Papa Roach rocks Black Friday 

Papa Roach played a mean show at House of Blues on Black Friday. Courtesy photo.

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On Black Friday, the House of Blues was home to a sizzling show courtesy of hard-rockers Papa Roach.

Though the major shopping events that day may have caused the attendance of the show to decrease slightly, there was no question that those in attendance were devoted fans eager for a dose of the rock only the Roach can bring.

The group took to the stage climactically with booming intro music and a surprisingly large stage set-up. The drums sat on top of an immense silver riser, flanked by six rows of moving lights, all spinning in time to the music.

When the band took to the stage and launched into “Days of War,” the crowd was extremely vocal in their pleasure but surprisingly lacking in motion. Though there were occasionally small mosh pits and even a “wall of death,” the concert was tame considering how much chaos used to ensue during earlier shows in Papa Roach’s career.

Front man Jacoby Shaddix was on point as always and led the crowd through sing-alongs as he ran, hopped and damn-near skipped his way across the stage. Shaddix is undoubtedly the selling point for the group, as his voice and un-ignorable stage presence are truly what sets the group aside from their radio-rock peers.

While the group’s showmanship was unquestionable, the set list left much to be desired. 2002’s LoveHateTragedy, probably the group’s creative apex, was completely ignored and only six tracks between their debut album, Infest and Getting Away With Murder were performed.

Thankfully, the group was able to take the songs from their latest two efforts and make them into wonderful live experiences, as opposed to their mediocre recorded counterparts.

Songs that benefited markedly from being performed live included “Into The Light,” “Hollywood Whore” and especially “Crash,” which was utterly crushing.

Working as direct support to Papa Roach was Los Angeles-based rock group After Midnight Project. The up-and-coming group put on an energetic live show that will no doubt see them headlining their own tours by the end of next year.

Vocalist Jason Evigan is a complete madman when it comes to stage presence. He paraded across the stage manically, inciting the crowd to sing along to the group’s relatively unheard music. The amazing thing was that he was able to get the audience into it and have them remember the words — a feat not to be taken lightly coming from a band that has just begun to edge their way into the mainstream.

During a heavier number in the set, Evigan brought a giant drum onstage and accented the music with a heavy amount of percussion. The sound and concept of the extra percussion instantly brought Slipknot to mind, though in AMP’s case, the extra percussion could actually be heard and added a deeper texture to the music.

The single track that stood out the most in the group’s set was “The Criminal.” For this track, Evigan donned an acoustic guitar.

The song seemingly began as a soft number in the set, but once the chorus kicked in, it was back to high-octane rock. The transition continued back and forth within the song and created an amazing contrast that showcased the band’s talent to play in many different styles all at once.

The Last Vegas also opened the show.

Overall, the show was amazing and well worth the ticket price.

Expect to hear After Midnight Project blowing up the radio in the near future and do not miss their or Papa Roach’s live show next time they roll into town.