LIVE @ THE SOUND ACADEMY
By: Fridae Mattas
Not everyone knows who this band is but those that do either love them or hate them. The lyrical content in their songs sometimes strikes a chord with people and becomes controversial topic. Their new disc “American Tragedy” is the first record without founding member Aron Erlichman “Deuce/ The Producer”. On April 3rd they hit the Sound Academy on their North American tour in support of their new record; it was released a few days after the Toronto show and is now available for all of you to buy. Hollywood Undead first made a little splash on the scene when they signed with MySpace Records in 2005, soon after they left the label due to the censorship of their material and signed with A&M/Octone records finally releasing ‘Swan Songs’ in 2008. What drew me to this California native band was their fusion of Hip Hop, Rap and Rock, my ears liked the way they sounded. Many compare them to Limp Bizkit but I beg to refuse, Limp Bizkit is just that…Limp! I can’t stand that band’s music most importantly Fred Durst’s voice is so ugly to my ears.
They opened the thirteen track set with their hit tune “Undead”, I actually really like the beat of that track, the lyrics eh they are honest but need work. When they first popped out on stage I was so lost because I had no idea who was who and the fog was taking over. There are six in the band and after a few tunes I was getting more familiar with their masks which looked spectacular when the light reflected off of a few making them glow. A few of the members apparently were in gangs, have been in and out of the bin and the masks they wear are for hiding identities. In reality, they wear the masks for aesthetic purposes so the fans can have individual character types to identify with. The masks are usually worn every show for the first few songs and then they take them off. Recently the masks were pimped out and look eight thousand times better than the ghetto ass Jason masks they originated with.
While I was shooting in the pit, it was hard to get clean shots because they used way too much fog! I couldn’t see shit but thankfully the security team was there and had my back as they pulled crowd surfers over and over again. They all had great energy, the new guy Danny didn’t do too badly on vocals; I like his voice better than the singer they booted.
The current band is “Charlie Scene” Jordon Terrell – Vocals/Guitar, “Johnny 3 Tears” George Ragan – Vocals, “J-Dog” Jorel Decker – Vocals/Bass/Rhythm/Keys, “Da Kurlzz” Matthew St.Claire – Drums/Screams, “Funny Man” Dylan Alvarez – Vocals and Daniel Murillo “Danny” Vocals. The set was mixed with a few new tracks and the first albums key “Swan Songs”. The show was not sold out but people were there, I honestly thought nobody was going to show up at all because of the extreme schizo weather we were having in Toronto.
I left my house it was warm with a side of sunshine, I got off the subway and it was pouring rain, a half hour after I got to the venue I went for a smoke and tada! It was snowing these ginormous flakes, even better was when I left the venue it started to hail! Only in Toronto can we find all of that weather in a matter of hours! When I went back around into the venue to see the rest of the show after my three media tunes were over the masks were off…That confused me because now I had to figure out who was who all over again. Most of them I wish would have kept the masks on especially when they sang lyrics like “Girl, come and smoke my poll like a Marlboro” Yeah…No thanks! By the end of the set some of them were getting tired and lazy but the crowd didn’t seem to notice they loved every minute. Their flow wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be and they played their instruments fluidly.
The set closed with ‘Hear Me Now’ as the encore which made the crowd fanatical, what else is new!? The fans went nuts during all of the songs, singing along, moshing, crowd surfing the usual rock show antics. The lighting was done well, they had smoke shooting out during certain tracks blending with the lights emulating the look of fire but it was just lighting tricks. The only thing I would have preferred was less red lighting and more blue or green but what can you do when it’s not your show. All in all I enjoyed their clowning around and they have pretty tight flow for a bunch of white guys, Eminem could easily blend well with this band. If you get a chance to see these larries of Hollywood Undead live go for it! This band may not attract the older crowds but the teens and early twenties love them, you have to try mostly everything once. Hollywood Undead is Fridae Approved!