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Hollywood Undead Brings The Party To Charlotte

As The West Coast High Tour Hits The Fillmore 

It was a hip-hop party Friday evening at the Fillmore as the West Coast High Tour made a stop in the Queen City. The tour features both the old school California hip-hop of Cypress Hill and the urban, rap-rock of Hollywood Undead, making it a must-see event for fans of all ages and all flavors. In addition to the headliners, the tour also brings along the soulful rap style of Demrick and the classic rap of Mr. X to the Z himself, Xzibit.

I decided to head to the venue early due to the heavy rains pouring down on our city as well as the additional traffic from the CIAA basketball tournament which Charlotte was hosting. As I headed to the parking lots, it was clear that not even the monsoon-like rains and gusty winds were going to stop hardcore fans from coming out to the show. The line for those who purchased a Meet and Greet or Crash the Barricade ticket was already snaking around the block despite the weather. Luckily, I missed most of the rush hour traffic and was early, so after I picked up my credentials I had some time before the show to grab a quick bite to eat at one of the awesome eating establishments in the area. After deciding that pizza was the logical choice, (Isn’t it always?) I stopped in at 820 wine bar and pizzeria for a little five dollar slice of heaven. Once I took care of my carb craving, it was time to head back to the Fillmore. Donning my rain poncho and my classy, white trash bag cinched around my camera backpack, I headed out, eager to see what the evening would bring.


It was just before door time when the venue staff came out and announced that Cypress Hill would not be playing this evening due to an illness and stated that refunds would be available for those who no longer wished to attend. It was a disappointment but understandable under the circumstances. In fact, I was surprised that Cypress Hill hadn’t canceled already due to the recent death of B-Real’s mother. I’d like to take a moment to offer my condolences to B-Real and his family and I want to wish the whole Cypress Hill family a quick recovery from whatever illness is going around.

Once I got inside, the Fillmore started to fill up quickly and it seemed that most people decided to attend the show despite Cypress Hill’s absence and enjoy themselves anyway.


First to make his way to the stage was DJ Hoppa who started spinning the jams and did an excellent job at hyping up the crowd for what was to come.


Before long, he announced Demrick and the raps began. Formerly known as Young De, Demrick is known for a rap style that is both raw and full of soul.


His lyrics are personal, focusing on his life and people he’s met along the way. Demrick has been recognized for his collaborations with Xzibit and Snoop Dogg and has been touted as a protege of B-Real and Cypress Hill. The fans showed their appreciation for the rapper as they danced and partied along to his music. It was a solid performance and a great way to kick off the evening.


Without any set change or intermission, DJ Hoppa quickly introduced the man himself, Xzibit. X eased out onto the stage, giant gold rope chain around his neck and quickly took the party to another level. He is the epitome of west coast hip-hop and provided a hip and cool, yet old school vibe to the night’s festivities. The crowd ate up every single second of his performance. Hands were in the air and the fans on the floor were thumping and pumping along with the beats. Earlier in the evening, a couple standing next to me asked who was performing next. When I told them it was Xzibit, they simply said okay, thanks. After recognizing Xzibit as being, you know Xzibit, they tapped me on the shoulder, giving me a thumbs up and screamed “Xzibit!” I laughed and gave them a thumbs up back as we all focused on the amazing show going down in front of us.


Xzibit is not only a talented rapper but a master entertainer and he had the audience eating of his hand as he ran through a set of all his hip-hop favorites including “West Coast” and “Paparazzi.” At one point, he briefly stopped what he was doing to recognize an enthusiastic fan up front that threw a piece of lingerie out onto the stage.


Holding it up, Xzibit thought it was a torn up pair of panties but it turned out to be a black brassiere that he taunted his video cameraman with, hanging it on the mic. Xzibit (Open Bar) is also a talented actor and has is best known for his series Pimp My Ride which aired on MTV for several seasons. The show focused on upgrading an everyday driver to an outrageous pimped out car.


