US-based rap-metal outfit Hollywood Undead makes a rare appearance on Tyneside as part of their current extensive UK tour.

It’s been almost 10 years since Hollywood Undead performed in the North East of England and their loyal fans have not forgotten about the group. The O2 Academy Newcastle is packed to the proverbial rafters to witness their return.

This evening’s show is very much a retrospective look back on the band’s full career, with tracks from each of the group’s five studio albums featuring. And from the moment Hollywood Undead hits the stage, they have the whole room in the palms of their hands. With their five-pronged vocal attack and artillery of crowd-pleasing anthems under the belts, the band certainly means business.

A high octane opening featuring the likes of “California Dreaming”, the incredibly infectious “Gravity” and fan favourite “Undead” gets the show off with a bang. Although it’s not just the music that brings the heat, as tonight Hollywood Undead has brought their full arena production with them that includes frequent use of pyrotechnics and ticker tape cannons, the likes of which we don’t usually see in an O2 Academy setting such as this.

Each of the group’s vocalists showcases their lyrical prowess throughout the course of the evening. They can often be found up front with their foot up on the monitors whilst simultaneously engaging and spurring on the crowd. And at one point in the evening, a lucky fan is invited to the stage to play the guitar – a once in a lifetime chance for sure, and a dream come true.

The party atmosphere continues with “Comin’ In Hot”. And with this evening’s balmy weather, tightly packed crowd and explosive pyrotechnics, this song is very apt. Fans up on each other’s shoulders and hands flying through the air as the band’s Newcastle based fans lap up everything on offer.

Hollywood Undead switch things up somewhat with the EDM-esque “War Child”, before a going off-piste somewhat with a few bars of Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell” and a pummeling drum solo from Matt Oloffson.

The band continues to showcase the versatility of their musical pallet with “Bullet” which almost seems like it has undertones of folk/rockers such as Frank Turner. The fans sing loud and wholeheartedly throughout.

As the band races towards the finish line, the fast and furious “Riot”, the RnB tinged “Bad Moon”, a beautiful airing of “Broken Record” and fan favourite “Hear Me Now” takes the band over the finish line of their main set.

On the strength of tonight’s performance, it’s fair to say that it may have taken 10 years for Hollywood Undead to return to Newcastle but it was certainly worth the wait.

British outfit Loathe opened the proceedings early in the evening. This being the band’s second appearance in the region in the last twelve months following a recent show with Of Mice and Men at the Riverside.

With just 30 minutes to make their mark the Liverpool based five-piece gets the crowd fired up with their fist-pumping, circle pit inducing brand of metalcore. Their relentless energy, thunderous rhythm, and sharp crunchy riffs spur on the Tyneside faithful throughout. At one point in their set lead singer Kadeem France gets down in the crowd whilst simultaneously orchestrating the madness at the centre of the pit.

During a set that centres on debut album The Cold Sun the band certainly win over a whole raft of new fans. It’s easy to understand why the group were recently nominated in the Best New Band category at the Metal Hammer Golden Gods awards.

Hollywood Undead
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Event Date: 30-April-2019

About The Author

Adam Kennedy is an experienced music photographer based in northeast England. He has been shooting concerts for several years, predominantly with the band Vintage Trouble. In 2013, he was one of their tour photographers, covering the UK and Ireland tour including the headline shows and as opening act for The Who. As an accomplished concert photographer, Adam's work has been featured in print such as, Classic Rock Blues Magazine, Guitarist Magazine, Blues in Britain magazine, broadcast on the MDA Telethon on ABC Television in the US, used in billboard advertising for Renaissance Hotels in the US, and featured online via music blogs such as Uber Rock and Guitar Planet. He is also the official photographer at Newcastle Rock and Blues Club.

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