Monday, June 7, 2010

HIM 4/22/10

HIM is touring in support of their new release, Screamworks: Love in Theory & Practice. I've seen HIM multiple times, but I'd never had the privilege of photographing them, and I was definitely looking forward this San Diego House of Blues show (despite the murky lighting typical of all HOB venues). This was the first time I'd seen them since the lead singer, Ville Valo, went to rehab, and I was curious to see what a sober Ville looked and sounded like. Was the booze an integral part of a HIM performance?

Well, I can tell you that the band has never sounded better. They may not be wasted onstage, but they're still having a great time up there, and it shows. The songs are tight and the audience rapport as wonderful as ever.

A big part of a HIM show is atmosphere. There are oriental rugs laid out onstage, and the lighting is dramatic. Unfortunately, it's not so great for photography, but then again that's not what the lighting is for. It's for the audience, and they seem to love it.

Ville is older now, and forgoes the eyeliner, but he still looks great. He swaggers all over the stage as if he's not in front of thousands of people. He seems completely at ease, stopping to chat with audience members between songs with his trademark, almost manic grin.

The audience, also, has matured. Not just young teen girls (though there certainly were some there), many in the audience were clearly longtime fans and sang along enthusiastically to both old and new material. The set was a nice balance of songs, and the packed house seemed wholly appreciative.

HIM is alive and well, and I hope they continue to make music for years to come!

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