Hollywood Undead & Attila @ Academy 1
Our reviewer Mick Birchall gets down with the kids and has a blast watching Attlia and Hollywood Undead
leaving with a smile beaming across his face. Photos by Wendy Keogh.
From the very moment I saw the poster for this tour I knew I wanted to go. Hollywood Undead are just one of those bands that get me hyped and make me smile plus I had not seen them since 2011. Hot off the release of Day of the Dead last year they were clearly ready to back to the UK and from the state of the ticket sales and the queue when I got there, the UK was ready to welcome them back too. Also joining the rap-rockers on the tour was the Atlanta metalcore collective, Attila. I was getting ready for one wild night.
The group got on stage and straight away tried to build up some energy from the Manchester crowd. Attila were wild and rocking it up but the music just didn’t quite feel right, a lot of the sound production was quite muddy and so the heavy bass tone that the band rely on kinda felt washed out. Though I admit I was enjoying the songs, I couldn’t help but notice it as it was constantly distracting and the crowd didn’t help matters as I feel they weren’t really into it. The mosh pit was big for a couple of songs but quickly shrank as the crowd got tired of Attila’s antics. That was pretty much the summation of their set, I don’t think many Hollywood Undead fans were that into them to create a decent atmosphere although the band played some great tunes including Shots For The Boys and Proving Grounds. They truly did everything they could to get the crowd riled up, but it just didn’t work. However there were some great moments, like when frontman Chris Fronzak did build a rapport with the crowd - the moment he humped a puppet that someone threw on stage - amongst other stage banter. It was a total mixed bag of a set.
Well, here was the main event and as soon as they came on to the stage the crowd went nuts opening with Usual Suspects and Undead the crowd was screaming the words back at the band and Hollywood Undead just burst with energy. The band provided the late night club vibe to the proceedings and all of the energy was contagious which spread right to the back of the room. Their set was well chosen mixing current and old hits, mostly off of the current album Day of the Dead and the breakout album American Tragedy. Their performance definitely had it’s dead spots where I don’t think people knew what to do with themselves but from the song Gravity I don’t think the crowd was silent once! Especially when they brought a fan on stage (nicknamed Ben Durst, his name being Ben and he somewhat reminded them of Limp Bizket’s Fred Durst) to play Comin’ In Hot with them. I had a blast listening to this set, there was a constant smile on my face and I was singing, rapping, along to every moment. They all just gelled so well together, they have such a great chemistry that comes across so naturally - they clearly love what they and they looked like they having fun with their music too. Playing shortened covers of The White Stripes Seven Nation Army and Rammstein’s Du Hast just mixed things up a little bit more.
The big hits sounded fantastic, Bullet and Party By Myself definitely went over well and some way to creating the club-like party atmosphere. I honestly didn’t want the set to end but sadly it had to, but not before another massive sing along. The crowd were pretty much begging for Everywhere I Go and everyone knew the words to such a point where the band just let the crowd sing it. Ending on the smash hit Hear Me Now definitely pushed this gig over the edge to brilliance.
Even though there were a few sound issues I can ignore them as I just had so much fun. It really goes to show, you don’t have to be perfect, you just have to send fans away with a smile on their faces and that’s how I left - a brilliant night for scene kids.