We’ve been proudly following the musical adventures of the band H.I.M. since their first US tour back in 2004 and we’re always glad to catch them in concert when they come to visit New York. This time around the band would be supporting their latest and greatest release entitled “Venus Doom” and the show would be at the Nokia Theatre in the heart of Times Square. To learn more about the show and to enjoy all of the photos just scroll past the logo below.
Venue: Nokia Theatre Times Sq. (New York, NY)
Opener: Bleeding Through
Label: Sire Records
When I think back upon the last few years in terms of all the band’s that I have been able to see when they come to the United States, I have to smile when I think of just how much I have enjoyed having HIM be one of the groups that I have watched from their very first visit to our region. I continued this support of their efforts as they reached for bigger and brighter heights with each go round and have found myself impressed each and every time. My own interest in HIM began in 2003 even though they had been around a little bit longer, and when they first came to the USA in 2004 for shows in NYC at The Bowery Ballroom I knew that we music fans were finally getting a special treat. It’s been interesting watching the band rise in popularity and seeing them sell out two nights in a row in the Big Apple with each go round and while last time they played the Hammerstein Ballroom, this evening would be the first of two sold out shows at the Nokia Theatre. I’ve been to this space a few times since they began holding Metal and Rock shows here and I felt this was the perfect setting for the way Ville Vallo and his friends do their thing. They would have Bleeding Through as their sole opener but we would bypass them and enjoy some of the holiday air of the Big Apple. Tonight was all about HIM for me, and no opening band was going to keep my interest no matter how hard they tried.
The band was touring in support of their latest release on Sire Records entitled “Venus Doom” and having been a long standing supporter of the band, I had to say that it was much heavier than I expected it to be, and vastly different from what we found them doing on “Dark Light”. HIM seems to change like the weather when it comes to their releases and I like to take that as a sign of their skills. The band is a solid grouping of players and all show some serious skills as they dole out the melodies but for those who have never seen them in action before, they need to know that for the larger part of the audience the man with the plan is Mr. Ville Vallo, the band’s charismatic lead singer. In my humble opinion the response that Ville gets is that of the teen idols of years past and through all the screaming and crying that his primarily female fan base extols upon him, he just smiles casually and takes a puff off of his cigarette. The singer goes through what seems to be a couple of packs of them during the show and while illegal to do inside buildings in NYC these days, no one seems to argue with the visiting bands. They opened tonight with “Passion’s Killing Floor” from the new album and it started the rocking quick as it led us to their amazing rendition of the Chris Isaak tune “Wicked Game”. They kept the night moving with limited banter for a few more numbers as “Buried Alive By Love” (which always kicks ass live) was done and this brought us to the “hit” or main tune from the “Dark Light” release of “Rip Out The Wings Of A Butterfly”.
Ville does speak to the crowd every now and again through the course of the shows that I have seen but tonight he did not do a lot of that and seemed to be resigned to letting his music do the talking. He teased about Ouija boards and trying to bring up Finnish ghosts and just kept getting the audience as riled up as he could while he had them under his control. Tonight the band would do five out of the nine tunes found on “Venus Doom” and three from the “Dark Light” album that preceded it and this meant that the audience and I were receiving perhaps the largest concentration of newer material by the band ever seen since they first came to these shores. In one sense this was a good thing because the diehards needed something like this to happen otherwise the set would be too repetitive and too similar across consecutive tours that had come before this one. Changing it up never hurts a band since they do have to sell the new albums and make the new songs your favorites as well. Those looking for exclusive sets of tunes from “Love Metal” or “Razorblade Romance” might have been disappointed but if this was the case one could not tell from the reaction each song was getting.
They did one of my legacy favorites with “Join Me In Death” and this one always blows me away with the audience participation that seems to feed Ville’s energy all the more and they capped it off with “Your Sweet 666”. I had to say that the band sounded better than I ever remembered them sounding before and this was important to note because it shows that they are still working together well and loving their material and the audience that comes to see them night after night. I could safely say that even though they chose to mix it up a little bit, that I was growing used to finding “Fortress Of Tears” and “Solitary Man” in the set and these would be absent tonight thanks to the changes. Rumor has it that this tour will be filmed on one of the closing dates so we shall all get a live DVD from it and probably even a CD companion. That’s never a bad thing in the eyes of those fans that cannot get enough of what they dish out. The band would be playing tomorrow evening as well but we were not hitting that show since in the past the shows have mirrored one another for the most part. My view on missing the second performance is that someone who might not have been able to come in tonight will at least have a chance tomorrow. Check out “Venus Doom” because it has some amazing moments to it and if you find HIM playing in your vicinity don’t miss out on this always good show.
Full HIM Photo Gallery: http://piercingmetal.com/him-live-photos-nokia-theatre-times-square-1212007/
1. Passion’s Killing Floor
2. Wicked Game
3. Buried Alive By Love
4. Rip Out The Wings Of A Butterfly
5. Kiss Of Dawn
6. Vampire Heart
7. Poison Girl
8. Dead Lovers Lane
9. Join Me In Death
10. Your Sweet 666
11. Sleepwalking Past Hope
12. Right Here In My Arms
13. Soul On Fire
14. Killing Loneliness
15. Bleed Well
16. It’s All Tears
17. Funeral Of Hearts
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