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THE USED, PAPA ROACH, COLDRAIN: Adelaide Entertainment Centre 23/04/23

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Words by Will Oakeshott

Pix by Dave Rubinich

“If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.” Albert Einstein.

Isn’t it remarkable how even some of the greatest minds in history have such an astronomical affinity with music? Essentially that is the eloquence of the art-form, the connection. How the musicianship can harness and provoke energy as well as adrenaline. How the lyrics can encourage emotions from practically the entire spectrum and most importantly, how these sentiments stay engrained with an enthusiast for possibly their entire lifetime. The final sentence in the quotation above is one of focus for this article; as the majority of people grow, they undergo change both mentally and physically – imagine assigning a soundtrack to each bookmark of change in the story of their lives? Furthermore, having each chapter represented by a different song or album? In a sense, the co-headliners of this nostalgic tour could be envisioned as exactly that, a marker of one’s development in their lifetime. For the capacity crowd that filled the auditorium, they understandably wanted to live or re-live this chapter and their experience can be relived “time and time again”.

Japan’s Coldrain were to a degree the underdogs of this tour; having formed in 2007, the melodic metalcore quintet were the teenage dark horse in comparison to their 20 and 30-year-old counterparts on this line-up. However, the dark horse has the capacity to rise to prominence and this five-piece were already galloping before the starter’s pistol had been fired. Their sprint began with Revolution, a melodic nu-metalcore fusion with electronic flourishes, aggressive growls and a massive chorus that is accentuated with the “Wo-oh-oh” hook. The audience was almost instantly entranced and many were unconsciously taking part in the sing-along. The Revelation was then the dark horse’s buck, a breakdown driven thunderclap which lead into a groove section before a metallic hardcore rush only then to undergo a dreamy deceleration to a harmonious chorus that would have Memphis May Fire burning with jealousy.

Mayday followed this soundscape flawlessly, which was then slowed down by the pop-rock guided Side Effects that probably belonged in Tillian Pearson’s discography more than Coldrain’s. Paradise (Kill The Silence) closed the set with the track calling upon the earlier heavier concoction of Sleeping With Sirens, but with a more refined delivery. The five-piece had acquired the growing crowd’s attention and were able to successfully execute the “sit down to jump up” exercise with the majority of spectators in the room.

Although this performance was a literal whirlwind of pace, the athleticism and professionalism in the band’s artistic exhibition was immaculate, and they undoubtedly won a lot of fans over. If Coldrain are able to undertake experimentation with their sound away from the slight American influence, they could become the unicorn of the heavy music world.

It was possible that a coin flip may have decided who would “headline” this event; there was a perceivable camaraderie between the two main acts, so the: “who went when” element in all likelihood had little effect in the grand scheme of things. When the dazzling strobe lights begun and the scratchy riff of Kill The Noise blasted out of the Entertainment Centre’s surrounding speakers, the support act (of sorts) in this nostalgic narrative was to be California’s Papa Roach. With the boundless energy immediately presented by the ‘Roach, it is truly astonishing to appreciate that Jacoby Shaddix has been destroying stages for three decades – he still attacks with the same vigor and speed as an adolescent cheetah. On the other hand though, he also purrs in appreciation of his fans like a kitten.

Getting Away With Murder was the first metaphoric hunting call to the spectators who relished in being the musical prey of the anthem. Help then asked for a pack mentality and loving atmosphere as Mr Shaddix admitted that if it weren’t for this music, he wouldn’t have a purpose, that it saved his life. A merger of the hits Blood Brothers (the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 soundtrack was joyously mentioned and flaunted) as well as Dead Cell elevated the collective heartbeat of the venue to 112 km/hr. However, this predatory assault was still in the “pursuit” stage.

Broken Home varied up the pace with a sample of Eminem’s Lose Yourself included to claw in a sing-along; a cover of The Prodigy’s Firestarter was demonstrated to an overwhelming effect. Jacoby affectionately acknowledged the loss of the EDM legend Keith Flint and the quintet ignited the attendees into a frenzy. A call-out for the infamous chant by The Ramones Hey Ho, Let’s Go” and guidance into …To Be Loved worked sublimely.

J.S. allowed the Roaches both on and off-stage to catch their breath with an instrumental intermission of The Cure’s Lullaby and then proceeded to discuss the importance of mental health and support. Scars was basically a requirement at this juncture and the venue was lit up by mobile phones and cigarette lighters. Bert McCracken from The Used then joined the band for a bromantic duet of No Apologies which almost impossibly merged to a sequential sample of Rage Against The Machine’s Bulls On Parade alongside None Of The Above. Another cover of Dr. Dre’s Still D.R.E. led into the remix version of Swerve that echoed Linkin Park in a confusing yet courageous fashion; however, the perplexing backdrop was to be short-lived.

Between Angels And Insects then Last Resort had all hunted patrons in attendance relishing the assault. An encore was demanded, and the cheetah pack returned for one last dash with Born For Greatness (with a quick Queen We Will Rock You fragment thrown in); it became hard to believe that the main event was still to come.

If Jacoby Shaddix is the cheetah, then Bert McCraken from The Used is the meerkat; but, he is the equivalent of Timon from The Lion King. A bit audacious, a bit troublesome and a lot of fun. Suitably Take It Away announced the quartet’s entrance, as if Mr McCracken was being called upon to present his antics. The Bird And The Worm added a Tim Burton effect that was craved by the aficionados which boosted the eruption of Listening. A serious partial lecture in mental health and positive thinking then led into, rather oddly, the heavier Blow Me – however, the encouragement was to recognise the negative aspect of that track’s lyricism and escape it.

This is Bert’s artistry, his ventures into being an interpretive poet instead of just a front man. I Caught Fire invited some love-driven pop back into the exhibition which was then transformed to a rebellious punk orchestra in Fuck You. Timon was always an adventurous character.

The Taste Of Ink moved the city with how the admirers bounced along to the admiringly very infectious boppy beat only to be redirected with B. Mc’s Shakespearean quotation and ballad All That I’ve Got where he actually appeared his most jubilant. Buried Myself Alive became the heartbreak anthem for the night (the word exchange to “fucking kiss my ass” was rather vivid) and rather surprisingly a Shoey was performed by the vocalist with an audience member’s shoe (a non-alcoholic beverage as Bert is 10 years sober). What a strange (maybe) memory to include to the night.

New single Numb from the forthcoming album which will be released next month was broadcasted and responded with “boos” that was asked for by the quartet – Timon is always cheeky. Honestly though, it has the progressive nature of Chiodos and is probably some of the four-piece’s most interesting work.

The cheetah Shaddix returned for bromance duet part two in Blood On My Hands after a Macbeth quotation to enlighten Bert’s theatrics. Pretty Handsome Awkward augmented the artistry of the Shakespearean venture which cleverly introduced A Box Of Sharp Objects rather elegantly. Mr McCraken has always had a penchant for Kurt Cobain and therefore a methodical exert from Smells Like Teen Spirit was used as a farewell letter for the evening.

Do you prefer a dark horse? A cheetah? Or Timon the meerkat? Three different animals with three different energies – although, in the end see YOUR life in terms of music, each has their own symphony.

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