American Fangs (Photo credit: Iain Purdie)
[full sets of pics on flickr: American Fangs / Middle Class Rut / Papa Roach]
Ah, the perils of parenthood. Due to having to help with homework, baby changing and the like we didn’t get to the venue until about 8pm. This wouldn’t be a major deal, except that it meant that we only caught that last two songs by openers American Fangs.
We’d not heard of them before, but what little we saw impressed us. Simple, good old fashioned, shouty rock and roll. They bounced around, gurned, got the audience to jump about and left with smiles on their faces. Definitely a band I’m going to check out shortly. They also informed me via Twitter that they’ll definitely be back – I’ll hold them to that!
Second band of the evening were Middle Class Rut, another act completely new to us. They’re billed as “indy rock” if you look them up, but they seemed to have a wealth of influences and styles from what we saw. Hell, every song could have been by a different artist.
The driving rhythms on some tracks reminded me of Ministry. On the other hand, some of the slower stuff was very prog. Then they’d lapse into something more traditionally indie. Then something a bit balladic.
Musically, they were incredible. Really good, even if impossible to pigeonhole. Gillian found them a little dull to watch, though, whereas I was mesmerised by the twin percussion and could have watched those two guys banging away all night.
I really need to watch how I word things. Anyway.
Middle Class Rut with guest vocals (Photo credit: Iain Purdie)
It turns out, after a bit of research, that the “band” is actually a duo. The main drummer/singer and the guitarist/singer are the only permanent members. The remainder must be live/session members which could perhaps explain the fact that two of them were giving it hell and the rest not so much.
Sam McTrusty of local band Twin Atlantic joined them – to quite the welcome from the crowd – for “New Low”. Apparently the bands have toured together before.
It’s not often you come across a band that makes you think “that’s something new”. Well, we did tonight.
The already-crowded venue (which apparently wasn’t sold out, though must have been close to it) seemed to swell as the build up for the headliners went on. Looking around, there were definitely people in who won’t have been born when Papa Roach‘s first album came out.
Actually, I didn’t realise it was twenty years until I saw the t-shirts on sale. Damn, I’m old. The good news is that despite this handicap, the younger crowd knew the older material as well as the newer stuff.
Jacoby and pals strutted on stage a little after 21:30 and launched into one hell of a set. I swear I blinked at one point and they were leaving for their “encore” break. I checked the time and it was almost 23:45. It’s not often I’m enjoying a gig so much that time goes by that fast.
Mixing old and new material, the band barely stopped for breath. Jacoby is a nightmare to get photos of as he just won’t bloody stop moving. So I gave up and went into the pit. Crowdsurfing was encouraged as it was at Graspop when I saw them a few years ago (I wonder how much of a bollocking he got for ripping down the “no surfing” signs that year?), jumping was expected and the raising of horns goddam mandatory.
Papa Roach (Photo credit: Iain Purdie)
I’m not a fan of the newest album – I find the material a little to “synth”-y or electronic – but it still plays well live. They’ve picked the best tracks for their live shows; the ones with the anthemic choruses that are easy to join in with.
The set vanished far too quickly, but value for money was definitely had by everyone. A point to note is that tonight marked the 9th anniversary of the death of Dimebag Darrell, a metal legend. Papa Roach paid tribute to him by asking the audience to hold a minute’s silence that was near-perfectly observed. I’d like to kidney-punch the silly bitch who was screaming over stage left while everyone else was marking their respect.
Funnily enough, it was in the same venue in 1992 that I first saw Pantera playing live. Supporting Megadeth along with openers Suicidal Tendencies, they tore the fucking place apart. Saw them the next night down in Newcastle as well. Rest in Peace, brother – while bands like Papa Roach are riling crowds up and acts like American Fangs are still appearing, you won’t be forgotten.