And Papa Roach, from the opening lines of "Between Angels and Insects," courtesy of its 2000 debut, "Infest," had the audience by its collective throat and refused to release it for the next hour. Shaddix, who has matured beyond repeatedly smashing a microphone into his bloody forehead, frenetically moved around the stage. Before the song even ended, fans, who packed the lower level and main floor of the arena, gave Papa Roach a standing ovation and Shaddix ate it up by baiting listeners to clap even more aggressively.
To kick off "... To Be Loved," otherwise known as the theme song to WWE’s "Raw," Shaddix led the audience in a chorus of "hey ho, let's go" from the Ramones' "Blitzkrieg Bop." Instead of just yelling at fans to get out of their seats, Shaddix literally went into the stands and pulled people up to get them involved. The California-based band also debuted new songs from its forthcoming album, "Metamorphosis," including the '80s-inspired "Lifeline" and the moody "Hollywood Whore," the latter of which was dedicated to Paris Hilton and Britney Spears.
"Is that the jam or is that the motherf---ing jam?" Shaddix emphatically said about "Hollywood Whore."
The lewd stage banter and raw vocals of Buckcherry singer Josh Todd overshadowed his ability to entertain. Shaking a tambourine and running the length of the stage, Todd just couldn't match the charisma of Weeks and Shaddix. Aside from that, he frequently sang and spoke of drug and alcohol abuse--something that came off as disingenuous, given he's reportedly been sober for some time. His vocals were decidedly strong during the ballad "Sorry," a crowd favorite. But he couldn't get the audience revved up like Shaddix.
It's not that co-headliners Avenged Sevenfold were sub par; the band was very polished and precise. Its hour-long set was toned down compared to its concert DVD "Live in the LBC & Diamonds in the Rough," with exotic dancers and pyro left out of its performance. Guitarists Zacky Vengeance and Synyster Gates seamlessly intertwined harmonic guitar riffs. The countrified "Dear God" and the aggressive "Scream" were the highlights of the set, which closed out the night.