There were several fans sporting Pimp My Ride tee shirts and one young woman was holding up a sign begging X to pimp her ride to which he gave a smile and a wave. The highlight of the performance was the hit song “X” which had everyone on stage and in the audience holding up their arms in the famous X as they bounced along.  It was a fun set and a good time was had by all.


Everyone was pumped up after Xzibit’s set and was ready for more action. The crowd was eager for the main attraction, Hollywood Undead (BMG), to rock the house. The mosh pit signs were out in force and when the band hit the stage for their set, the Fillmore erupted with energy and excitement.


I have seen Hollywood Undead many times, but this was the first time I saw them completely unmasked from the start of the show. Although the masks were cool and gave them an air of novelty, I think it’s definitely easier to maintain the personal connection with the fans without them. Tonight in Charlotte, that connection was off the charts.


From the second they kicked things off with “Whatever It Takes,” the crowd was with them one hundred percent. Their stage set up was fairly simple with a Hollywood Undead banner gracing the rear of the stage amidst a bevy of strobes and ever-changing lights.


The band members bounced all over the place with Danny and Johnny 3 Tears running from side-to-side. The band sounded great both musically and vocally as they tore into hit-after-hit, taking the audience along for the ride. After breezing through “California Dreaming,” the opening keyboard notes of “Undead” began to play as both the band and the audience raised the roof of the Fillmore in an absolute explosion of adrenaline and intensity.


“Undead” is, of course, a fan favorite from their wildly successful 2008 debut album Swan Songs that skyrocketed the band to fame.


Right before the fifth song, they brought a young fan up on stage to introduce the song “Comin’ In Hot,” teasing young Cameron and telling him his parents said it was okay to say the bad word.  It was a fun moment and a great way to connect with the fans.

I have been to probably thousands of concerts over the years and the one thing that really stuck out to me about this evening was that the energy and excitement never waned throughout the night. Usually a show will have its quiet moments or a slight down turn in energy, but this was absolutely not the case.
The band and audience fed off each other’s energy and it never let up all night long.


The mosh pits got going during “Riot” and everyone got their country on as the band took us back with a cover of Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues” complete with a twangy guitar sound. Even during the more laidback “Bad Moon,” the crowd was going crazy and the crowd surfing began for the first time that night.  


My personal favorite took place toward the end of the set with a spirit version of “Everywhere I Go.” It’s fun, quirky, and a bit naughty, absolutely perfect in every way.


When the band closed out the night with “Day of the Dead,” no one wanted the night to end. We were all riding that musical high and wished it could go on forever. But alas, all good things must come to an end.


What an amazing night! It’s always difficult when a band has to cancel at the last minute for any reason, especially when it’s a legendary band like Cypress Hill. Things could have gone downhill for the evening, but Xzibit and Hollywood Undead rolled with the punches and took their performances to the next level to make up for it. It was an outstanding show full of fun and memories that will last a lifetime. This is a concert  to put on your must-see list when the West Coast High Tour rolls into a city near you. Until then, I will be “California Dreaming” of the next show.

See full gallery of the night here!

Get tickets to upcoming performances here.

Montclair, NJ
Silver Spring, MD
Cleveland, OH
Detroit, MI
Fri 7:30 PM CDT4,537 guests
Kansas City, MO
Denver, CO
Sun 6:30 PM MDT3,479 guests
Salt Lake City, UT
Seattle, WA
Portland, OR
Fri 6:30 PM PDT3,461 guests
Sacramento, CA
Los Angeles, CA
Las Vegas, NV
May 23 – May 2528,800 guests
California Roots
Fri 8 PM PDT2,715 guests
Berkeley, CA
Wed 7 PM UTC+023,201 guests
Mannheim, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Sopron, Győr-Moson-Sopron County, Hungary
Fri 7 PM UTC+0311 guests
Sun 7 PM UTC+0166 guests
NASS Festival, Bristol

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