Having Hollywood Undead streaming into your house was always going to be an experience and they definitely hit the ground running. This is going to be no ‘normal’ live stream from an empty venue, tonight’s show is coming from what looks like Hollywood Undead’s living room following a massive post COVID-19 house party, compete with multiple beer kegs, empty red solo cups everywhere and walls covered in graffiti. The band were also sneaking in references to their other business Dove and Grenade with poster on the walls, several references to weed use and at least one band member wearing a Dove and Grenade t-shirt.
The band kicked off this special performance with tracks “Timebomb” and “Enemy” back-to-back, both tracks from one of their 2020 album releases New Empire Vol.1. Having lost count of the times I have seen Hollywood undead live, it is still taking some getting used to seeing them start a show without their traditional masks which they seem to have ditched in recent years, although they did make a brief appearance later in the show.
Going back into the band’s discography “California Dreaming” and “Hear Me Now” where up next. One thing to note with this live steam compared to a normal gig was the energy of the band, rather than all going full throttle throughout the first few songs, Johnny Three Tears and Funny Man each took their turn for a seat on the conveniently placed sofa while the rest of the band had their time in the spotlight. Although this could have had something to do with the small space and the amount of band members.
Taking their first break to talk since the start of the show, Danny referred to a banging backstage, a hint of what was about to come, before the intro to the bands latest track “Heart of a Champion” featuring Spencer Charnas lead vocalist of Ice Nine Kills. Charnas then burst through the wall to join the band. To add to the special appearances Papa Roach’s Jacoby Shaddix who also features on the single caused further structural damage to the set to really get the party going. It is a good job this wasn’t being filmed in the UK as the “rule of six” was most definitely being broken.
With Johnny Three Tears now passed out on the sofa, Charlie Scene took the lead for the next song, a song about his specialist subject, himself. After waking Johnny up, the band cranked up the volume with a trio of their biggest party tunes “Comin in hot”, “Riot” and “War Child” and despite a superb performance by the band who probably have not performed together for around 9 months, sitting in your spare room in your dressing gown at the computer and signing along is not quite the same as bouncing around with a few thousand people in a packed venue.
After a seamless set change to a more traditional stage setup, the band performed their live debut of “Idol” which featured a pre-recorded appearance from Tech N9ne, although this song was a little too rappy/techno for my taste. Hyro the Hero bounced onto the stage to debut another new track with the band, this time it was “Comin’ Thru the Stereo” the third and final collaboration of the night from the latest album.
With the end of the show approaching, the band left their new material alone and closed with some older crowd favourites including “Day of The Dead”, which happens to be one of my personal favourites and almost gave me the feeling of being at an actual gig with the speakers cranked up to full volume. I hope my neighbours appreciate the free show!
Flashing forward to the day after the party and offering the camera a spliff, the band returned to the house party set for a slightly rockier than normal performance of the worlds most cheery song about suicide “Bullet”. With Danny really bringing the house down and ripping the remaining walls apart, the band played their final song of the night “Undead”, which is now unbelievably 11 years old.
It’s amazing that a band that normally thrives of the energy of the audience and usually enjoy getting fans on stage during shows can put on such an amazing show to just a camera. This was one of the most interesting live streams I’ve seen this year with some serious thought being put into the settings, but for me a live stream while thoroughly enjoyable is no match for an actual real-life gig. Hopefully 2021 will see the return of live music and Charlie Scene and the gang will be able to visit the UK and put on a real show for us.