Hollywood Undead + Crown The Empire + I Prevail @ Metropolis, Montreal – 6th October 2015

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It took me quite a long time to make a decision on which show to go that Tuesday night. Two great shows were planned the same night: On one side, Atreyu and their Long Live tour, featuring special guests Beartooth and WOVENWAR. On the other, Hollywood Undead, along with Crown The Empire and I Prevail. I knew I would regret my decision but after considering the fact that I was lucky enough to see Beartooth when they were touring with Silverstein earlier this year, I decided to see Hollywood Undead at Metropolis, and I must say I don’t regret my decision, at all!

As I made my way inside the venue a few minutes before the show started, I realized that I was not the only one looking forward to that show. The whole venue was pretty packed, with mostly teenagers and young adults, fans of hardcore or rock/rap music. I didn’t have to wait long until the first band started.

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With the Requiem for a Dream introduction song, the American post-hardcore band I Prevail made their way on stage. I didn’t know exactly what to expect from them since I only knew a couple songs, including one that was on the Punk Goes Pop Vol.6 so I was looking forward discovering what they were capable of. They started off with “Love, Lust and Liars”, taken from their EP Heart vs. Mind, like pretty much every other song they played, since they only have that one EP so far. That first song was a really poppy heavy song, predominantly composed of clean vocals. I wasn’t into the clean vocals as it seems to lack power in my opinion, but the music and the way the band was communicating with the crowd definitely made up for it. They knew exactly how to warm us up, by making us jump and starting a moshpit right during the first song.

“Heart vs. Mind” was next, with again, a pop feeling to it, mixed with heavy, aggressive lyrics, perfectly delivered by vocalists Brian Burkheiser (clean vocals) and Eric Vanlerberghe (screamed vocals). “Face Your Demons” followed, and it was most likely one of the heaviest song, with a really intense breakdown to it. The emotion displayed by the screamer made me feel like he could tear apart whoever he was angry at during that song, it was quite a performance! What could have been added to that performance to make it even better? A Wall of Death, obviously! And don’t worry, those guys didn’t forget about it, at all!

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“The Enemy” and “Crossroads” were also part of their setlist. The first one didn’t catch my attention, but I was impressed by the latter, especially by its guitar riffs and mini-solos, along with the screaming and singing. The song itself doesn’t sound that unique, but the heavy guitar and vocals made it powerful and perfect to perform in front of a crowd. It was then time for a cover, but not any cover… The band started to play “Break Stuff”, by the one and only Limp Bizkit! I’m still unsure at this point if they were trolling, or being serious about it (most likely not), but they stopped after the first verse. In more seriousness, they played the song that helped them hit the number one spot in the iTunes Rock Single Chart last December and sell 150,000 copies of it, “Blank Space” by Taylor Swift. It’s that particular song that made them discovered and their debut album immediately became anticipated. Their performance of the song was quite good, and whether you like Taylor Swift or not, hearing that song for the first time in a different genre offered me a new perspective on it, and could almost make me like it.

Their final song, “Deceivers”, also the closing track of their EP, was a perfect summary of their performance: energetic, heavy, and quite impressive. Overall, even if I wasn’t the biggest fan of the clean voice, their performance on stage, along with the screamer’s talents was entertaining and engaging. I would love to see them again and I look forward hearing from them, as they seem promising. 8.5/10.

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Crown the Empire was a good surprise to me. From the couple songs I heard from them and knowing the fangirls fan base they seemed to have, I didn’t know what to expect from their set. The post-hardcore/metalcore band started off with I believe were “Phoenix Reborn” and “Initiation”, two really aggressive and powerful songs, taken from their album The Resistance: Rise of the Runaways, released back in 2014. That album actually hit the 7th spot on the US Billboard 200 after its release, proving that those guys have talent. Those two first songs were enjoyable and pretty catchy, but I wanted more than that. They perfectly delivered with “Prisoners of War”, added on the deluxe version of that same album that will be released late this month, along with three new tracks. That song brought some real emotions to their performance, showing their public how they felt as songwriters and individuals. In my opinion, we will definitely remember them (Yes, I’m referring to the lyrics of that song).

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The following song, entitled “Voices” was dedicated to those who were on MySpace and befriended Tom. What a catchy and monstrous track it was! On top of “Prisoners of War”, the band delighted us with another new song called “Cross Our Bones”. Another pleasant song that will get me check out the deluxe version of that album without hesitation. The sound was really pop at first but quickly got to screaming and a more metal sound that I loved.

