HIM in Congress Theatre, Chicago /25.10.2007/

"HIM - Sober And Solid"

Written by Alana Grelyak

Once again, the Congress Theater welcomed HIM to Chicago for an excellent rock concert. The Finnish Goth metal band is once again on tour, this time promoting their new album, Venus Doom.
The suspense was tangible while fans waited for HIM to take the stage. Nine oclock came, then nine fifteen, and finally, somewhere just after nine-thirty, a low rumble floated from the speakers while white clouds of mist were expelled from tiny lamps with womens legs on them. The band walked out on stage, sans singer, and began to play. Shortly after their intro, the dreamy Ville Valo took his place behind the microphone and filled the hall with his gorgeously smooth voice.

HIM played through several songs from their new album, such as Bleed Well and The Kiss of Dawn, but also included plenty of tracks from their old ones, like Funeral of Hearts, and Soul on Fire.

For those familiar with the bands goings on, you might have heard about Villes recent visit to rehab to discontinue his drinking issues. Up until now, hed been known for singing with a cigarette in one hand and a bottle in the other. This evening, Ville sported only the cigarette (which he chain smoked one after the other all night) and seemed a bit more reserved than usual. He stood fairly still the entire concert, barely leaving his microphone, and talked slightly less than normal.

DuringDead Lovers Lane, Ville at one point in his unbelievably deep range, started singing Amy Winehouses lyrics Im not going to rehab, I said no no, thought it seemed barely anyone noticed.

HIM held the audiences attention quite well throughout the show, even inspiring some girls to throw their clothing up onto the stage. A bra was in attendance before photographers even left the pit after the third song and when someone threw yet another article of clothing onto the stage half-way through their set, Ville said that he wouldnt be picking it up because now a days, one never could be too careful.

Overall, HIM did an amazing balancing act of mixing songs from several of their albums, while still deftly promoting their latest offering. Fans seemed overall pleased with the strong performance (sans encore), and HIM is more than welcome to come through Chicago at any time.

Bleeding Through opened the night starting right on time at 8 p.m. although thats probably the only thing that went smoothly for them. Playing song after song that sounded pretty much the same as the one before it, the band encouraged the audience to start a pit and body surf, despite the fact that the audience was filled with children under twelve years old. One guy took their advice and ended up falling on his ass not once but at least four times. Brilliant.

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