Gig Review: Hollywood Undead / Loathe – O2 Academy, Leeds (28th April 2019)

Due to there being only 2 bands performing, Loathe took to the stage around 8 o’clock, which gave the venue a chance to start filling up. When the lights dimmed, there was a cheer from the crowd and the moody intro music began. The band’s energy was evident as soon as they bounced onto the stage. Lead vocalist Kadeem France has a powerful set of lungs with his screams and unclean vocals which were harmonised by Erik Bickerstaffe’s clean vocals.

When France asked the crowd how many people had heard of them before, there was quite a large cheer from the crowd, and at this point in the set, the audience were definitely getting warmed up. During one of the last few songs, France got down into the crowd after launching himself over the barrier and continued to perform while in the middle of a mosh pit. The band left the stage to the first “Yorkshire!” chants of the evening.

When it was time for Hollywood Undead to take the stage, the venue was pretty much full and from what I could see, full of hardcore fans with Hollywood Undead t-shirts and bandanas everywhere. Opening song “Whatever It Takes” instantly displayed the vocals of the five permanent band members. I have only seen Hollywood Undead once before, however I am aware of their tradition of wearing masks in their music videos and when they first come onto the stage. As in their latest music video “Riot”, they graced the stage with just sunglasses and hats as their masks, which possibly displays a new chapter in their story or perhaps that their new masks are yet to be revealed.

With pyrotechnics which continued throughout the entire set and steamer cannons already, they started as they meant to continue… All guns blazing! Mosh pits formed in what felt like every song with the rest of the crowd endlessly jumping and punching the air. With constant instrument changes, I don’t think there was an inch of the stage unused by the many band members. They pretty much smashed their way through 6 songs without taking a break to interact with the crowd. After the sixth track of the set, “Dead Bit”, Danny stated “You guys are so f*cking cool!”, showing his appreciation of the crowd’s participation so far.

It was time for “Comin’ In Hot” and Charlie Scene decided he felt like getting someone on stage to help with the guitar on the song. After a while choosing, he decided a fan called Tom would join them. Now, unfortunately, Tom was either a little star struck and was frozen by stage fright or didn’t have a clue how to play the guitar. However, the band were rather nice about this and Charlie Scene stood behind and acted as his hands for the intro. With chants of “Tom!” from the crowd, they began the song with J-Dog showing him the chords for the song.

The crowd favourite “War Child” was next and I’d be lying if I didn’t say the walls were shaking. Funny Man was definitely in his element during this song with some very saucy dance moves. As soon as the song ended, there was a shout out to Matt Oloffson on drums who had been spinning his sticks and smiling constantly throughout the set. The crowd were then asked “Who wants to see a drum solo?” which received a huge cheer. This then moved to an air drum solo achieving laughter from the crowd and finally to a vocal solo, where “Living On a Prayer” lyrics blasted through the speakers.

Performing a short cover of “Rebel Yell”, Charlie Scene added an acoustic guitar to the mix, ready for probably the world’s most upbeat song about suicide that exists, “Bullet”. “Broken Record” was the final song of the main set and after 16 non-stop songs, the energy on stage hadn’t at all faltered. The band quickly left the stage (well, most did… it looked like Oloffson had a lie down behind his drum kit!) for a quick breather before coming back and playing an encore of 2 crowd favourites. With the crowd already chanting the lyrics, the band reappeared for “Everywhere I Go”, followed by “Day of the Dead”. With a final blast of a confetti cannon and Funny Man wielding a giant Union Jack, the show came to a dramatic end. The entire performance was well rehearsed and very well executed.

Photos by Jack Barker Photography

Hollywood Undead: official | facebook | twitter | instagram | youtube

Loathe: facebook | twitter

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