Ville Valo first became popular with his band HIM. He later started his side project VV, bringing love metal back to the surface; rekindling every emo’s dark heart.
The first band to hit the stage at The Van Buren was Kælan Mikla, an Icelandic post-punk band. The band is formed by three women Laufey Soffía-vocals, Margrét Rósa Dóru-Harrýsdóttir-bass and Sólveig Matthildur Kristjánsdóttir-synthesizer. The house lights dimmed and the stage was enveloped with blue lights. The trio came onto the stage and immediately grabbed everyone’s attention with their romantic Victorian gothic styled wardrobe.
The stage was engulfed in blue lights and one by one the band members came out onto the stage, taking their rightful places. They opened their set up with their song “Poem”. The audience cheered as the band began. The song started out quiet and began to build creating some anticipation from the crowd. Once the song fully began the audience became hooked, even if they had never heard of the band before that night. Their set was captivating. The singer, Soffía, would dance around the stage, moving her hands elegantly and always moving the skirt her dress as it to emphasize certain lyrics. The other two members never really left their posts. What did bring a fun and interesting element to their performance was that Kristjánsdóttir played the flute in the first song.
The second to last song in their set was “SÓLSTÖDUR”. Soffía’s singing style for this song was fun an unique. She stood away from her microphone and screamed the whole song, the audience really enjoyed this performance and artistic take. During their final song a few members jumped because they were not expecting the horror movie style screaming, but this fun and surprising element really brought the whole performance together. Kaelan Mikla’s set was a performance filled with entertaining, elegant and artistic elements that’s really made them stood out.
The lights came back on and the audience began to talk while they waited for the headliner to come on. This night was about to be special because it was VV, Ville Valo. Ville Valo is best know for being the frontman for the Finnish Love Metal band HIM. VV is Valo’s side project, which he started in 2020 and in 2023 VV released his first album.
Valo was a very Influential and important artists in the lives of many emo kids who grew up in the 90s and early 2000s. He is most well known for his band HIM, who gained popularity thanks to Bam Margera who used their moniker for his own merchandise. Margera’s love and obsession helped to skyrocket HIM’s popularity in the US.
To this day Valo’s music is still a huge part of many people’s lives. I remember finally being able to go to a HIM concert, I was mesmerized and enamored with the performance I was witnessing. This artist that was getting me through life was right in front of me, performing and singing his heart out. He stood in stage with his microphone and a cigarette in his other hand and all I could think was this man is amazing! The best part was being able to share this memory and experience with my parents. The lyrics and songs from HIM helped me get through some of the darker days in my teenage years and even to this day they are still one of my favorite bands.
When VV announced their tour hundreds and even thousands of people flocked to buy their tickets and boy was it amazing! VV sold out numerous shows on their first tour and what made it even more magical was Valo brought along his old band to support him during the Neon Noir Tour. VV’s band was made up by Mikko Virta-guitar, Sampo Sundström-guitar, Juho Vehmanen-bass, Risto Rikala-drums and of course Ville Valo-vocals.
The Neon Noir Tour was about to bring my whole HIM/VV experience full circle. I surprised my parents with ticket and boy were they excited! The full circle moment was being able to treat my parents to a band that we both enjoyed and that they took me too years before.
As every one waited patiently the lights had suddenly dimmed and the stage was lite by purple and yellow lights. Smoke was cascading into the air creating a hazy effect and then it happened. All the members walked onto the stage and began to play. Valo joined and began to sing “ Zener Solitare” off his 2023 album Neon Noir. the third song he sang was none other than “Poison Girl” off HIM’s album Razorblade Romance which was released in 2000. The fans went wild as soon as they heard the opening notes of the song. Valo smiled so big and bright, you could tell he was overjoyed by the love the fans were adorning him with. During the chorus he would take his microphone and point it to the crowd and the crowd sang every line word for word. You could easily see how much they adored and loved these songs.
The best part was that Valo incorporated numerous songs from his band HIM into the set, including “Join Me In Death”, “Rip out the Wings of a Butterfly”, “Buried Alive By Love” and “The Funeral of Hearts”.
This act of combing his new songs with his old songs showed fans that he was proud of what he had accomplished and instead of distancing himself from his past he was growing with it. He developed a new continuation of what he had started all those years before. Valo and the band put on the show if a lifetime! Recreating memories that will be cherished for decades to come, being able to watch Valo perform live again was dream come true! This show was magical beyond belief and will forever be a favorite among the masses who had the opportunity to join Valo and the rest of the band in this momentous journey.
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