Ville Valo released his debut solo album Neon Noir back on January 13th of this year, 12 new tracks from the Finnish singer and the first glance at full music since HIM’s break up in 2017. The album carries a heavy 80’s goth rock influence as he describes “ The sweet spot between Depeche Mode and Black Sabbath. Mission Accomplished Ville!
Friday night Ville Valo made his long awaited return to Philadelphia, a city which was incredibly important to his former band HIM’s career and the city of brotherly love showed up to the TLA in full force for his Neon Noir Tour. Valo hit the stage for the tour’s first show around 9pm, a stage pitch black clearly illuminated with the beloved Heartagram with a slight V Variation in the center. Some familiar faces were in attendance for night one of two at Philly’s Theater of Living Arts including Viva La Bam star Brandon Novak, Jess Margera from CKY, Jimmy Pop from The BloodHound Gang to name a few.
Ville kicked off the set with “Echolocate Your Love” from his solo album before jumping into the HIM cover of “The Funeral of Hearts”. This was a recurring theme through the set which pleased the crowd no doubt. After HIM’s farewell tour a few years ago, nobody knew if fans would ever get to hear those songs live again but to our surprise Valo switched off the entire set, going from a solo song to a HIM song constantly taking turns. I should also note he sounds absolutely phenomenal, arguably as good as ever. The band is also fantastic, nailing both the HIM tracks and the solo material.
The show features 18 songs including a four song encore, of those 18 happily 9 of them are HIM songs including “Poison Girl”, “Soul On Fire”, “The Kiss Of Dawn”, “Join Me In Death” and “Buried Alive By Love” to name a few. Of course the other 9 were songs of Neon Noir including “In Trenodia”, “Saturnine Saturnalia”, “The Foreverlost”, “Neon Noir” and “Loveletting”.