HIM o2 World on tour
Mobile Arena at Sudstadion, Cologne 04.06.2008
Him for 80 minutes live and for free. Not possible? Oh yes it is! As a part of o2 World on tour the five Finnish guys rocked in Cologne on the 4th of June 2008 and that totally for free and for everybody who was early enough at the venue. The concert took place in the mobile o2-Arena at the Sudstadion and around 1400 people fitted in. So a lot of Him-fans already came together hours before the opening-time to be sure to get in, because the motto of the Event was “You get in, if you`re early enough” and many kept that in mind. But the first arrivals had to be very patient as the doors weren`t opened before 7pm and until that time everybody had to bear sticky heat and wet rain showers. But who cares, if there is the chance to be in the first row of a free Him-gig?
So it wasn't a big surprise that men as well as women sprinted into the hall as soon as the securities opened the doors and gave the way free. First come, first serve. o2-clients didn?t have that sort of stress as they could order a so called “mobile ticket” before and get the sureness of getting in without standing in the row. But in the end everybody, who was early enough, could enjoy 80 minutes Finnish power. The press and VIP-guests could enjoy a special service in this case. For them there was a VIP-lounge with drinks for free and a good view over the stage. But finally at 8:30pm there was something happening on stage: The music from tape stopped and the stage was dipped into blue floodlights. Only seconds later Him's Intro started and the five Finnish guys entered the stage with “Passion`s Killing Floor”. The about 875 square metres big hall turned into a brewing cooking pot. If tall or small, if young or old: Everybody was enthused. During the song “Right Here In My Arms” there were even some first crowdsurfers tasting a bath in the crowd. Vocalist Ville, visible happy about the nice greeting of Cologne`s audience, smiled over both ears in case you could see them, because Ville was wearing a violet woolen cap. Furthermore he was wearing a scarf and jacket, as if the winter had come back. But not later than the third song – “Wings Of A Butterfly” – Ville realised that it wasn?t true and the temperatures rose instead, so that he put off his jacket at least. Also Gas on his drums – again barricaded behind a glass wall – were sweating, because he played his drums so hard. Burton at his keys – with hip glasses on his nose – appeared a bit more easygoing. As decoration there was a huge Heartagram in the back of the stage. And on the stage itself there were placed two lamps with red shades and women legs as sockets. Some might remember those from the last Him-Germany-Tour in February.
Similar like on that tour also this time the setlist was mixed by songs from all albums except “Deep Shadows & Brilliant Highlights”. The guys had fun playing those. Mige on the left side – with a cap on his head – showed action with the bass. Linde on the right side was running around on a circle all the time. Ville was addicted to his cigarettes and lightened a new one at nearly every song. And together the dark rockers presented their real blast “Buried Alive By Love”, the classic “Wicked Game” and first single “Kiss Of Dawn” of the new album “Venus Doom”. The audience was enthralled and shouted loudly, so that Ville mumbled not only one time a shyly “Thank you” into the microphone. With their hit “Join Me” Him sweetened their fan?s evening even more and not later than this song the hall had reached its boiling point. Everybody was singing the lines of that song by heart. “Sleepwalking Past Hope” followed immediately and becalmed the fans only a bit. Ville disappeared in the backstage area for a few minutes, while his four bandmates played some instrumental parts. About 10 minutes later Him presented seamlessly “Poison Girl” and again the audience showed text-knowledge and Ville and his men were happy about that. They continued with their earwig “Killing Loneliness” and the loud blast “Soul On Fire”. Band and audience were both dived into flickering lights. While the one part was swinging cigarette lighters referring to the song title, the other part was less romantic. They jumped and built little moshpits and the hall was really quaking. Just as well rocking it continued with “Bleed Well” and “It`s All Tears” and it didn't take long and there were some crowdsurfers again. Then it was time for a bit goose bumps-feeling. “Love`s the funeral of hearts and an ode for cruelty…” Ville yearned into his microphone. Especially the girls might have gotten some rosy cheeks cos of that. Fitting to the perfect acoustic atmosphere there was also an optical highlight.
White spot lights beamed onto a mirror ball that was circling above the stage and sprinkling around with dancing lights. But that was not enough. “We have one more song for you”, Ville said and continued “but then we have to go.” So Him played as a last song “Rebel Yell” and everybody enjoyed the cover song. Then the show was over. Loud encore-shouts – comparable to the last gig in Cologne – stayed unheard. But what more? Him had played 15 songs and that for free! It was an amazing evening that could be repeated at every time. You can also find a 4-pages HIM-Livestory about this concert in the new Rockoon! magazine [ issue 07/08 ] including lots of great photos. Don`t miss it!
Setlist: 01. Passion?s killing floor, 02. Right here in my arms, 03. Wings of a butterfly, 04. Buried alive by love, 05. Wicked game, 06. Kiss of dawn, 07. Join me, 08. Sleepwalking past hope, 09. Poison girl, 10. Killing loneliness, 11. Soul on fire, 12, Bleed well, 13. It`s all tears, 14. Funeral of hearts, 15. Rebel yell
Text: Lea Sommerhauser