• Tue. May 28th, 2024

The first time I saw Ville Valo (VV) was with the band HIM in 2004 at House of Blues in Las Vegas. It was a busy, but not packed crowd, and fourteen year old me stood there, mouth agape at what was happening in front of me.

I had the pleasure of seeing HIM two more times before the band called it quits in 2017; once at the old Joint in what used to be the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Vegas, where I actually had the pleasure of interviewing Ville Valo, and the last time, of course at House of Blues in 2015, bringing things to a close where it all began.

When it was announced that VV would be resurrecting with his Neon Noir tour, and of course where it was, I had to get tickets.

Everything came full circle on April 21st, and what an amazing night it was.

Kælan Mikla.

Opening up the evening was Icelandic trio Kælan Mikla. I gave the band a listen prior to the show, and was really happy with what I heard.

The band reminded me of something you’d hear in a goth club; like if Depeche Mode was ran by witches. I’ve listened to them since the show as well, and am really pissed off that I missed their set thanks to wonderful Las Vegas construction and traffic.

VV

From the minute that Ville Valo and his band took the stage, to the minute they left, the crowd did not stop screaming, cheering, or singing.

The set was a beautiful blend of his solo stuff as well as HIM songs, and any time he stopped singing, the crowd took over. There was a great rapport between Valo and the audience.

You literally could not move in the venue, but I didn’t mean being bounced around a little bit because getting to hear the new material and sing and dance my heart out to the older material made it all worth it.

Highlights for me were “Heartful of Ghosts” off of Neon Noir, and of course the song that started it all, “Join Me in Death” off of 2000’s Razorblade Romance, which I first saw in 2003 on Yahoo! Music.

The only letdown, if there is one, is that other dates on the tour received four encores, including “Funeral of Hearts” off of 2003’s Love Metal, which we were robbed of. At least we got two solid encores with “Soul on Fire”, also from Love Metal and “Saturnine Saturnalia” off of 2020’s Gothic Fennica Vol. 1.

Overall, it was an incredible set, and I look forward to seeing this incarnation of Valo’s music going forward.

Setlist.

Echolocate Your Love
Poison Girl
The Foreverlost
Right Here in My Arms
Loveletting
Buried Alive By Love
Baby Lacrimarium
Wings of A Butterfly
Heartful of Ghosts
Join Me in Death
Neon Noir
The Kiss of Dawn
Run Away From the Sun
When Love and Death Embrace
Encores
Soul on Fire
Saturnine Saturnalia

Gallery.


PHOTO CREDIT: All photos by Christina Corcoran for ZRockR Magazine – All Rights Reserved

By Stephy Muzio

Stephanie " Stephy " Muzio (formerly Hayward) - Public Relations / Writer/ Photographer and Co-Founder of ZRockR Magazine Co-host of ZRockR Magazine LIVE! Stephy was raised on rock and roll. Originally from Illinois, Stephy is the daughter of an aspiring metal guitarist and a former rock n roll radio dj. Stephy’s first concert at the tender age of 8 was Rob Zombie at the original Joint inside the Hard Rock Hotel in Vegas, where she happily threw horns up and sang along to "Dragula" with the best of them ( she incidentally loves horror films too!) . She performed with the VGA choir at the 2007 Video Game Awards show at Mandalay Bay when it was hosted by Samuel L Jackson, sharing the stage with the likes of Foo Fighters as well as Kid Rock. An LVA alum, when she isn’t singing or playing herself (she plays a few different instruments), she is out in support of the local scene and at her friends gigs around the southwest and even when she is back home in Illinois! She has written as well as done some photography previously for a couple of smaller zines including Vegas SoundZ when it was in print. Stephy takes the adage of ” If it’s too loud that is just too damn bad! ” to heart- after all- she was raised around screaming guitars, thunderous drums, production studios and only Led Zeppelin and Nirvana played extremely loud would put her to sleep as a kid! Stephy is a large part of the backbone of ZRockR.

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