HIM @ Bowery Ballroom (4/20/2004)

Artist: H.I.M.
Venue: The Bowery Ballroom
Date: 4/20/2004
Opener: Kill Hannah

There is something to be said about checking out a concert from a band like H.I.M. in a venue like The Bowery Ballroom. The club capacity is not that big and seems to hold just a little over 500 people. This makes it quite the intimate setting especially if you get close enough to the stage. This week, H.I.M. made their first trip to New York for two sold out shows, and I was lucky enough to attend. I have been enjoying the music of H.I.M. for many months now and was looking forward to being at this show. I was unable to secure tickets for the first show which sold out in minutes. As a matter of fact when I went to purchase my pair, the man selling them said to me “hey who are these guys that they sold out so quick”. I made sure to educate him on what to expect that evening.

Opening the evenings show was was “Eighteen Visions” who I did not see but did meet briefly outside as they rolled in their equipment, I also got a two track giveaway CD from them so perhaps I will look into them further some other time. I was stuck outside trying to contact friends for my now extra tickets. They did sound good from the street I must admit. Next up on the bill was “Kill Hannah” who had some catchy numbers as well, this band was promoting the release of their new CD as well. One number I was surprised to see KH perform was “Rebel Yell” since this is often a number that H.I.M. performs. I am not sure what led them to this decision, perhaps it was to stir the pot a little bit.

Shortly after 10:30 the stage went dark and the intro music kicked in. H.I.M. was back for their second NYC show. Ville did a smart thing by announcing almost every number they played, including the opener “Buried Alive By Love”. I am guessing he did this in case he had fans in the audience who were new to the bands music. I must admit I appreciated it as a reviewer for I only own “Razorblade Romance” (also reviewed elsewhere on this site —– shameless promo). H.I.M. music is not so readily available in the U.S.A. since record companies are more concerned with shoveling out the latest boy band crud on us more than bringing something new and exciting in for us to experience.

Ville was very conversant which I enjoyed quite a bit. One instance when feedback hit his microphone, he stopped it by covering his mouth completely over it. His comment was “that’s one way to stop a microphone from feeding back – give it a blowjob”. At another instance (I think around “Death Is In Love With Us”) Ville commented on how judging by his song titles that he must seem like a miserable bastard to everyone but I am really not. The intimacy of the venue allowed for him to also communicate a couple of times with the crowd. One person was yelling things to him and said something about speaking Finnish. So Ville replied, you mean FINISHED or Finnish? It was amusing.

During Solitary Man, he commented on how this was a Neil Diamond track by way of Johnny Cash as a tribute to him. When audience yelled for “Rebel Yell”, Ville joked that we’ve already done two cover tracks and we are not trying to be the jukebox here. At a point when numbers were not played that the audience wanted to hear, Ville pointed down and said “well, you see I am following this set here and that one is not on it”. Our manager keeps us in these pods like something out of Aliens and we don’t come out until we are at the next gig. We get rolled in, pods are opened, beers put in hand and there you go”. Quite funny to see how much he was enjoying himself. Rumor had it that the performance of a few days before was filled with technical difficulty and bad sound. The sound that night was excellent and I counted no issues on the stage. He let the audience decide what one of the almost final numbers as to whether it would be “Razorblade Kiss” or “Poison Girl”. I would have liked to hear both, but “Razorblade Kiss” won out.

There was some moshing being done, which was odd because H.I.M. music is clearly not the medium for that stuff to be quite honest. The set went quickly and I clocked it at about 67 minutes and as you see below a core portion of the material comes from “Razorblade Romance”. There were no encores played. Ville turned to the small table near the keyboards and said “last beer, last song”. With that, the number was played, the band said goodbye and it was done. A great time and I sure hope they return to these parts once again.

Set List:
1. Buried Alive By Love
2. Wicked Game
3. Right Here In My Arms
4. Heartache Every Moment
5. Your Sweet Six, Six, Six
6. Join Me (In Death)
7. Death Is In Love With Us
8. It’s All To End
9. Bury Me Deep Inside
10. Solitary Man
11. Spirit Resurrection
12. Lose You Tonight
13. Razorblade Kiss
14. Soul On Fire

Official Site: www.heartagram.com
Pictures provided by Donna Catamero (thanks Donna you’re the best).

Editor’s Note: This article was written for another medium prior to the 2005 launch of PiercingMetal.com and has been added to our content for your enjoyment.

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