Live Report! Hollywood Undead!

saintsandsinnerstoursaintssinnerstourflyerMarch 14th, 2009
Grand Rapids, MI
Orbit Room
Saints & Sinners tour

The Saints and Sinners Tour, containing Brokencyde, Haste the Day, Senses Fail, and Hollywood Undead, rolled into Grand Rapids, MI March 14, 2009 and briefly settled at The Orbit Room before erupting in a grossly unexpected display of talent and raw energy. While observing the intimidating line of anxious fans, outside the door of the surprisingly sold out show, I witnessed enough swoopy hair to make even the most open minded alternative music listeners slightly uncomfortable. Fortunately, I did not let my prejudice impact my ability to enjoy the evening.

The night opened with Brokencyde, a band that was relatively unknown to me prior to the show. They delivered an interesting blend of screamo, electronica, and hip hop. Even so, I found myself relatively indifferent in regards to how I felt about Brokencyde. While their beats combined with growls and a charming crunk attitude allowed me to find an appreciation for them, holistically, as with a lot of mainstream hip hop, I found them redundant. However, I would be doing Brokencyde a gross disservice if I did not pay homage to the massive amount of appeal they had with the majority of the crowd. While I don’t believe The Saints and Sinners tour could have found a more appropriate opening act, it will take a little more diversity from this band to hold my attention in the future.

Next on the bill was Haste the Day, the implied saints to the show seemingly dominated by sinners. They tried to leave the energetic crowd with a message beyond sex, alcohol, and drugs, attempting to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. Haste the Day not only delivered a show that was well received by the crowd, but also allowed me an insight into another form of worship music. Typically, I find Christian rock very simplistic in the Nickelback, Three Doors Down kind of fashion found in mainstream rock. However, Haste the Day breaks this mold offering complexities on a musical and philosophical level. Possessing an edge they proudly display the ability to reach audiences formerly untouchable by men and women of the cloth.

The line up continued with the highly anticipated Senses Fail. Front man, James “Buddy” Nielsen possessed a refreshing sense of humor that seemed to balance out the sometimes overwhelming emotional overtone nurtured by the musical content, demonstrating character far outside the realm of emo stereotypes. While still exhibiting the ability to reach people on a personal level, I found Senses Fail’s live show to dramatically outshine that of their recorded content, showcasing a pure force and shredding the overly polished sound that often irritates hardcore listeners. This show instilled a once lacking respect for the band, and left me humbled for the enormous amounts of grief I formerly dished out to Senses Fail fans.

Lastly, the headliner of the show, Hollywood Undead, took the stage, the crowd tightened, pulling together as if drawn to the six unusual MCs, and drummer, Biscuits. The group immediately put aside any fear regarding the quality of their live performance, kicking off the set with “Undead”. The devotion of their fan base shined true as nearly every person in the crowd sang along holding onto every word as if it were their anthem. The pound of the bass echoed throughout each individual’s chest leaving them ravenous for more. The unexpected inclusion of “real” instruments contributed to this sensory feast allowing each fan to embrace their gluttony. The power of the group continued throughout every song with relentless tenacity, solidifying Hollywood undead as far more than a myspace phenomenon. Their performance created one of the most high energy and enjoyable crowds I have ever had the pleasure of being part of, climaxing at their encore, No. 5. This was without a doubt one of the most exciting sets I have ever watched, leaving me wonder, how far can Hollywood Undead go?

*Written By: John Janes*

James Shotwell
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