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They Took No Prisoners
Papa Roach
After the set concluded, the crowd chanted for the California-based band to sing its hit song, "Last Resort," as if they wouldn't let it leave before doing so.
by Josh Davidson
Jacoby Shaddix
Papa Roach Front Man Jacoby Shaddix
(Credit: Adam Bielawski)

They took no prisoners and left nothing on the stage. That best describes how Papa Roach delivered its razor sharp fistful of rage to a sold out crowd at the Starland Ballroom (570 Jernee Mill Rd., Sayreville, NJ) on Nov. 24.

Roach's singer Jacoby Shaddix pulled the band's diehard fans into the show, as they sang along to verses and choruses with complete accuracy.  Right on cue, they delivered Shaddix back to the stage after he tumbled into the crowd and drifted on top of a sea of hands.

From the moment he stepped on stage, Shaddix made a clear impact on the young crowd. He made frequent off-stage appearances with his wireless microphone in the left and right sides of the venue. The band and its fans banged its heads and pumped its fists through tracks such as "Time is Running Out," "Scars," "Getting Away With Murder" and "Take Me." Each song was played true to its studio form, but with an authoritative live energy.

After the set concluded, the crowd chanted for the California-based band to sing its hit song, "Last Resort," as if they wouldn't let it leave before doing so. So, they did. The song's riff, heard on radio stations across the country, burst off of Jerry Horton's guitar to start Roach's one-song encore.

Prior to Roach, the Tennessee-based theatrical wizards 10 Years delivered a brilliant collection of meaningful alternative metal to the clearly impressed crowd. Singer Jesse Hasek left imprinted lyrical messages at the Starland through a crisp stage presence and assorted vocal tones. Though its style of music differed from that of Roach, the band played with a similar energy as it climbed stage monitors, thrust their instruments into the air and scampered around the stage.

Tobin Esperance
Papa Roach Bassist Tobin Esperance (Credit: Adam Bielawski)

The five-piece act carried the crowd through a musical journey, while it showcased its depth and proficiency. Hasek sang anthems of human rights issues and the benefits of persistence through life's hardships. Roach and 10 Years are a pair of bands that have survived and thrived on the same persistence and heart that is represented many times in their songs and their delivery of them.

After two final shows with Roach, 10 Years will tour Japan with Dir En Grey before returning to the U.S. and touring with Sevendust.

To open the evening, Meriwether put forth a set of straightforward, raw metal with the melodic, screechy guitar leads of Steve Bergeron. Drew Reilley laid down solid rhythm guitar, while singing true-to-life lyrics with sincerity. Bassist John Barbier locked in tight with the pulsating drum beats of Bret Schexnayder.

The night brought together three bands with unique styles, each that have progressed towards different stages of their careers. Each took charge of their sets like seasoned veterans of the stage. True fans demand a supreme live show from the bands they follow, something which this trio of bands delivered.

Josh Davidson
Josh Davidson has written music feature articles for Jersey Style and served as the Jersey Shore rock columnist for Steppin' Out Magazine. Other music writing credits include Aquarian Weekly, Jersey Beat, Backstreets and njcoast.com. He has written free-lance for the Asbury Park Press' Community Sports section and has written featured articles for its news section, as well as covering campus news and sports weekly for the Signal, the College of New Jersey's (formerly Trenton State College) student newspaper. He has worked as a staff writer for The Independent, and his work for Greater Media Newspapers has also been published in the News Transcript. He is a former beat reporter for the Ocean County Observer who presently is a news writer for Symbolic Systems Inc. supporting the US Army's Knowledge Center. His music writing covers a vast range of topics, from the current cover band craze, highs and lows of the original scene, to the early days of the Jersey Shore rock scene in Asbury Park. He is also a musician, having written hundreds of songs as a singer/songwriter, and playing them out as a solo/acoustic artist. He has also played with cover bands, including It Doesn't Matter, and several original bands, including as the guitarist for the solo project of singer/songwriter Dave Eric. He continues to work on solo material and is presently the guitar player for Jersey Breeze.
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