As the summer concert season nears an end, it’s not going out without a bang as Bad Wolves, Asking Alexandria and headliners Papa Roach performed a sweltering set at The Hollywood Palladium on August 31st. Actor Josh Brolin (Goonies, Gangster Squad, Avengers) was on hand to introduce the first band, L.A.’s own Bad Wolves.
Bad Wolves has quickly become known as one of the best opening acts in heavy metal. Still running with the success of their first album Disobey (2018), John Boecklin (drums), Chris Cain (guitar), Doc Coyle (guitar), Kyle Konkiel (bass) and Tommy Vext (lead vocals) walked onstage with all the energy and intensity of a firecracker that had just been lit. Vext immediately commanded the stage as they performed Learn To Live and three mosh pits instantly broke out. Vext fed off the energy of the crowd and the crowd fed off his as he took a few moments to thank everyone for being there and for supporting their music. Vext asked the audience to turn to the person next to them and give them a hug, even if they are a stranger as he spoke about not judging others. “It can look like everyone’s lives are better than ours and we constantly measure ourselves to other people especially on Instagram and Facebook. We don’t always know what people are going through and sometimes it takes a hug to make things better,” Vext said as the crowd roared and he brought awareness to the rate of suicides these days. Bad Wolves went on to play some of their other hits like
Remember When, Better The Devil and Truth Or Dare from their first album. Vext took another moment to speak heart to heart to the crowd to say “anyone can be up here on stage like we are today. There’s a lot of people we’ve been in bands with and a lot of people have come and gone who inspired us. So thank you. Thank you for continuing to make music and create art. No matter what you want to be or what you want to do, keep doing it,” the crowd cheered. “Life is full of boring bullshit and we need to come in here and get it out. I want all the ladies in here to make some noise. All of you that came here with a date or just some guy you put in the friend zone like I was for four years,” Vext says as he points out his longtime friend turned girlfriend in the balcony. Vext asked the women in the audience to get on their date’s shoulders for the next song Hear Me Now which was originally recorded as a duet with female rock singer Diamante. Afterward, the mosh pits broke back out and Bad Wolves finished strong with I’ll Be There, No Masters and at one point had everyone in the Hollywood Palladium on their knees (literally) ready to jump up on command. Before playing Officer Down, Vext yelled “I want you guys to bum rush each other like this is a Suicidal Tendencies concert!” Bad Wolves’ set ended on a heartfelt note with the multi-platinum cover of Cranberries song Zombie, which was supposed to feature the late Dolores O’Riordan, but her sudden passing forced Bad Wolves to record it without her. Vext requested the lights to dim and for everyone to sing so loud that all our loved ones could hear while holding up their cell phones and lighting the place up in memory of O’Riordan. It was a pure example of how the metal community is bonded through music.
Asking Alexandria took the stage next. Danny Worsnop (vocals) has a range fit for a rock opera (if Sebastian Bach can play Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar, anything is possible). Joined by his bandmates Ben Bruce (guitar), Cameron Liddell (guitar), Sam Bentley (bass) and James Cassells (drums), the band haven’t had an album out since their self-titled record in 2017 and their new album is said to be coming out sometime in the near future. As cannons of smoke shot into the air and red lights lit up the stage, Asking Alexandria blew the roof off The Palladium with their new single The Violence while the music video played behind them followed by hits like Into The Fire, Where Did It Go and The Death of Me. The audience crowded around closer to the stage as they slowed it down a bit with Vultures, Someone Somewhere. Worsnop continuously joked in between songs as he sported a yellow plaid suit, but by the end of the set, he had forgone the jacket and rocked the vest look. There was another outpouring of mosh pits and a few minor casualties, but that didn’t stop the show. In fact, fans were seen helping the few who got injured and then everything went back to normal. Throughout the set, the lighting and videos behind Asking Alexandria were beyond epic. The stage cleared and Worsnop came out with a guitar and said he wanted to prove he is a real musician. He began playing and strummed his way into an electrifying guitar solo as the other bandmates came back and they played Moving On and When The Lights Come On. Worsnop addressed the audience thanking the staff and everyone for coming out to support the show as well as Bad Wolves and Papa Roach. Then jokingly he said, “and thank you to me” which got the crowd to cheer until Worsnop said, “don’t laugh, that was stupid.” Asking Alexandria concluded their explosive set with Alone In A Room.
After Bad Wolves and Asking Alexandria created a monumental frenzy of heavy metal and endless intensity, there was a long break while the stage was set for the final act, Papa Roach. Jacob Shaddix (lead vocalist) joined his bandmates Jerry Horton (lead guitar), Tobin Esperanza (bass) and Tony Palermo (drums) for a tremendous display of stage lights and a background LED-lit screen opening with the namesake of the tour and one of Papa Roach’s new singles, Who Do You Trust? Firing on all cylinders, they plowed ahead with their 2004 chart-topper Getting Away With Murder and the first “thank you” speech from Shaddix. After thanking Bad Wolves and Asking Alexandria and instigating an even higher level of excitement, Papa Roach played Broken Home, Help, Gravity and Shaddix said “let’s take it up another notch. I want to see everyone jump on this next song,” which turned out to be a cover of Song 2 by Blur. Drummer Tony Palermo broke out in a drum solo and when two mosh bits started back up, Papa Roach played To Be Loved. Shaddix asked who had been a fan since 1999 and then 1993 exclaiming “we started this in 1993 and everyone thought we were fucking nuts but here we are 26 years later,” and once again the crowd was so incredibly engaged the cheering just kept going. Papa Roach continued their set with Blood Brothers and She Loves Me Not. As Shaddix introduced the next song Come Around, he said “music kicks us out of the darkness of ourselves and brings us back into the light. The next song is about staying with your friends and family while they go through hell. No matter what. Love them when they’re crazy and through their failures and forgiving them through all the shit. Because that is what is going to save our crazy asses here on planet Earth.” This was the part of the show where things got even more personal with Forever followed by an instrumental break where Shaddix opened up about his near-death experience in Las Vegas, Nevada. “I had twenty staples and blood running down my face. I had hit bottom. I turned and looked at myself in the mirror and for a moment I had no idea who the fuck was looking back at me. I don’t know if anybody here has been through something like that but that shit is scary. I realized I had a decision to make in my life. Keep digging and falling further into the darkness or take this opportunity and turn my life around. I have been digging myself out of that shit for 15 years,” the crowd roared. “I decided to continue to ride this train with my brothers here and all you beautiful people here. So, thank you for being the life force of Papa Roach.” Forever and Scars were next, and as Shaddix exited the stage for a short break, Horton, Tobin, and Palermo jammed and it was absolutely mind-blowing. A few more favorites followed: Between Angels and Insects, Renegade Music and finally Born For Greatness. Papa Roach came back out for a demanded finale with Last Resort which was the perfect ending to a memorable show.
The energy and liveliness each band brought that night was infectious and the house was packed from beginning to end with no shortage of mosh pits the entire time. It was a night full of inspiring words and pure rock n’ roll and everyone left feeling better than when they arrived.
Hopefully this Trifecta will consider touring together again in the future.
CLICK HERE to view more PAPA ROACH pics from the show.
CLICK HERE to view more ASKING ALEXANDRIA pics from the show.
CLICK HERE to view more BAD WOLVES pics from the show.