UTG PHOTOS – DOUBLE FEATURE!: World War III Tour (11/09/2011)


For the first time in UTG history, two staff photographers had the chance to attend the same concert date: November 9, 2011, at the Compuware Arena in Plymouth, Michigan. Take a deep breath and brace yourself as we express our thoughts and reveal photos of D.R.U.G.S., We Came As Romans, Boregore, Asking Alexandria, and Hollywood Undead.

Kellie: Let me just start by saying that this has been a show I had planned on photographing for quite some time.  Upon hearing about the WWIII Tour months ago and realizing it wasn’t coming to Cleveland, where I’m currently living, I had to plan on attending the show in the next closest city: Detroit. This also happens to be home of Under The Gun’s Head of Photography, the amazing Melanie Hodgins. Not only was this my first chance to meet Melanie but this was also a first for two UTG photographers to be at the same show, covering the same bands, for a collaboration that is bound to rock your socks off.  This was the most fun I’ve had at a show, being able to chat with someone about nerdy photographer terms, cameras, comparing photos, etc… After having some car trouble halfway to Detroit, stranding my car in Toledo for the night I was lucky enough to ride the rest of the way with friends who were also going to the show. Needless to say, I finally made it to meet Melanie at the Compuware Arena!

Melanie: When I was invited to this show by Kellie, the offer was immediately accepted for two main reasons: I had seen a majority of the bands a handful of times and had never been disappointed by their stage performances or the photos they delivered, and she was one of the few within the UTG family in this area I haven’t met in person. Under The Gun Review has more camaraderie than any other work environment I’ve ever been in, regardless if members of the staff expand around the world. Opportunities to meet in person are few and far between and seized whenever possible. It’s a rarity that things ever go perfectly or according to a set schedule so, of course, Kellie’s car broke down before she even got to Michigan. By the graces of some music deity, she had managed to hitch a ride with two of her friends who were a few exits behind her. The night progressively got more awesome from that point on. The energy in the arena was super charged with excitement, the bands performed on the top of their game, there was a talented photographer working along with me, and the grumbling about red lights was kept to a minimum. This tour, overall, is definitely in my list of favorites.


Kellie: D.R.U.G.S. came out in typical D.R.U.G.S. fashion, Craig Owens rocking out, lots of energy, playing hits like “Sex Life,” which Craig also uploaded a live video for, during which he’s signing from the crowd.


Melanie: I’ve suddenly realized that this was the seventh time I’ve photographed members of this band in the past year. It must have something to do with their inexpugnable energy on stage that’s near impossible to denounce. They definitely set the bar when they opened the show.



Kellie: We Came As Romans played an energetic set, lots of running around onstage, jumping, and crowd surfing.


Melanie: We Came As Romans had no difficulty picking up the pace after D.R.U.G.S. There’s something unique about a Michigan crowd when a hometown act hits the stage. After all, music and hockey are two of the main things that run through the veins of nearly everyone in Motown.  


Kellie: Borgore was an interesting intermission between the first two and last two bands.  Borgore is a dubstep DJ had the stage set up as a large DJ booth in the middle of the stage with stripper poles on either side.  These two featured ladies were the Cirque du Soleil of dancers.  Upside down, spinning round, hanging on with only one limb while defying gravity in a mixture of provocative dancing and acrobatics. I was pleasantly surprised at this unexpected set.

Melanie: Kellie and I both had an extremely similar consensus when it came to this set. I was skeptical about the choice at first especially when taking the performance aspect into consideration; However, I was left unexpectedly entertained. The placement of Boregore in the lineup prevented the show from having one set blur into the other and allowed for a second wind.


Kellie: Fourth in the lineup was co-headliner Asking Alexandria, hailing from across the pond in England, who brought a mixture of crazy lights, crazy energy, and even crazier contraptions set up in at least six locations onstage to blow out huge gusts of smoke during bass drops.  Crowd surfers were surfing into each other, Danny sang from atop the barriers while being held up by the fans, and finished the set with a few extra encore songs.


Melanie: In my opinion, Asking Alexandria easily outshone Hollywood Undead. The audience felt more connected to the band; notably when Danny Worsnop, lead singer, led the crowd into the first verse of “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey while fixing a small technical error. Fitting. Wrapped up in the moment, no one realized the set was over until they began to walk off stage. Not even a nano-second later, the audience unanimously called for an encore which the band answered with vigor.


Kellie: Last, Hollywood Undead came jumping out onstage, every member wearing a different mask, and every single person in the crowd dripping sweat despite the fact that we were standing on top of thin floor covers in a chilly ice arena.  They played past hits, including crowd favorite “California,” during which they removed their masks.  These guys have endless energy, blending their versatile hip hop, pop, rock, and metal sound in a manner that just makes you want to jam out all night with them.  If the WWIII Tour makes a stop in your town, you should be there!  And even if it doesn’t, find the nearest city and plan a road trip that is hopefully a lot smoother than mine was, it is every bit worth it.


Melanie: Having heard mixed reviews about Hollywood Undead, I wasn’t sure what I should be expecting. They delivered a good performance and from that came some fantastic photos. The technical theatrics, such as fog machines and their costumes, were spot on but they delivered a show that felt worn out and held little variety. Once the first three songs had ended, I had seen enough to know I wasn’t going to miss anything. I would suggest seeing eighty percent of this tour.

Both comments and pings are currently closed.
  • Dakota0526

    Very nice work!  That must be so cool to get hat close to the boys in the bands!  I’ve seen Slipknot from close, but not a view like that.  Keep up the good work and keep sharing.