Papa Roach & The Used – Gig Review & Photo Gallery 24th April @ MC Arena, Melb, VIC
Papa Roach & The Used
MC Arena, Melbourne, VIC
April 24, 2023
I am constantly double-checking that it is in fact 2023, because Monday night The Used and Papa Roach did the Melbourne stop of their epic Cut My Heart Into Pieces Australian co-headlining tour. Both bands have careers that are currently 20+ years long, and the show was everything I’d hoped it would be and more!
Kicking off proceedings last night was Japanese rockers coldrain, who are currently playing their first Australian shows in 8 years. The venue was still filling by the time the 5 piece took to the stage, but the energy the band was putting out to the crowd didn’t really let you think about that. The whole band put 110% into their performance, and put on a fantastic show. I’ve never seen coldrain before, but as soon as they took to the stage and I saw that lead singer Masato Hayakawa was wearing a Rammstein shirt, they got an automatic thumbs up from me! They played a mix of songs from new album Nonnegative, THE SIDE EFFECTS and THE REVELATION including some epic shredding from guitarist Ryo Yokochi, and most of the crowd singing along to hit single ‘Before I Go’. The guys were a great way to start off the night, and did a fabulous job of warming up the crowd.
After this set finished, the venue emptied a little bit as everyone did their bathroom and bar breaks before The Used took to the stage. It was definitely a fuller MCA by the time the lights went down and The Used took to the stage to the sound of raucous applause. With frontman Bert McCracken relocating to New South Wales several years ago, I feel like we can now claim the lead singer as an honourary Australian, but he still gets cool points for correctly pronouncing ‘Melbourne’, as a lot of his fellow countrymen don’t. There were several points early on during the set, after both ‘Listening’ and ‘Blow Me’ where Bert and the guys stopped to just smile and feed off the energy of the crowd. Speaking of the crowd, some of the ladies may have gotten a little over-excited as there were boobs out to which Bert said ‘Get those titties away, your Mom is right back there’, as well as telling us ‘You’re all fucking beautiful’. Before playing ‘Numb’, their newest single, Bert had everyone boo the band, and told us that at the end of the song, we had to boo instead of cheer, in deep voices and as loud as we could. Only half the crowd seemed to remember this, but everyone got with the program after a few seconds.
Their set included a bunch of older and newer songs, as well as a few crowd participation moments, from everyone flipping them off during ‘Fuck You’, every single person singing along to older classic ‘The Taste Of Ink’ and my personal favourite, an entire crowd wall of death before ‘Pretty, Handsome, Awkward’. There was also a guest spot from Papa Roach‘s Jacoby Shaddix who joined the band on stage to sing ‘Blood On My Hands‘, which everyone went mad over. For a band that has been around as long as they have, and with the struggles Bert has publicly had with drugs and alcohol, both his clean and unclean vocals are still fantastic. Speaking of his struggles, we really need to kill the whole shoey business, especially to people who are sober, as Bert has been for the last 10 years. However, he was more than happy to partake, with a very good catch of the shoe thrown to him from the crowd that he filled with Red Bull, and then expertly threw back to it’s owner. The Used closed with ‘A Box Full Of Sharp Objects‘, which actually turned into a cover of Nirvana‘s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’, and included a dive into the crowd from Bert, you could tell just from the energy in the room how happy the Melbourne crowd was to have them back on our soil.
The early part of Papa Roach‘s set featured an epic, energetic cover of The Prodigy‘s ‘Firestarter‘, which included Jacoby encouraging the crowd to get onto their knees for a big explosion of energy and jumping up. A good 60% of the crowd did as we were asked, and it looked so cool! Big props to the abnd’s sound engineer as the mix was perfect, each instrument able to be heard and Jacoby’s vocals crisp and sharp. There was a lot of interaction between the band and the crowd, and Jocoby’s only ‘problem’ with the crowd was the people who stayed in their seats, but a lot of them were on their feet after he encouraged them up.
Papa Roach took full advantage of their touring buddies, and as Jacoby joined Bert on stage for a song, Bert re-entered the stage to join Jacoby for ‘No Apologies’. Speaking of being joined on stage, Papa Roach just finished up the Amazing Things tour in the UK where they shared the stage with British rockers Don Broco, who also happen to be touring Australia next week, however, they came out early and Rob Damiani joined Papa Roach for ‘Between Angels & Insects’, and I don’t know why it works, but Jacoby and Rob sounded fabulous together and it was a great treat for the Melbourne crowd.
Papa Roach‘s set included a mix of old and new songs, as well as a great selection of covers of tracks by The Prodigy, The Cure, and Dr Dre and the combination really brought something new and exciting to the show and lifted the vibe just that extra bit higher.
Whilst covering ‘Lullaby Jam’ by The Cure, Jacoby took a chance to head out into the seated section of the crowd and managed to get from one side to the other during the song and jam session. Once Jacoby made his way back to the stage, he took a moment to tell us ‘No matter what your head says, no matter what you feel, you are important. Pain is temporary.’ as well as talking about how sometimes pain is necessary in life to teach you lessons and to help you to learn and move forward, before encouraging everyone to get their phone lights and lighters up before playing ‘Scars’. I know a few people around me were brought to tears, and MCA looked beautiful lit up by the crowd. ‘Born For Greatness’ was the closing track, which merged in and out of Queen‘s ‘We Will Rock You‘, before the band joined Jacoby at the front to bow to finish the night.
The whole night was high energy from start to finish, and the fact that the show was on a Monday night, I think that just goes to show how much Melbournians will commit and come out to support the live music scene. Hopefully coldrain join us again for a headline tour soon as I’d love to see them play a full set, The Used and Papa Roach are always welcomed by Australian crowds, and tonight proves that both bands have still got the energy, the hype, and the draw to be selling out arenas.
Gig Review by Kelsey Trevan @kelsey_139
Papa Roach setlist
Kill The Noise
Get Away With Murder
Cut The Line
Blood Brothers/Dead Cell
Firestarter (The Prodigy cover)
…To Be Loved
Lullaby Jam (The Cure cover)
No Apologies (With Bert McCracken)
None Of The Above
Still D.R.E (Dr Dre cover)
Between Angels & Insects (with Rob Damiani)
Born For Greatness
Photo Gallery by Ophelia Symons. Insta: @opheliavictoria
Please credit Wall of Sound and Ophelia Symons if you repost photos!
Papa Roach & The Used continue their co-headline tour
April 27 @ University of Wollongong
April 28 @ Hordern Pavilion, Sydney
April 30 @ Fortitude Music Hall, Bris – SOLD OUT