Review + Photos: Pre-show portraits with Hollywood Undead @ Vega – Copenhagen

Hollywood Undead

LA based band Hollywood Undead released their 4th album “Day Of The Dead” last year and are currently touring Europe to present the new material. They are known by fans for their groundbreaking style in music and wearing fierce masks that change style for each album. They showed us the latest edition of these masks up close, brought more entertainment along than we could possibly have hoped for, and proved rad music skills live as they performed at Vega in Copenhagen. Follow along as we share exclusive portraits and a special live cover right on AMBY.

I could already hear a buzzing sound of chats and laughter when I was walking down the main road to the concert hall Vega in Copenhagen. I was then happy to meet a great line of people waiting for the Hollywood Undead concert as well and letting the queue go from the entrance and down two sides of the building. Most of them had also made sure stick to the right dress code for this kind of concert by wearing black clothing and band shirts with the Hollywood Undead logo.

First on stage that evening was support band Attila. They appeared on a dark lit and smoke filled stage, but stood out from the surroundings as they jumped up on platforms and speakers. They managed to shake up the audience as they moved around with fine energy and shared a tough live sound.

Hollywood Undead on the other hand let the concert begin all gently with the classic The Mamas & The Papas song “California Dreamin’” played over the speakers and the words “Stopped into a church I passed along the way. Well, I got down on my knees, and I pretend to pray. You know the preacher liked the cold, he knows I’m gonna stay. California dreamin’ on such a winter’s day.” These lyrics seemed quite suitable with the rather cold European weather these days compared with the band’s surroundings back in LA and also represented a fine transmission into the Hollywood Undead state of mind. The crowd followed up on a short singalong before the music faded out fast and replaced with a blast of lights as the band jumped on stage.

The band moved to the edge of the stage and presented all members and their wicked masks from the start: J-Dog, Johnny 3 Tears, Da Kurlzz, Funny Man, Charlie Scene, and Danny. We had the possibility to stop by for some exclusive portraits with the band before the concert where Danny and Funny Man let us have a closer look on what design their two masks got lately. The band is known for showing off a new mask design and bandana look for each album release. These masks are heading in a new interesting style and looked fierce as always. It was then great to see these guys and the rest of the band again on stage. In action and showing us how to own the place.

A bit into the concert, the band members took their masks off and revealed a fun-seeking, smiling band, having a hella good time and throwing off a great party. It turned out to be their stage manager’s birthday. The band addressed this and asked the audience to join in for a birthday song and cheers for him, giving us the feeling of being guests at their own house party.

The evening went on all spontaneous as the band played songs that fit in with the moment and what the audience requested with all their might. Hollywood Undead are known for their groundbreaking approach to music and genre shattering style that mixes rap, rock, and metal. The concert then included a various set of these songs from their 4 albums up till now. The song “Dead Bite” from the 2013 album “Notes From The Underground” and “Bullet” from 2011 album “American Tragedy” seemed to bring the first massive singalongs for the night. The main part of the audience knew these songs by heart and sang it all out from the end of their lungs adding a raw live touch to the songs.

The band asked the audience: “Who can play guitar?” and a wave of hands reached up in the air. This is the first time I have watched the band perform so I am not sure if they are used to do this a lot, but I was quite surprised when they picked a young guy with his hands up to join them on stage. It took him two seconds to swim forward in the crowd and jump over the barrier in front. As he arrived on stage it was difficult to figure out if he was more drunk or more shocked to get this experience. He was definitely given a good time and it was great entertainment for the rest of the crowd that almost couldn’t believe that this was taken place either. Charlie Scene trusted the young guy in taking care of his guitar and let him play it for a while. The band then joined in for a soft jam and he did a decent job. To add a full-on stage experience the group also handed the guy a mic to have a speak for the packed venue and let him choose the next song for them to play. I believe they just gave him a once in a life time experience right there.

Another highlight appeared a little bit later as Hollywood Undead started to play a cover of The White Stripes’ massive hit song “7 Nation Army”. I had not expected something like that either, but I am absolutely thrilled that they did. The band shared a fair version of the song with strong vocals and playful guitar. They generally shared a tight live sound, with rad vocals, impressive clear lead vocal from Danny and playful dance around the keys for Funny Man. They had also done well by having a cool extra drummer along for the live shows. Tyler Mahurin sat in the back of the stage unmasked, but you would see him swing the drumsticks with powerful ease and give them some playful loops in the air mid song.

The audience was enjoying themselves while jumping along and the peeps on the second floor level were seen head banging and clapping their hands towards the side of the balcony. A couple of wasted kids threw things like empty cups of beer around a few times during the concert though. They reached the stage floor and the band by their shoes then, but one time it was also bullseye on the chest. Right then I was having some“ nooo… They didn’t!” moments myself. I feel so bad when this sort of things happen at concerts. I still wonder why some people do that kind of act to artists they come to watch play. Especially when the artists do so well like Hollywood Undead did. The band was really fair in this situation compared with how I imagine other artists would react and simply told the bad pranksters to stop that kind of crazy thing, before they kept on playing. Funny Man especially handled this well by turning it into a smooth passage to next song as he walked away from the center of the stage with the dramatic words: “I don’t want to do this anymore..” before he turned to the side and said: “I’mma party by myself.” Soon you got the rest of the band playing along and the whole audience singing the lyrics: “Fuck everyone else, I’mma party by myself. Do this shit all night, I don’t need nobody else.” Big respect to the band for turning this to something much more positive.

The band shared the title song from last year’s release “Day Of The Dead” by the end of the show and proved it to be another highlight in the performance with a strong live sound and intense expression. This was soon followed up with one more favorite moment for the audience. In a short break where the lights had been turned off, then the audience turned up the party mood and started singing the song “Everywhere I Go” from the first album “Swan Songs” on repeat. The band listened to this while still being off the stage and asked the audience whether they would like for the band to get back on stage to play that tune then. Of course they got great cheers as they played it in the encore.

On my way out of the venue I noticed a pretty busy merch guy trying to handle all the demands from a new line of people piling up and wishing to update their set of Hollywood Undead gear. Once I got out I also stopped to have a chat with some other fans that had made the fine effort to bring their own homemade  masks in a J-Dog style along for the concert. All looking forward to see the band return for another party like this.

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Follow updates from Hollywood Undead here.

Review and Photos by Jules Faurschou | @rockonpoets

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