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.
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.
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.
Echolocate Your Love
Right Here in My Arms
Buried Alive By Love
Wings of A Butterfly
Heartful of Ghosts
Join Me in Death
The Kiss of Dawn
Run Away From the Sun
When Love and Death Embrace
Soul on Fire
PHOTO CREDIT: All photos by Christina Corcoran for ZRockR Magazine – All Rights Reserved