Live Review || Hollywood Undead "House Party" live stream, 18/12/2020

© Arte LikeThat photography

There's definitely a first time for everything in this life. I spent the past few months binge-watching live stream shows but, other than general commentary, never before did I actually write a review about them. Well, here I am, after witnessing the mayhem that Hollywood Undead's house party was. No, you know what? Scratch that, I don't even know if "mayhem" is the correct word to describe what went down last night. It was the party we didn't know we needed. But let's take it from the top, shall we?

The stream started at 5am local time and I genuinely hoped my neighbors would forgive any potential singing at this ungodly hour. I had a beer in my hand, a cat on my lap and a lot of caffeine in my system to keep me going. I was unfortunately unaware that Hollywood Undead would hosting a "warm-up" chat so by the time I tuned in approximately 20' before the stream started, I was met with music videos and commentary from the band members. 

The house party was a virtual place with DeadBite as the bouncer, keeping an eye in the queue of people waiting to get in. The band welcomed us warmly upon arrival, joints in their hands, Danny on guitar and JDog on bass, and the party officially began. HU did go back to their roots, just like Johnny 3 Tears had recently commented. "Time Bomb" opened the set and I couldn't contain the smile plastered on my face. "Enemy" and "California Dreaming" followed, with Danny passing the guitar to Charlie. By the time "Can You Hear Me Now" sounded (clear as a bell, might I add), whatever awkwardness the band was feeling seemed to be gone. Admittedly, my favorite moments were those of FunnyMan tied with those of Charlie living a GnR fantasy casually chilling on the couch during the set like it was nobody's business -until Spencer Charnas of Ice Nine Kills (also casually) burst through the wall for "Heart Of A Champion". Jacoby Shaddix of Papa Roach followed his footsteps shortly afterwards. OK, we knew this was coming, but it was very plaesant to see them performing with HU. At this point, I'd like to give a round of applause to the unsung heroes who helped make this happen; the director, film crew and editors did a fantastic job in placing us within this fictional, half-videogame world.

Short break and while the band was catching their breaths and playing beer pong, a real life, buff and very menacing DeadBite emerged, to throw a couple of party crashers out. I don't know who the actor was, but the role fit him like a glove. Anyway, moving on. "Everywhere I Go" had me singing along since the first note of the intro. The best part about this is that I've never actually read the lyrics to the song. For whatever reason, my brain was just fucking with me and I remembered the chorus from some random fan-made video on Youtube... After a refreshing nap, Johnny grabbed the bass and JDog moved to guitar for "Comin In Hot" and, judging by the "virtual pit" comments, "Riot" that was next would have certainly started an actual riot. Throughout the set we saw the members interact with each other and cracking jokes like they would have at an actual show, proving how important chemistry is in a band. Another thing you have to apperiacte about Hollywood Undead is their sense of humor. For instance, on "Another Way Out", Johnny made the PERFECT pun/segway before walking out through the hole on the "wall"... 

Quick and completely unexpected change of scenery and we found ourselves in an empty room/small stage; changing overhead lights, smoke and a Dove & Grenade LED sign in the back created a tense atmosphere and "Idol" started. Although TechN9ne wasn't there in person, his absence didn't affect much the performance of the song, since the director borrowed scenes of his parts from the music video. We remained in the same setting for "Young Renegade" and "Comin' Thru The Stereo", where Hyro The Hero joined the party. Now that was interesting. I really liked this song on "Vol. 2" and I wasn't expecting to hear it. On the one-hour mark, we were transferred back to the house party and for a split second the viewers' "character" hallucinated that HU had worn their masks again... Unfortunately, it turned out we were just partying hard and got knocked out. For a moment there, and before "Bullet" started, I was almost convinced the show was over but thankfully it wasn't the case. Not yet, at least. "Undead" continued (and ened) the set. All while JDog was killing his part, Danny started trashing the "house", signifying the party was about to finish. It wasn't long until the others joined him. I was also low-key hoping they'd also trash the TVs on the back, but oh well! 

A 70-minute long set passed in a blink of an eye and it was DEFINITELY not enough. I feel that no one expected the stream to end so suddenly, let alone without an "encore" -and no, returning to the initial setting doesn't count as one. This is my only criticism of the stream, the length, although from what I saw most HU headlining shows are usually about 1H15. Call me spoiled but the circumstances are exceptional; I've been deprived of my passion for a long time, with no end in sight, so I get to complain. Despite that, I was super happy with the setlist and the band's energetic performance so I don't have much to comment here, other than the fact that they made me wish I was physically there. I do know however that, whenever shows are back and Hollywood Undead returns to Europe, I will be absolutely catching the real thing. The Californian trailblazers showed everyone how it's done and left us with a merry vibe for the holidays.

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