Live: HIM Farewell in Chicago

HIM have always been a special band for me. The band has been one of my go-to bands for almost a decade now and the history I have with their music is hard to put into words. Needless to say, when they announced the North American leg of their Farewell Tour, one thing was clear- go.

The tour hit Chicago’s House of Blues and HIM brought along CKY and 3Teeth for the ride- the latter of which had played Chicago a few months back with Rammstein so the crowd was ready for round two.

After 3Teeth and CKY left the sold out, capacity-crowd deafening with approval and excitement, the lights went down and The Everly Brothers’ “Bye Bye Love” came playing over the speakers, which was poetic for the band about to take the stage.

As the lights went down, the crowd was louder than ever before and HIM quietly took the stage and ripped into “Buried Alive By Love” and there was no looking back.

They hit the fans with a quick combo of favorites right out of the gate with “Heartache Every Moment,” “Your Sweet Six Six Six” and “The Kiss of Dawn” all coming right away and the crowd was loving every minute of it.

HIM sounded stellar as well- singer Ville Valo’s voice was perfect, beautiful and flawless while Linde’s guitar work and Mige’s bass work was as good as it’s ever been. The band was in good spirits as well- smiling and joking with each other on stage- it’s clear they’re at peace with the fact that this is the final chapter of HIM for now.

Almost any song you would have wanted to hear was thrown into the setlist with a few exceptions, of course, but the songs chosen were the most ideal and encapsulating summarization of HIM’s career that there was virtually no way to leave unsatisfied and, at 21 songs ending just around Midnight, everyone left taking something away from the show.

For me, when I was attending a small, private Bible College in Iowa, HIM was the band I was able to relate to the most and the band that got me through one of the hardest times of my life going into that school. When things started to get dark and painful in my personal life, HIM’s music gave me the only sense of happiness and light I could find at the time. When things were hard, I would retreat into that personal place we all have, turn on their music- whether it was “Salt In Our Wounds,” “Pretending,” “Please Don’t Let It Go,” “Killing Loneliness,” or others, there was always a sense of peace, safety, hope and love in their lyrics and music.

Even though HIM may be gone from the live stage and making new music, we will always have the memories, the music we already have the the thankfulness of having been able to see them live when we all did.

Now, we can all just sit back, reflect and tell HIM “thank you. Thank you for being there and for giving some of us the hope and strength to keep going.

-Reggie Edwards