Live: Ville Valo in Chicago

Six years go, H.I.M. said goodbye with a massive farewell tour that amassed the entire United States and hit Chicago’s House of Blues. Fast forward to 2023 and frontman Ville Valo has a new record in Neon Noir and has embarked on a North American tour that recently hit that same venue for two nights.  Night One fell on Easter while the second night came just one night later on Monday, with both shows featuring support from Iceland’s Kælan Mikla.  They got the night started with a set that was cinematic, theatrical, dark, eerie and ritualistic as much as it was beautiful and stunning. Vocally, it was hypnotic and captured you from the first note.  The low blue lights combined with the imagery, stage wardrobe and use of flutes, keyboards and bass rhythms gave a witchy vibe that encapsulates everything you’d want from an opener for Valo. They were a perfect choice for tour support.  As the lights went down again, a Heartagram illuminated the back of the stage with the VV lighting up at the bottom of the symbol. Valo would alternate back-and-forth between songs from Neon Noir and classic H.I.M. tracks, with the Heartagram lighting up for the H.I.M. songs and the VV for the solo songs.  The sold-out crowd was at the top of their game, too- with people crying, holding up signs and one fan even brought a bouquet of roses for Valo. With fans screaming at the top of their lungs and singing every word to every song- even the Neon Noir songs that were only a few months old- Valo couldn’t help but smile from ear to ear and couldn’t hide his happiness and showed his appreciation throughout the night.  If you’re a fan of H.I.M. or Valo, this tour has something for you. Valo does an incredible job balancing his solo material with the longtime favorites and doesn’t hide from what put him on the map; He embraces it and holds his roots close and that’s exactly why both Chicago shows were sold out.  -Reggie Edwards