The iconic Hollywood Undead masks seem to have disappeared from recent sets. One by one, as ‘Whatever It Takes’ beats out across the Leeds O2 Academy, each member had a few lines to sing to introduce themselves, not a mask in sight. But the beers were ready in the handy holders of the mic stands and Los Angeles natives were ready to unleash their concoction of genre mashing tracks.
Their stage set up was simple enough to make room for the special effects they’d brought along, more than one confetti canon shot and sparklers on nearly every other track. A signature Hollywood sign from their native city with ‘Undead’ underneath lit up under the stars of the sparklers. ‘California Dreaming’ is their letter to a broken state giving a juxtaposing side to their home, then tracks like ‘Gravity’ and ‘War Child’ show their dance side, with the electronics taking a prominent role and managing to move the crowd up and down as one. A Billy Idol cover of ‘Rebel Yell’ slipped into the set out of nowhere, but was received like a song of their own before the charmingly presented ‘Bullet’ however lyrically is a dark as Hollywood Undead really get.
One lucky fan got a chance to come on stage and play a guitar solo before ‘Comin’ In Hot’, but rather tentatively only played a few notes in front of a dauntingly large audience. ‘Comin’ In Hot’ and the ever so popular ‘Everywhere I Go’ show their R-Rated side in a set which included their normal overtly crude sexual jokes not really for fit for the few younger audience members, but it comes with the territory. Now well over ten years releasing music, their debut Swan Songs put them on the map, but with two serious member changes they’ve still managed to remain relevant and consistent in a genre that tries to box them into something that’s not to be taken seriously after their relatively well-known tracks perceive them as nothing but people that spend all day partying. But there’s much more to them than talking about having a “40(oz) in my Ford Fiesta” and their latest full length Five shows that.