its greatest hits while giving the intimate crowd a sneak peak of their new record – Metamorphosis. Within minutes, it felt like the old days, as front man Jacoby Shaddix climbed the clubs scaffolding and hung from the lights as he screamed into his microphone. The only difference is that the songs I once loved such as “July” and “Tambienemy” are long gone, replaced by modern day hits such as “Getting Away With Murder” and “Time and Time Again”.
I hate that guy. You know, the guy who wears the t-shirt of the band he is about to see? Last night, I broke the rules and wore my long out of print Papa Roach T-shirt that infringes on the copyright of the bug spray known as Raid. Being an anniversary show, it just felt right and as Jacoby Shaddix pointed and smiled multiple times in my direction, it only felt right to make him crack a smile by screaming “Orange Drive Palms” at him in between songs. If this was to be an anniversary celebration, someone had to represent Nor-Cal and I was happy to be that person.
The hits kept rolling, with “Scars” becoming a group sing a long, and “Lifeline” giving the ADHD infused front man an opportunity to run upstairs to the clubs VIP balcony to finish up the last few minutes of the number. Another new hit – “Hollywood Wh0re” gave the front man a chance to talk trash about the likes of Paris Hilton, Ashley Simpson and of course Britney Spears. With a darker moodier tone, “Hollywood Wh0re” showcases what has always been Papa Roach’s strength – the ability to adapt and evolve as time goes on.
The biggest reactions from the crowd came when the band played songs off Infest. All these years later the band is still getting fans to chant “Dead Cell”. While “Broken Home” never really did much for me, hearing “Angels & Insects” (which I know the true meaning behind, but I’ll never tell) was by far the musical highlight for me. The place went nuts, but the true chaos came on the very last number – “Last Resort”. Pits swelled as the band played their first and biggest hit to date. It even felt like the old Cactus Club in San Jose for a minute as Jacoby dove head first into the crowd.
Papa Roach means more to me then I ever let on. I was there the night they all wore all black for the first time. I was there to here songs make their live debut, I watched as the band raised a bed sheet that read in red spray paint – VIVA LA CUCHARACHA. I lost my virginity in a Papa Roach hoodie, I have pre-digital camera photos of Jacoby on stage with his own roach hanging from his boxer shorts. While the song “Legacy” may be long retired, its lyrics are floating through my head this morning. “I was there from the start, and I’ll be here in the end”. 3236 days later, Papa Roach and I had the best ex-sex one can have. The meeting of two souls was still intimate, intense and personal with some amazing new tricks thrown in. I know they are no longer my band, my secret and I am fine with that. I am just thankful that on a spring night in March, I was able to pop in and say hello again after all these years.