Crown The Empire ended their set with two of their hit songs, “The Fallout” and “Machines”, with the same energy, presence and talent that for the previous ones, and the latter was a great sing along song. Overall, the band was a wonderful surprise and I’m thankful I got to see them live. I will definitely check out more about them and I look forward hearing the two other songs they will release at the end of the month. 9/10.

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After quite a long wait, it was finally time for the band that everyone is waiting for to appear on stage… The one and only band many love to hate, Hollywood Undead! The first time I heard about them was back in 2009, when their song “No 5” was advertised on the homepage of YouTube if I’m not mistaken. I must say I loved that song and have listened to them since then, and grew to really like them despite the lack of good themes they tend to sing about. In my opinion, they’re a fun band to listen to, when others like Attila do it in an awful way (one again, personal opinion, don’t get offended if you like Attila).

Anyhow, the band started their set with “Usual Suspects”, taken from their latest opus Day Of The Dead, released this year. The latter didn’t have an extremely kind publicity as most people seem to say that it was fun but easily forgettable. Live, that song was fun and a good way to start off their set. “Undead”, the opening track of their first album Swan Song was next. This one of probably one of my favorite from the band, along with most songs from the first album, or from American Tragedy. Seeing it live was impressive and something I won’t forget anytime soon. During the first five songs of their set, including the ones I mentioned along with “Been To Hell” and “Dead Bite”, the band members were all wearing the masks that we know them for, masks that I thought were so cool back then, and that I still love until this day. I was almost disappointed to see their faces once they took them off for the rest of the show!

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Hollywood Undead continued with 3 songs taken from Notes from The Underground and Day Of The Dead, those songs being: “Kill Everyone”, “Gravity”, and “War Child”. Good songs in my opinion, and I really dig “Gravity”, through its lyrics, the sound but I also love its video clip that you should definitely check out! “War Child”, on the other hand, doesn’t make any sense to me. Partying like a War Child? Please give me more details so I understand what you mean guys! Do War Children even party? I don’t think so! Anyway, despite its lyrics that don’t make any sense that song was still fun to listen to and had good vibes.

A lucky fan got to go on stage right after this song. With main talent being “I fuck bitches”, lucky Colin got on stage and was asked by the band to give a speech. As he was about to talk, a recorded track played and said something about the size of his penis that was not flattering at all. Good joke played on him by the band, but he got to sing along to the next on stage with them, which was pretty cool!

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Did you want more party songs? Well, even if you didn’t, Hollywood Undead delivered with “Comin In Hot” and “Party By Myself”. Those songs are both quite catchy but I’m having a hard time with the “Blowing up my cell but I don’t think I’mma answer” part of the song, where Charlie Scene’s voice seems hideous to me. A mashup of old school songs were next, with songs such as Apologize, Bottle and a Gun, California or even No. 5. Right after that, Charlie Scene grabbed an electro acoustic guitar and covered Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues” for about a minute, before starting “Bullet”. For those who don’t know about it, it is a song about suicide, but it is the catchiest song the band ever played. It has a happy upbeat tune that makes it heart-wrenching genius. This is probably one of their best songs, one of the few that has a real meaning and a creative process behind it (since yes, sometimes we get tired of the songs about partying and fucking bitches).

“Levitate”, “City” and “Another Way Out” followed, with the same presence and energy on stage, with the crowd asking for more. They got what they were waiting for with “Day of the Dead”, the main track of their latest album. “Everywhere I go” and “Hear Me Now” closed the set for the Encore, and we could definitely hear them, as well as the crowd asking for more!

Overall, Hollywood Undead did not disappoint at all. The setlist was not perfect, but still pretty solid. However, I really wish they would have played songs such as “Coming Back Down”, “Rain” or “We Are” that have more meaning to me. Great energy and presence on stage. 9/10.

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I Prevail Setlist

Love, Lust and Liars

Heart vs Mind

Face Your Demons

The Enemy

Crossroads

Break Stuff

Blank Space

Deceivers

Crown The Empire Setlist

Phoenix Reborn

Initiation

Prisoners of War

Memories of a Broken Heart

Voices

Cross Our Bones

The Fallout

Machines

Hollywood Undead Setlist

Usual Suspects

Undead

Tendencies

Been To Hell

Dead Bite

Kill Everyone

Gravity

War Child

Comin’ In Hot

Party By Myself

Mash up

Bullet

Levitate

City

Another Way Out

Day of the Dead

Everywhere I Go

Hear Me Now

 

Review – Maxime Le Huidoux
Photos – Kieron Yates

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