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HIM's melancholy warms up a cold Chicago night at their sold out concert

HIM with their heartagram symbol blazing behind them
HIM with their heartagram symbol blazing behind them
Photo from writer's collection

Many bands have huge fan bases, but none of them are as loyal or dedicated as HIM's. If you were ever in doubt about the band's popularity in the States, their sold out show at the House of Blues this past Wednesday (March 12) confirmed that HIM are still going strong. The band was everything you wanted to them to be and more. They sounded great putting a ton of energy behind their performance and even though singer Ville Valo loves to smoke and drink on stage, it clearly hasn't affected his voice. He sounded sweeter, more viscous, and more sensual than he does on his records.

Though the Finnish band did a few numbers from their latest album “Tears on Tape” the night was full of classic songs that made fans, who were there from the beginning, go wild. Ear shattering screams erupted when the band fired up “Buried Alive by Love” and more cheers exploded during “Wings of a Butterfly.” With their famous heartagram symbol shining behind them, they kept churning out fan favorites like “Join Me (In Death),” “The Kiss of Dawn,” “Right Here in My Arms,” "Your Sweet Six Six Six," and “Soul on Fire,” which started an unexpected circle pit. One of the night's highlights was their sexy cover of Chris Issak's “Wicked Game,” one of the many songs that launched HIM's career in the States.

Ville was nothing but charming the entire night, as he smiled throughout the entire show, seeming to reveal in how the fans reacted to his music. People shrieked as he addressed the Chicago crowd with his lovely baritone voice. Even when he left for a brief cigarette break guitarist Linde and bassist Mige provided an electric jam that kept the crowd on their toes. There were times where Mige was so energetic and bouncing around the stage you couldn't keep your eyes off of him. Some of the songs that got the biggest reaction were “For You” from their debut album and “Funeral of Hearts” from their mainstream breakout “Love Metal.”

Each song left the crowd wanting more and even when fans knew they were coming back for an encore, they still erupted in the chant “One more song! One more song!” They closed the night with an extra long rendition of their beautiful melancholy tune “When Love and Death Embrace.” Afterwards, each of the guys waved good-bye as the crowd begged them to stay for yet another song. The night showed how after what felt like a significant absence from the band, their fans were waiting for their triumphant return. If you weren't a firm believer in HIM, you were sure to be converted after that night.

You can still catch HIM on tour if you missed your chance. They'll be playing another sold out show in New York tonight (March 14). Their North American tour will take them through March, wrapping up in Houston, Texas on March 25. There are some tickets available, so grab yours while you still can. To get their latest album “Tears on Tape” visit their official website.

Complete setlist:

Buried Alive By Love
Rip Out the Wings of a Butterfly
Right Here in My Arms
The Kiss of Dawn
All Lips Go Blue
Join Me in Death
Your Sweet Six Six Six
Passion's Killing Floor
Soul on Fire
Wicked Game
Tears on Tape
Poison Girl
For You
The Funeral of Hearts

Encore:

Into the Night

When Love and Death Embrace