Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Ville Valo sings from the H.I.M Sheet

Ville Valo, the goth icon, has begun his solo career and is set to perform tonight in Manchester. Fans are eagerly anticipating his sold-out tour, which will feature songs from his time with H.I.M. This marks his first UK tour since the conclusion of the H.I.M Final Tour in December 2017.

Icelandic artist Kælan Mikla open the show. Their music exudes an enigmatic aura with a blend of synth-punk and dark wave that evokes witchcraft and winter vibes. What sets this band apart is their use of Icelandic language in every song, which adds to their poetic essence. Interestingly enough, Kælan Mikla’s origins trace back to 2013 when they won a local poetry competition – making every one of their songs essentially poetry set to music. As a newcomer to the band, I found myself particularly drawn to their track ‘Kalt’, and was impressed by the bassist’s style – it reminded me of Peter Hook, which is high praise indeed. The Crystal Castles-esque drama only added to my enjoyment. The set ended on a high note with ‘Hvitir Sandar’, and overall it was an enchanting experience. What really stood out for me was Sólveig Matthildur’s use of flute in some tracks – it gave the music an extra dimension that I loved.

Kælan Mikla

Although lacking a drummer or guitarist, the band demonstrated their self-sufficiency with an impeccable synth sound throughout their performance. Having released four albums and maintained independence since 2013, they have worked tirelessly to earn recognition and recently secured a record deal after their first album. They have also shared stages with renowned bands like The Cure and Deftones, earning praise from Robert Smith himself who is a devoted fan of theirs. In fact, the goth icon personally selected them to perform at the Dutch festival Roadburn in 2019.

Kælan Mikla

As someone who loves anything synth/electric, this band has something which I’ve not seen in an electronic band before – they really do stand out from the genre and are worth checking out if you love all things synth! 

I am at a loss for words after witnessing the incredible performance by Ville Valo. He was on top form and received a very warm welcome back to the stageafter the last time we saw him in December 2017 in Manchester under less fortunate circumstances, as it was the final H.I.M tour. This is Ville Valo’s first solo tour, which makes it even more remarkable as he ventures further into the creative field. This is a new era for the Gothic idol and fans still adore and go bananas for the icon, thrilled to see his charismatic smile once again! Additionally, with the release of his new album Neon Noir, fans have been eagerly anticipating its arrival – many hardcore fans were ecstatic when Valo updated his social media accounts with teasers about it.

Ville Valo

As Ville takes the stage, the crowd erupts in excitement at the opening notes of ‘Echolocate Your Love’. The audience’s hands shoot up in jubilation and their faces light up with massive smiles. Some even shed tears of joy as they welcome Valo with overwhelming warmth. He grins from ear to ear, clearly thrilled to be there. Without a word, he launches into his setlist, perhaps eager to show his gratitude for the support or simply determined to fit in as many songs as possible. Amongst many standout tracks is ‘Loveletting’, a synth pop love song that showcases Valo’s iconic voice and leaves listeners spellbound. It’s hard to imagine anything more perfect than this magical moment.

Ville Valo

The concert’s playlist strikes a perfect equilibrium between solo and H.I.M numbers that the audience simply adores. In the middle of the show, ‘Wings of a Butterfly’ blasts through the PA, instantly transporting you back to your teenage years with its iconic emo sound. On ‘Handful of Ghosts’, powerful drumming, skilled guitar playing, and Vile’s vocals leave you awestruck and speechless.

Ville Valo

As soon as the piano play starts on ‘Join Me In Death’, it’s like a switch is flipped and we all go crazy. The power of those damn pianos were so loud that the sound technician had to turn it down, so that Valo could hear the crowd. ‘Run Away From The Sun’ has got to be a favourite because it gives us a taste of what Valo’s solo work might sound like. And of course, there’s ‘When Love and Death Embrace’, which is always a hit with die-hard H.I.M fans who love to sing along in perfect harmony.

Ville Valo

Before bidding farewell to the audience, Valo expressed gratitude towards them. However, he returned after a brief interval to treat his fans with some more final tracks. The concert ended on a high note with a total of 18 songs performed – nine from H.I.M and an equal number from Valo’s solo work. The last two tracks were ‘Poison Girl’ and ‘Saturnine Saturnalia’, which left the crowd in awe. It was indeed an unforgettable experience, especially since it concluded with a new track that surpassed all expectations.

Valo is back, he’s in a better place, the fans still adore him and he’s back later this year at Download Festival!

Christopher James Ryan
Christopher James Ryan
Hello, My name is Chris Ryan I'm 30 and i am a photographer/Reviewer. I love going to gigs, beer, motorbikes and gaming ^^

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