The Finnish band HIM had announced after twenty-six years, eight studio albums it was time to say Heippa (goodbye), making a stop at the House of Blues in Anaheim California on Thursday, October 26th on the Bang and Whimper 2017 Farewell Tour.
As I arrived 3 Teeth from Los Angeles California was in the middle of their set, with a substantial crowd inside, and a line of fans still trickling into the venue.
Main support CKY from West Chester Pennslyvania were up next. This trio of frontman/guitarist Chad I Ginsberg, Matt Deis Bass/backup vocals and Jess Margera drums kept the momentum going. There set focused on songs from their first two albums, Volume 1 and Infiltrate, Destroy, Rebuild, adding two songs Replaceable and Head for a Breakdown off their recent release The Phoenix. It was evident that both 3 Teeth and CKY have a strong fan base, great openers for this show.
The anticipation for HIM to hit the stage was at its peak, the Sold Out crowd was shoulder to shoulder, you could hear the fans heartbeats, chants start the lights go down the cheers rise as you see in the darkness drummer Jukka Kröger, keyboardist Janne Burton Puurtinen, bassist Mige Paananen, guitarist Linde Lindström enter the stage, as frontman Ville Valo enters the stage to a deafening roar. Opening the set with Buried Alive from the album Love Metal, followed by Heartache Every Moment off Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights, rounding out the first three songs with You Sweet Six Six Six off Greatest Love Songs Vol 666.
HIM kicking off the Southern California shows at the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles, a second show was added due to high demand, the fans voices were heard, before heading to the House of Blues in Anaheim California, were the most loyal fans hit all three shows for their final goodbyes and send HIM off on their next journey.
Frontman Ville Valo leaves this statement: “After a quarter of a century of Love and Metal intertwined we sincerely feel HIM has run its unnatural course and adieus must be said in order to make way for sights, scents and sounds yet unexplored. We completed the pattern, solved the puzzle and turned the key. Thank you.” Also, a statement from bassist Mige Paananen, “At the end of 2017 we will be released into the wild. Before this event of great transformation, we would love to offer you one last chance to experience our live performances in His Majesty’s service. It shall not be a weepfest, but a celebration of love metal in all its Lovecraftian glory! See you there!” As I looked through the crowd watching the fans sing their heart out, with tears streaming down their cheeks. All about Love for this band.
It’s hard to pack in all the fan favorites from eight albums in two hours, but they did an amazing job covering songs from all the albums. Ending the main set with Funeral of Hearts off the album Love Metal, a fitting song for the evening, as the band leaves the stage with a wave to the fans. It seemed like forever as the fans kept cheering to finally see Kröger, Puurtinen, Paananen, Lindström, and Valo re-enter the stage for an encore, as one of the fans hands Valo a poster board with the song title on it, as Valo looks at the band, asks can we play this, they all agree. Opening their encore with Sleepwalking Past Hope off the album Venus Doom, one of their longest songs a little over ten minutes. Ending with a phenomenal rendition of Billy Idol’s Rebel Yell.
As I close this review I’m having the same feeling as that night, I’m at a loss for words. This was the first time seeing HIM live, and grateful I did. I wondered what their thoughts are each night as they close out this chapter of their journey, this is family, yes even family grow apart but there’s always that special place you keep in your heart. We wish them well as they embark on their next chapter.
Buried Alive by Love
Heartache Every Moment
Your Sweet Six Six Six
The Kiss of Dawn
Tears on Tape
Wings of a Butterfly
Gone With The Sin
Soul of Fire
Wicked Game (Chris Isaak cover)
Join Me in Death
It’s All Tears
In Joy and Sorrow
Right Here In My Arms
The Funeral of Hearts
Sleepwalking Past Hope
November 7th Charlotte, NC @ The Fillmore
November 9th Silver Springs, MD @ The Fillmore
November 10th Chicago, Ill @ House of Blues
November 11th Detroit, MI @ The Fillmore
November 13th Toronto, Ont @ Rebel
November 15th Philadelphia, PA @ The Fillmore
November 16th Worchester, MA @ The Palladium
November 17th New York, NY @ Hammerstein Ballroom
Review and Photos by Tammy Greene www.facebook.com/greenesoundlensphotography