support MAB + Cathedral
author PP date 30/10/04 venue Hammersmith Apollo, London, UK

Hammersmith Apollo can easily fit 6,000 eager fans. The gig was completely sold out so that's exactly what we had. 6,000 Ville Valo fans dressed up in black, mostly gothic outfits. This date was actually an extra London date as the first one sold out so fast, that the promoters decided to add another one for the fans.


I don't know where HIM digged up these two warmup bands. The first one, MAB, entered the stage and you could literally hear the murmur of the crowd. What we saw was four 16-year old girls dressed up as white as angels against the black, MAB getting it ongothic heartagram on the background. But wow, did we learn our lesson. Never judge anyone by their first impression! These 4 sweet-looking hotties made more noise than Evanescene, Nightwish and Kittie together! The vocalist screamed in Courtney-Love type of way, whilst at times singing as high up near opera sound as Tarja Turunen from Nightwish. Damn good effort from MAB!



Now the next band, Cathedral was probably the worst band I have ever seen in my entire life. I honestly do not think it's possible to be worse than they were. Religious, or should I say gothic, hard rock with long hair and a voice like Ozzy Osbourne. God damn they sucked ass. I don't think I've ever seen this many loser signs and middle finger signs from the crowd to any band. There must have been nearly 200 middle fingers up at one point. And man, did they get hammered with plastic bottles from the crowd! Quite frankly the most boring 45-minutes I have ever spent in a gig. Not even beer could help.



But to our relief, less than half an hour after they finished Ville Valo and company entered the stage. They started off with their superhit "Buried Alive By Love" which made the crowd relatively crazy. Ville Valo was, as usual, dressed up in his black suit and constantly kept smoking a cigarette. He was equipped with a bottle of whiskey, beers, water and I think I even saw a vodka bottle there. Way to go Ville!

The light-show was nice at first, but in the end it got a little bit repetitive. The heartagram symbol kept lighting up and dimming out, blinking, shining, and whatever else it did. It was swell for the hardcore heartagram fans though. Mr Valo took the most out of the light show, having a beam of white light directly from above him go on exactly when he was singing about being chosen by god or something similar to that.

HIM played a set of songs from all of their albums, some songs dating as far back as 1996 like "Join Me". We also heard the obvious choices "The Sacrament", "Funeral Of Hearts", "Your Sweet Six Six Six" and a bunch of other known HIM songs.

The only thing that sort of bothered me during the gig was Ville Valo's voice. He was so drunk (and perhaps drugged up?) that at times it was impossible to understand a word of what he mumbled to the mic. I could hear from around me that most people kept asking their friends "What did he say!?". But, else Ville kept his elegant look throughout the gig. HIM are going to be the next superstars, those known by everybody, very soon. An above average gig, for sure!


Setlist: (not accurate)

  • Buried Alive By Love
  • Join Me
  • Love's Requiem
  • The Funeral Of Hearts
  • The Sacrament
  • Razorblade Kiss
  • Right Here In My Arms
  • Wicked Game
  • Your Sweet Six Six Six
  • and many others...

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