Hollywood Undead showcased their long-awaited livestream, Undead Unhinged. After promoting the event on social media for some time, it’s safe to say I had seen it and wanted to “attend”. And it was an absolute blessing to be able to watch this livestream firsthand and experience it.
After a year of no concerts and, overall, very few musical experiences, Hollywood Undead’s livestream seemed to be the perfect welcome back into the world of live music. Performing a multitude of songs from their catalogue with the band discussing said tracks and reminiscing about their careers. For fans – especially long-term ones such as myself – it was so special to be able to hear about how our favourite songs came about, and the lives they led until then.
When the stream started, a small waiting screen appeared. While some people may have been impatient in the chat, I loved this. For me, it replicated that feeling you get before a concert. When the lights are off, and the crowd murmurs in excited apprehension, waiting for the curtain to drop, or the screen to change.
When it did, we were welcomed by a small room: a centre stage surrounded by large LED screens, and strobe lights to fuel the atmosphere. Opening with “Whatever it Takes”, the band slowly came together, entering the stage one by one until, finally, the entire group was there. And the performance was incredible. In typical Hollywood Undead fashion, they owned every centimetre of the stage, and this livestream just proves that they dominate any space they’re given. Even here, without a real life audience, without a full stage and production, they still blew me away. It truly felt as though I were watching a performance before my eyes except I was in pyjamas instead of platforms, and my little dog was cuddling next to me. When the song ended, it was strange not hearing a round of applause (especially since the band definitely deserved one), and the camera cut away to the “vlog” side of it where members talked about the significance of the song and what it meant to them. “Whatever It Takes”, specifically, was “A song that gets you pumped up no matter what you’re doing in life”.
When the camera switched back to the main stage, the LED screens changed, turning dark and sinister. Gravestones presented themselves, as did the entwining branches of dying trees, and a full moon looking over the scene. And the imagery immediately made sense when the opening line of “Day of the Dead” was sung: a song that always makes the crowd go absolutely wild. As before, the song ended, and a vlog appeared. While it might sound strange, these interviews added so much to the show. They turned it into a real experience, where we listened to the music and then had an up-close and personal insight into the lives of each member, and the past they endured. Anyone who knows HU knows they didn’t have the easiest start, and it’s inspiring to see how far they’ve come.
A few songs in, something shifted. When the camera switched back to the stage, the set up was entirely different. A cellist and violinist now sat in the background, the drums staying where they were, and the vocalists lining the front of the stage with an array of guitars. Hollywood Undead had turned acoustic.
As mentioned before, I am a long-term fan of Hollywood Undead, have seen them many times and I’ve spent countless hours listening to their music. But seeing the two-piece orchestra and hearing the opening beats of “Bullet”, I was filled with worry despite the song already having a mildly instrumental feel to it. But then they started to play “Rain” and fear with excitement flourished. They have never played this song live before, despite it being released in 2013. It’s always scary hearing an instrumental version of a favourite but when I say I was completely wrong to be afraid, I mean it. I will hold my hands up high and say, “I underestimated you, HU”. The acoustic rendition of “Rain” was nothing short of beautiful, almost bringing a tear to my eye. After the song ended, each member expressed their love for it. It had come about during a time where Hollywood Undead were still experimenting with their sound, evolving into something less angry and more heartfelt. “Rain” is about escapism: “We’re always trying to find shelter from the difficulty. But you can’t outrun it”. A beautiful song about acceptance and learning to love the rain.
The instrumental setup stayed for some time, the band experimenting with covers of different songs before the screen switched up once more and a mask was shown, surrounded by smoke and lit by a kaleidoscope of LEDs. When it faded away, the instrumental setup was gone, and the band performed two final songs with the show ending on “Everywhere I Go”. TikTok users will know that specific song has had an outburst of popularity lately, outside of Hollywood Undead fans, and was used as a viral song for some time. But, more than that, “Everywhere I Go” is a statement in Hollywood Undead’s career. On the one hand, it’s a song about Charlie Scene’s dick, and it’s a great song. But, on the other hand, it is what the fanbase rallies behind. The intro is chanted before every concert, in the queues and the venue. Despite being recorded as a joke, those first few lines are iconic to Hollywood Undead fans.
Hollywood Undead clearly worked hard on this, and it paid off. It resulted in amazing performances, as well as moving and heartfelt speeches about the songs. It’s so clear that every single member adores the music they made, and they should. I can’t imagine the relief they must have felt being able to perform again, the way they have done for years.
You may have read this thinking I’ve been a little vague, and you’re right: I have. Usually when I review live shows, I’m doing it for people who will never be able to watch it. It has happened, it has passed. But you do have the opportunity to watch it, and I refuse to deprive you of the ability to experience and love this performance first hand by spoiling it all for you. From the 3rd of May, a VOD will be available on the Hollywood Undead website, and all information can be found on their Twitter. I hope you love and enjoy it as much as I did, and I hope that – one day – we can come together again for a real life performance in a venue.