Friday night fans were stoked ready for the Papa Roach show at the legendary Stone Pony Summerstage.
Asbury Park is a great place to see music. The Stone Pony has been putting on shows since the ’70s. The best part of this venue is when the weather turns warm and the “backyard” opens up for fans to have a great evening amongst a backdrop of fresh air, beach breezes, and some awesome acts.
The show started with the heavy metal supergroup Bad Wolves. I missed the opening of their set, but I was able to hear sounds pouring off the stage as I trekked over to the Stone Pony, thanks to the wind blowing the music in our direction as we got closer to the venue.
Walking into the graveled parking lot there was a sea of black with fans reaching as far as the back bar. They played a much longer set than a typical opening band. This was great since I was interested in hearing them live.
Even if you are not a big heavy metal music fan you may find something in soft and somber lyrics from vocalist Tomy Vext. They just pair perfectly with the hard-hitting rock anthems. Bad Wolves played a good set with tracks off their latest album Disobey. They had a tight sound that was only surpassed by the energy and love from Vext which was most evident right before they ended their set. They finished with a cover of The Cranberries 1994 hit “Zombie.” This track was a fan favorite hitting #1 on the U.S. Mainstream Rock Chart for Billboard. Vext boasted how this track beat out some of the top pop contenders making it a great win for rock music. This song always gives me chills when I hear it. The crowd was excited as well and sang along with every note. (see the video below)
After about a 30-minute stage set up Asking Alexandria was up next. I did not know much about this band prior to coming to this show. Once they started playing I was really surprised by how heavy the music was. Especially since you would not expect this out of a guy wearing a plaid three-piece suit.
They opened with “The Violence” their latest single out just this past month. They rocked the stage hard with their interesting mix of music. You suit-wearing Brit would belt out hardcore screamo stuff. I enjoyed their music and energy. They interacted with the crowd asking them questions and telling us how they got an email that they were not allowed to curse on stage. I am assuming this is because the sound carries all the way across the street to the boardwalk where nonconcert goers would be offended.
It made it hard to look at the stage with the setting sun directly in the east right in the eyes of the audience. The one downside of facing away from the ocean. There was a big presence of fans in the crowd. I saw multiple people wearing Asking Alexandria t-shirts pressed against the front row barricade rocking out to their set.
They played about an hour set which I am sure fans were loving. They had an eclectic mix of music which has been described as metalcore. Their set fused elements of hard metal, punk, hardcore, and grindcore. The set featured tracks with slow breakdowns, intense rock riffs, and heavy percussions. The vocals went back and forth from screaming to regular singing during the choruses for a lighter sound. Another track that stood out was “Into The Fire” (see video below). There were some neat smoke machines going during this track which made it pretty awesome.
By the time Papa Roach took the stage the sun had set on the summer stage. Fans were super hyped up for the main event. They started in with some cool lights and you knew the band was going to take the stage. The guys came out and manned their instruments. Then out came lead vocalist Jacoby Shaddix sporting a mohawk, jeans, and sneakers.
They opened with the track “Who Do You Trust?” the title track off their latest album. This was just the tune to get get the crowd going. They started circle pits and crowd surfers were moving through the crowd.
Papa roach has been around since the early ’90s and it was cool to see that there were so many generations of fans. A lot of the audience brought their kids to take part in the music. The front row had a mom with her teenage son and some younger kids with headphones on.
The nicest part of the set was when they did a cover of “Firestarter” by Prodigy and dedicated it to lead singer Keith Flint who had taken his own life earlier this year. Behind him played the video in remembrance.
They played a great mix of old and new tracks that delighted all the concertgoers. Watching around me everyone was singing and rocking out. The circle pit was going with moshers and people were being passed towards the front of the stage as they surfed the crowd.
Papa Roach brought the energy and fire to their set and it delighted fans. For me, my favorite tracks were “Between Angels and Insects,” “Scars,” “Getting Away with Murder,” and “She Loves Me Not.”
The band closed with the ever-popular fan-favorite “Last Resort” and the crowd went hog wild. At the end of the song they threw their guitar picks onstage, took a bow and left. After watching their set last night their music will sure to be in my playlist.