On November 5th, House of Blues Orlando became a madhouse of fans coming to say farewell to HIM. The band decided to officially retire and was doing one last tour to say their farewell to their fans. The Bang and Whimper Tour 2017 was making its way through the United States during this time and Orlando was one of the stops. It was a sold-out show DreadMusicReview was fortunate enough to be given access to photograph and review the show.
Opening up was 3TEETH, an industrial band that formed in 2013 from Los Angeles, CA. the band has release two albums ‘3TEETH’ in 2014 and ‘<shutdown.exe>’ in 2017. The hit the stage to darkness, strobes, and red lighting and they provide the crowd with a blend of industrial and metal we haven’t seen at the venue before. Alexis Mincolla, vocalist, stalked across the stage in large strides and stood tall while singing. Chase Brawner, guitarist, also stalked the stage ripping out some haunting guitar riffs. Behind the drumsset, Andrew Melendez, provided thunderous sounds booming across the venue. Xavier Swafford and Andrew Means manning the keys and synthesizers slamming out (sometimes literally) the electronic industrial sounds. 3TEETH seemed new to most of the Orlando crowd that night, but their music grabbed them as I watched people bobbing their heads and hands to their music. By the time they finished their set, the Orlando crowd was cheering and applauding for their performance.
Next up was CKY the rock band from West Chester, PA. The band formed in 1998 and they released their first album, ‘Volume 1’, in 1999. Their success led them to releasing two additional albums which charted well before signing on with Roadrunner Records. CKY released two addition albums including their latest ‘The Phoenix’ released in June 2017 under Entertainment One Music. CKY went through some lineup changes over the years including the departure of their founding vocalist, Deron Miller. CKY consists of Chad I Ginsburg (vocals, guitars), Jess Margera (drums), and Matt Deis (bass).
They sstartedoff with “The Human Drive in Hi-Fi” from their ‘Volume 1’ album. Chad was donning a yacht boat captain hat while playing and singing into the mic. Matt on the opposite side was providing backup vocals. They followed up with “Sporadic Movement” from ‘Infliltrate·Destroy·Rebuild’. The lighting for the set was a beautiful mix of yellows and oranges and some reds with white moving spotlights. Chad and Matt constantly moved around on stage and you could see they were having fun. Their hard rock/punk sound got the crowd riled up with even a mosh pit forming in the back. The crowd applauded loudly when they finished their set which included “Attached at the Hip”, “Close Yet Far”, and “Escape From Hellview”.
And then the band everyone was waiting for that evening, HIM, was getting ready to hit the stage. The band from Helsinki, Finland formed in 1991. But, it wouldn’t be until 1997 when they would release their first album ‘Greatest Lovesongs Vol. 666’. The album peaked at #4 on the Finnish charts and would go on to both Gold and Platinum certifications. The band also won Newcomer of the Year and Debut Album of the Year Finnish Emma Awards. Their followup album ‘Razorblade Romance’ would go on to chart at #1 in Finland, Austria, and Germany and receive certifications for Gold, Platinum, and Double Platinum. HIM made a significant impact in Europe. The band made their way for the first time to the United States in 2003 with the release of ‘Love Metal’. After 10 million record sales and 8 studio albums, the band decided to retire and will play their final show on December 31st as part of the Helldone Festival. But, tonight, Ville Valo (vocals), Mikko “Midge” Paananen (bass), Mikko “Linde” Lindstrom (guitars), Jaane “Burton” Puurtinen (keyboards), and Jukka “Kosmo” Kroger (drums) would perform their final show for the Orlando crowd.
The show started off with a recording of The Everly Brothers “Bye Bye Love” before they stepped out on stage and opened with “Buried Alive By Love” from ‘Love Metal’. The crowd was going insane as they went into their first song with the band doused in blue light. Ville’s vocals resonated throughout the building as the band rocked out hard on stage. They followed up with “Heartache Every Moment” from ‘Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights’ and then “Your Sweet 666” from ‘Greatest Lovesongs Vol. 666’.
The band used a variety of colors throughout their sets but mostly stayed with blues, greens, and reds. The fans were ecstatic and getting more frenzied with every song that they performed. Ville addressed the crowd a few times which led to statements from the fans like “We love you!”. They continued on through the night with their own branded “love metal” with songs including “The Sacrament”, “Tears on Tape”, “Soul on Fire”. The band even performed the cover of Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game”, which was published on their debut album. It is a great rendition performed as only HIM would do it.
As the night went on with other songs such as “Poison Girl” and “Heartkiller” you could start to see the realization on the fans’ faces. The show was heading to the end, and HIM would be gone from Orlando forever. And the song selection HIM provided was almost themed towards an ending with “In Joy and Sorrow”, “Right Here in My Arms”, and finishing with “The Funeral of Hearts”. The band provided the crowd with two final songs of “Sleepwalking Past Hope” from ‘Venus Doom’ which is a 10-minute track and a cover of Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell”. And then they said their thank yous and goodbyes to the fans. Fans were smiling and fans were crying knowing this was the last show they’d ever see of HIM.
It was an excellent run for the 26-year-old band. The Orlando fans were fortunate and gracious to see them on this last tour. The show was a moment they will never forget and cherish deeply in their hearts.