C O L U M N S
H.I.M. w/ Monster Magnet @ Irving Plaza NYC: 11-14-04/11-15-04
H.I.M. has returned to the States for a short tour that once again brought them to New
York City for two nights out of the 14 listed on the tee-shirts being sold. This time
around the venue would be larger as well as the opening acts being a litte more known to a
wider public. Monster Magnet would be on hand as well as Melissa Auf De Maur. Each one of
these performers an interesting act which made the ticket price a good deal. The last time
H.I.M. played the States the NYC Venue was the Bowery Ballroom where about 500 people got
to see them in a very intimate venue. Now this would be doubled by Irving Plaza and both
shows were completely sold out.
The band was in top form this evening and they cruised through their songs. Ville does a
smart thing by telling people the name of the track performed. Given that H.I.M. music has
only become available in the USA recently, I think this is a smart move to do as it will
generate extra interest in more of their material. While the band sounded great and Villes
voice was in good form, I did find the vocal mix on his mic to be a tad low. It made it
difficult to understand and here him sometimes. Ville clearly does not follow a set script
in his banter with the audience as he purely seems to talk what is on his mind. Among the
funny comments was when he dedicated a song to the guys in the audience, all 13 of them.
The Sunday evening show was defiantly more on the girl side and that is always fine by
As I have listed below, the band seemed to concentrate on the hits package And Love
Said No. I thought this was great for the CD is guaranteed to hold a few of
everyones favorite numbers. In particular, some memorable moments were during Join
Me In Death when the audience helped out in the end in particular while Ville
pointed the mic to them. Quite powerful to hear the almost 1200 hundred voices singing in
unison shouting This Life Aint Worth Living!!. While I enjoyed the performance
overall, I did have a couple of minor critiques on it. Towards the end of the set when the
band played In Joy And Sorrow, there was far too much wasted banter time.
Ville talked and talked and then made each member of the band scream at the top of their
lungs. Then he brought out some people he knows and had them do the same thing. Now, this
went on for 15 minutes and totally ruined the momentum of the evening if you ask me. In
this time they could have played at least two more numbers which the audience in most
cases would have preferred. No one in my vicinity enjoyed this portion of the show.
2nd Night Highlights: I was lucky enough to be able to attend both nights of these shows
and it was worth my doing so. Auf De Maur played what seemed to be a couple of different
numbers this time around and was a little heavier. I might have to look more into them.
Monster Magnet was again tight, but did the exact same set as the previous night. Even the
introduction at the beginning by Wyndorf the singer who was tossing cigarettes into the
crowd in order to assist in the corruption of the youth was the same. However, they do
rock. Wyndorf did bring on a dancing girl who did her thing during Space Lord.
Interesting and fun. I hope to see a full Magnet set sometime soon as their music really
rocks in a very 70s sorta way.
H.I.M. however would be a different and far more amusing experience this time. The evening
started off just as the night before, but one sure could see that Ville Vallo was drinking
far too much this time. I figure he got about half way into the set before the silly
drunken antics were taking place. His speesh wush shlerred (I mean his speech was slurred)
and he told the audience he was drunk. He would open a beer and sip it deep, then toss it
behind him. Clearly driving the poor stage hands crazy as he has spending spent a lot of
time doing beer cleanup. Then he would drink from what appeared to be Jaegermeister bottle
(never a smart mix in my opinion). At one point he was singing the song while laying down
on the stage, and then at another he disappeared for at least 10 minutes (to get sick I
imagine) while the band just looked at one another and jammed. From my vantage point
upstairs it seemed as though Mige (bass) was very annoyed at this. There was a funny
audience participation sequence when Ville would toss his microphone into the crowd and
the roadie would grab it and put it back on stage. When Ville saw it, he tossed it back.
This nonsense happened a couple of times before he let some girl sing for far too long.
Sorry, not everyone can sing and this was more shouting than trying to help. The set
remained pretty much the same until the very end when Ville seemed to be adamant about a
particular song. Funeral Of Hearts was performed and that was it. As a
matter of fact Ville changed the song as the band started it, this did not look to go over
well on Miges face. "Soul On Fire" was performed and the evening closed.
As a fan of the band I hope that these kind of antics do not become commonplace. The
signing to Sire Records for them and the desire to break bigger in the US can easily be
compromised if the fans get the impression that they will be cheated at live shows. I was
told that the antics of this evening had made the Finnish newspapers and they were very
upset at Ville for it. Sadly, this was also the show that a New York newspaper attended
and destroyed the band as a result. Many thanks to Becky Huskins for her excellent photos
that she allowed me to use.
1. Buried Alive By Love
2. Your Sweet 666
Right Here In My Arms
Heartache Every Moment
Its All Tears
Join Me In Death
Fortress Of Tears
Lose You Tonight
Love Said No
In Joy And Sorrow
Soul On Fire
Monster Magnet Set:
3. Radiation Day
4. Monolithic Baby
5. Unbroken (Hotel Baby)
H.I.M. Homepage: www.heartagram.com
Monster Magnet Homepage: www.monstermagnet.com
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