by Anabel Dflux
– Senior Photojournalist –
March 7th, 2014 at House of Blues Hollywood in West Hollywood, CA. –
The Finnish are coming- and fans love it! Love metal band HIM played to a sold-out House of Blues on Friday night, and the show was a spectacle to say the least.
With a logo as iconic as the symbols it’s comprised of, a sea of heartagrams could be seen all around the legendary venue. Fans found themselves lined up for hours in anticipation for Finland’s superstars to make their gracious appearance. It was a great relief for most to see this tour come back, last year’s unfortunate events caused HIM’s headlining shows to be cancelled, although the band did jump on the Rock Allegiance Tour to make up for the absence. Many fans were craving and demanding the band to headline, and when a rerun of Tears on Tour was announced, the tickets were snatched up quickly.
A more intimate venue that last year’s Hollywood Palladium show, you could really feel the heat as the audience packed into the venue. The stage was adorned with various HIM iconographies, and the crowd grew anxious for the band to play. When the curtain raised and music began to play, the energy was overwhelmingly positive. The light show was absolutely spectacular at this concert, with various songs featuring flickering lights and star-like constellation lighting. Reds and blues definitely dominated the display, quite fitting with the band’s characteristic melancholy music (although the most recent album is significantly more optimistic than the previous ones).
Vocalist Ville Valo was all smiles throughout the performance, he appeared rather joyous and energetic, and the crowd responded to this lovely mood. Whether it be taking the microphone off the stand and bellowing out a talented symphonic song, or playing his guitar, the man’s presence is hypnotic up on the stage. Bassist Migé and guitarist Linde often partnered up to play their parts, although the two dominated their sides of the stage. The interaction between the two was fantastic, classic rock and roll! Drummer Gas was hidden behind a plexi-glass cage, but that certainly didn’t cap his enthusiastic energy- the percussionist wasn’t able to contain his contagious smile as he held the beat. The other musicians often came up to him and interacted throughout the set, which isn’t as common with bands as you would think. Burton was in his own world on the keyboards, playing with apparent skill and preciseness.
The set list involved a standard run through of singles and fan favorites- songs that would make the show feel void if they weren’t included. As with every tour, there will certainly be a twist and this year’s surprise was the band playing “For You” live, a song from their very first album that hasn’t been played live in, well…ever. A beautiful love ballad, the band certainly brought justice to this nostalgic melody.
HIM is a band with a track record like none other, and music that has certainly bled out of Finland into the world. Always a pleasure to watch, and definitely worth catching at least once in your life!
Ville Valo – Vocals
Mikko Lindström “Linde” – Guitar
Mikko Paananen “Migé” – Bass
Mika Karppinen “Gas” – Drums
Janne Puurtinen “Burton” – Keyboards
• Buried Alive By Love
• (Rip Out) the Wings of a Butterfly
• Right Here in my Arms
• Kiss of Dawn
• All Lips Go Blue
• Join me in Death
• Your Sweet 666
• Passion’s Killing Floor
• It’s All Tears
• Soul on Fire
• Wicked Game
• Tears on Tape
• Poison Girl
• For You
• Funeral of Hearts
• When Love and Death Embrace