HIM – Goodbye With Tears, Swansong In Philly

November 17, 2017, a year ago

Mark Gromen

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After two decades of singing about death and his demise, founder Ville Valo has finally decided to pull the plug on his creation, HIM. Just the second time seeing the band and first as a headliner. Interesting to see how the other half lives, as both HIM and opening act CKY exist on the fringe of heavy metal (without being so, despite their fans' protests to the contrary), a vast majority of the crowd being female. Yes, the HIM audience is filled with hers, and lots of dudes, with man buns and strange haircuts, trying to get with loads of good looking ladies. Never a pretty scene. Wish I had a dollar (Canadian or American) for every loose fitting toque spotted tonight, mimicking the headdress of HIM frontman Valo. Could have paid my bar tab and bought quite a few others. 

Having been to Helsinki about a dozen times, aware of Finland's love of understated presentation. Thus, this wasn't so much a concert, as a sing-along, mid-tempo (at best) and expertly lit. Plenty of white lights swept across the stage and for "The Kiss Of Dawn", purple. An electric Pied Piper playing to his minions, one last time. Once again a European act fails to understand the importance of merch. Sure there were some designs, but this tour is the last hurrah, yet no shirt declaring the fact. No "End of the Line", sure fire, must have remembrance. Opportunity squandered. Must admit, recognized the cover of Chris Isaak's "Wicked Game" quicker than most of the originals. Ditto the encore reserved "Rebel Yell" (Billy Idol). At one point, Valo lamented, "Having a PS2 in your living room ain't living. Get the fuck out of your house and feel the throb of a live amp." Perhaps a window into his motivation to pack it in (although rumors of a solo career abound). Hope he finally finds what he's been searching for, a Foreboding Sense of Impending Happiness.

CKY were something, for a brief moment, back at the turn of the millennium, when Bam Magera and his Jackass (how appropriate) crew were media darlings. While his brother is the drummer, Bam owns a bar in nearby West Chester, PA. The band were introduced by Mom & Pop, while Bam (in cape & sunglasses) made an appearance, for the finale, their rendition of Fuckface Unstoppable's "All My Friends Are Dead".

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