1 December 2013
Featuring Middle Class Rut, American Fangs
Written by Sean Kelly, Vocalist of Set Your Sails
As I walked into the Pyramids, I could tell that this was a show that had been sold out for a while. Despite this, it had a weird subdued feeling.
American Fangs kick things off with their first song which makes you want to nod your head. The lead vocalist struts round the stage with a swagger, making me think they are bigger over the pond.
They move straight into the second song which quickens up the pace but seems to never kick in; merely focussing on the same guitar riff. The lead vocalists range however, is impressive, reminding me of an early Jason of LetLive crossed with Daryl Palumbo of Glassjaw
One issue I have however is that American Fangs openly admit to the crowd this is their first time in the UK. Not a problem, if you tell the audience what your songs are called!
Man in the Sun is the fifth song of their set and seems to slow down proceedings. Don’t get me wrong, American Fangs literally spill musical ability. However, they give nothing to remember them by.
Their final song Get the Fuck On is the only song of their set that explodes into life, with an American hard rock risqué riff you could compare to LetLive.
American Fangs are a band that screams out for one catchy tune to remember them by. As separate musicians they are fantastic and tight knit. The lead singer has charisma and the fans in this packed venue warmed to him very quickly. Unfortunately their music is just not memorable. ALT-MU RATING – 6.5/10
Middle Class Rut Deserving of a Headline Spot
Middle Class Rut however literally blow the room apart with their opening song, bleeding passion through every note. The song itself is simplistic in structure yet fuck me, it’s impressive.
“Born too late” is the second song and the intensity does not stop. The bands stage presence is frantic and matches a track which is unfortunately over all too soon, leaving me craving more.
Wasting no time moving into track three the very first second gets my attention. Dirty to the bone and sounding like Feed the Rhino, the band are seemingly improving as their set lengthens.”Dead Eye” is the fourth track in their set and has a different feel to their other songs. It is more ambient and expresses a band with more than one dimension to them.
“Lifelong Day Shift” however returns the frenzied pace with a song I can imagine driving down the freeway too. Being a musician myself, it’s not something I would normally listen to; yet this band reaches out and makes you want to buy their record. This band somehow manages to mix frantic punky tracks with an odd sounding 70s rock but weirdly, I like it!
Middle Class Rut made masses of new fans tonight. Great stage presence and an interesting sound proves they deserve to headline their own tour over here. ALT-MU RATING 8.5/10
As the lights go down and the crowd roars, smart phones illuminate Papa Roach as they take to the stage with an intro that gives you shivers. Despite playing shows for years, they are jumping round the stage like they are all still 18! “Burn” is their first track and Jacoby Shaddix has the crowd raring!
The band move on to “Blood Brothers”, followed swiftly by “Give Me Back My Life” Their new and old songs blend really well and show how the band have moved with the times whilst still keeping their identity.
Any young vocalists out there learning how to take control of a crowd need to watch Jacoby.. He reaches out to the very back of the Pyramids and you can’t help but feel dragged in.
“Angels And Insects” is their next classic track and they have somehow seemed to improve their older songs, performing with an intensity like they are brand new!
“Where Did The Angels Go” kicks in and I can feel the ground moving to this song! With its breakdown esque bridge it appeals to the metalcore that I love, while combining an eerie backing track which resonates through your body.
Taking it down slightly with “Forever”, Jacoby the puppet master gets the whole of the Pyramids to sing the verse. As a vocalist myself, I can truly say this is a dream for any singer/screamer that takes to the stage
“Leader of the Broken Hearts” shows a mature Papa Roach that I believe any music fan could listen to and enjoy. It ticks multiple boxes and could fit into anyone’s music collection. It has a feel of southern rock meeting stadium rock with choruses that you can’t help but chant back. Jacoby decides to take a walk around the Pyramids which I could imagine is the band manager’s worst nightmare. However, it’s a nice touching moment in what Papa Roach call “a good old fashioned rock show”
“Still Swinging” and “Born With Nothing” roll round and Papa Roach are still playing with the same intensity and raw aggression they started with! Love them or hate them they are basically sticking their finger up to all the haters and doing what they love!
My personal favourite “Scars” and “Life Line” follow for the Sacremento lads and the crowd are almost drowning out the music! They have one of the most dedicated fan bases I have seen in all my time going to shows and their stage performance has not relented almost one hour into their performance
Its finale “To Be Loved” which leaves the crowd literally erupting. Somehow stepping it up another gear, they are jumping around the stage like it’s their first song!
After leaving the stage to chants of one more song, Papa Roach have somehow mustered the energy to return with “Getting Away With Murder”, a classic in their arsenal and sounding better than the recording.
“Dead Cell” continues the encore and Papa Roach are leaving Portsmouth with a bang. This song always reminded me of Rage Against The Machine and makes me feel young again!
It wouldn’t be a Papa Roach gig without nu-metal anthem “Last Resort” as their final and what a belter to finish on. If you were into Alternative music and had not heard this track, then what rock have you been living under! The crowd go mental when it kicks in and everyone in the room are the new Papa Roach vocalists. The boys have made the crowd wait for Last Resort and Portsmouth are showing their appreciation!! ALT-MU RATING 10/10
The whole night was full of nostalgia and pure professionalism, if you haven’t seen Papa Roach live your missing out!
Review by Set Your Sails vocalist, Sean Kelly
Live photography by Hannah Mesquitta