By Stephanie Stevens

The Palladium in Worcester, Mass. has been an establishment in the music world where bands, who have had any level of success, have performed at when they come to New England. It is an iconic place for the artists and fans alike. If you have had any type of success with your band you have either slid, moshed, headbanged, stage dived or poured your heart out on these stages inside the venue.

Tonight, the bands on the WHO DO WE TRUST? Tour package have been no strangers to this venue. PAPA ROACH, ASKING ALEXANDRIA and BAD WOLVES have enjoyed leaving their blood, sweat and probably some tears on these stages in the past, but tonight was something even more special as this year the Palladium was granted outside access to summer concerts. The parking lot was converted to two killer stages, and starting today into tonight, local bands killed the side stage to warm up the music fans for what was going to be a solid and impactful main stage evening. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect when BAD WOLVES took the stage.

The gentleman in BAD WOLVES are no strangers to the rock world since they come from other bands throughout the years, but these dudes together bring strength, charisma and showmanship like no other. It was my first time seeing them and I had no idea what a connection within each other and the fans that they had. The energy was over the top. With songs in this set like “LEARN TO LIVE,” “OFFICER DOWN,” and “BETTER THE DEVIL,” you were punched with aggressive and powerful soundscapes. Singer Tommy Vext, for a solid and massive guy, can work the stage and get some fierce jumps in, bringing the energy up on every level. His way of interacting with the crowd is emotionally accepted and powerful, especially his words on suicide, loved ones and the power of being positive and uplifting to others. The guys rocked it out with some mellower rock tunes like “REMEMBER WHEN, HEAR ME NOW” and ended the night on a quite emotional vibe with the CRANBERRIES cover, “ZOMBIE,” which had the whole venue singing along and girls coming out of the crowd in tears. A band that can move you on so many levels and be the most humble people are going to go far in this community, and these guys are pure perfection.

Snippet live set of Bad Wolves link

ASKING ALEXANDRIA was up next and I guess I was a virgin to these guys. Also, since I never saw them live, I say shame on me since they have played at this venue a few times. I’ve always dug the band’s music, but I was never able to see them live, I was so happy in this atmosphere on this night that it came to be real. Because yet again, I don’t know if it was the perfect weather, the atmosphere of an outside stage or the crowd, but this band killed it and they were probably the most humorous and crowd participating band of the evening. Singer Danny Worsnop was not only killing it on vocals, but was also the best comedian of the night. Plus, this band had style. The fashion sense tonight was on point. Music wise, however, the guys opened the set with the newest single, “THE VIOLENCE,” which was spunky and all out “in-your-face” intensity when the chorus came a blazing, waking up the crowd and getting them even more into the evening. Keeping the energy up as they just rampaged into “INTO THE FIRE.”  I also got into this track in my car, but seeing it being animated with head swirls, along with the compassion and power of the band using the stage to its advantage was stellar to watch. So many jaw dropping moments with songs like the aggressively addicting “RUN FREE,” to the metal assault of “THE DEATH OF ME.” The band even slowed it down with a vocal acoustic intro that gave me goose bumps with “MOVING ON” and they finished this powerful set with “ALONE IN A ROOM.” These were the highlights and in between even more appetizing tones and moods soared through the evening sky. But I am truly ashamed I never seen these guys before tonight, and I know for a fact I will not be missing out next time cause they really made me feel alive, and I stayed fully attentive through the whole set.

Snippet of Asking Alexandria live set

What can I say about PAPA ROACH? Well, for one being that I have been following them since before they were signed, I kind of was so proud of them when the debut album INFEST came out and LAST RESORT blew them up. So, after years of getting a vibe on the band’s music and the infectious live show ambiance they put out, I was ready to have it all over again. We all grew up, but these guys still can rock out like it was 2002 all over again. The guys opened up with “WHO DO YOU TRUST?,” and proved to everyone they were ready to take the stage by storm. To be honest, for me I was ready for some old school tones, and the band really embraced songs like “SCARS,” “SHE LOVES ME NOT,” and “GETTING AWAY WITH MURDER.” “GRAVITY” was probably my highlight of the night. I love that song, but I wish Ms. Maria Brink of In This Moment was there to really capture the full effect of the song. The band’s cover of Prodigy’s “FIRESTARTER” was a surprise, and they totally slayed the song. The crowd was hyped and stayed till the very end because it was like the grand finale at the 4th of July fireworks celebration. The dudes came back out and blasted us with the song that made them who they are now, “LAST RESORT,” and they finished their very energetic, fun and sweaty evening with “TO BE LOVED.”

Papa Roach sniper of live set

This tour package has to be one of the best I have seen in many years. Each band brought it all on that stage and I completely was entranced the whole evening. If this tour is coming to you, DO NOT miss out.


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