Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Hollywood Undead at the Gramercy Theatre

Rap-rockers Hollywood Undead originated in 2005 in Los Angeles, California, when Jorel "J-Dog" Decker and former member Aron "Deuce" Erlichman posted a song entitled "The Kids" on an online social network. To create a band around the song, they gathered friends, including George "Johnny 3 Tears" Ragan, Jordon "Charlie Scene" Terrell, Dylan "Funny Man" Alvarez, and Matthew "Da Kurlzz" St. Claire; Daniel "Danny" Murillo was added later. The band has sold over 2 million records in the United States, and about 3 million records worldwide. The group's fourth studio album, Day of the Dead, will be released on March 31, 2015.

In the darkness at the Gramercy Theatre tonight, as the audience chanted "undead" in unison, blue lights shone on a backdrop showing a bird in flight carrying a grenade. The six band members (plus touring member Tyler Mahurin on drums and percussion) appeared on stage wearing new masks, most still based on the common hockey goaltender design. Hollywood Undead launched into a new song, "Usual Suspects," followed with the more familiar "Undead", "Tendencies" and "Been to Hell" before removing the masks. As the band members rotated between instruments and weaved in and out of the songs as rappers, singers and screamers, there was constant movement on the stage. The supporting music behind the singers and rappers was hard and heavy, as hip hop married alternative rock and nu metal. Midway through the set, Hollywood Undead performed a mash-up that began with a brief cover of the Beastie Boys' "Intergalatic" and included a taste of Snoop Dogg’s "Gin and Juice" mixed in with the crew's original songs. Keeping the fans engaged and enthused by constantly whipping up the energy level in the room, Hollywood Undead entertained well using a refined formula for metal-infused hip hop.

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