Sunday, December 14, 2014

HIM / Motionless in White @ Fillmore, Silver Spring 12/12/2014

I went to see HIM (a pricey $38) with my buddy Tony at the Fillmore, Silver Spring. I saw Robin and Marie there, but not many other familiar faces. My buddy had seen HIM before, many years ago, but I never managed to see them until tonight. I think that this Finnish goth rock/metal band has consistently put out solid albums, albeit a bit more on the emo/mopey/mushy side of lyrics, and I thought they'd be great live. And at the Fillmore, you know it was going to sound pretty fabulous! Initially it was just HIM on this tour when it was announced, and at some point they added Wounds and Motionless in White, neither of which I was excited for.


Another friend messaged me that there was a long line outside of the Fillmore, and I got nervous because I hadn't gotten a ticket yet. After a call to the Fillmore, I confirmed that there were enough tickets let (a few hundred). This ended up being a pretty packed show, maybe about 1500 people or so (capacity 2000).

Buried Alive by merch

The line for Merchandise was about as long as it was for King Diamond earlier this year! The shirts for HIM were about as much as a ticket ($35)! Wounds an Motionless in White had shirts as well, but I really didn't get close enough to inspect much more.

I liked their Look

You're all Trash!

I got there in time to see metalcore (well this is the closest label I can use) act Motionless in White (MIW). I had last seen them at Mayhem Fest in 2013, where I thought they were "OK" but underwhelming. That's about how they were this evening, too. They certainly have an interesting look going on (perhaps trying too hard?)- black makeup, the keyboardist in a hood (no sleeves tho?), drummer with some makeup and no shirt, the bassist looking like a fat Robert Smith of The Cure in a Sith robe, the one guitarist looked like he was borrowed from Volbeat, and the other from Bullet for My Valentine. And of course Chris Motionless in his best Alice Cooper outfit - (p)leather jacket with studs (Trash era), complete with a cane (c'mon he must have known) and Marilyn Manson hair and pale face. I thought they looked pretty cool on stage, but as soon as the samples music started I had my head cocked to the side, trying to figure out if this really was it.

MOTHER... tell me how to siiIIing

MIW has a pretty simple sound (at least the songs they played), and I was scratching my head as to why they had 2 guitarists when they really only in one snippet of one song actually utilized some twin harmonies. Their use of samples/industrialish parts combined with the effects on Chris's voice seemed a bit 'too much' and forced. I definitely didn't feel any of their songs until their last few, where the breakdowns (or something close to them) forced me to headbang slightly, like at Unearth. I think their surprise cover of "Mother" by Danzig would have been a treat if it sounded better. The crowd half singing along covered up the lack of power that Mr. Motionless brought to the usually soulful Danzig song.  Also, Chris referred to Silver Spring as "Silver Springs" constantly, which obviously made me furious.

Yawn

The crowd had some piecemeal reactions and MIW were more over than I thought they'd be, but I wasn't impressed by them.  To me, there really wasn't anything special about their music and I was underwhelmed by their set. Also, their frontman talked way too much, and that really annoyed me... just play a song, man.

Fortress of Tears

Not too long after the advertized time of 9:30, HIM took the stage to the drone of "The Sacrament." You could see their trademark Heartagram on the side of the stage as well. This was the 4th night of the Love Metal Archives Tour (2014), which was much appreciated- we'd get a mix of something old, something new, and even something from their Jurassic period! A pretty great set for someone who's never seen them live. Even if this was a Tears on Tour, that would be a solid set as well ("Tears on Tape" was their last album).  They hit almost every album, so we got a pretty rounded assortment of songs- even a couple covers (The requisite Chris Isaak "Wicked Game" and the not as great as the original but still great to hear live "Rebel Yell" by Billy Idol).

Some sort of Wicked Game

On stage, HIM had a disco ball in the back, and some pretty big lights that were used to light up everything but the band. It was a bit odd that there were no spotlights on the guitarist Mikko "Linde" Lindström during any of the solos. I think the closest that we got was some backlighting behind him. The horrible white people dreadlocked Mr. Lindström, engaged to Tony Iommi's daughter, played a white Gibson SG which was very Iommi like. Speaking of lighting, it was good that HIM was mostly in the shadows- apart from Ville, they are not a handsome band- thankfully the musical talent more than makes up for that.

more than 666 people were there

Once HIM kicked off their long set, there were not many breaks in between songs, which was good- shut up and rock! Ville eventually addressed the crowd in his stupid cap about the "fusion jazz" interlude after he took a break and the keyboardist Janne Puurtinen and the drummer went a little self indulgent with some unnecessary solos. They jumped right back into songs after that. The block of songs from"Soul on Fire" to "The Kiss of Dawn" were absolutely killer and my favourite part of their set.
Sounded amazing


Soundwise, HIM was pretty spot on, Ville singing his ass off, and even "Linde"'s solos were pretty excellent. The drums and bass were rather heavy live and added to the enveloping feel of their "Love Metal." The keys were needed, but nothing special on their own. Drummer Mika Karppinen (clad in what looked like an Exodus "Bonded by Blood" shirt) sounded solid but I could have done without the couple short drum solos. At the end before "When Love And Death Embrace" we got a long rant from Ville about Budweiser, PBR, and I'm not sure what else, as it sounded random.

Razorblade kiiIiiIIIiissss

Overall, it was a not great set from MIW followed by HIM pulling off a great set, making the expensive price of admission worth it. I know their brand of goth rock/metal is not up everyone's alley, but I loved this show! Hopefully next time they will come back with some better openers (Fellow gothic Finns The 69 Eyes perhaps?).

Next show: Red Dragon Cartel?

 Setlists
  • Everybody Sells Cocaine
  • Synthetic Love
  • America
  • Contemptress
  • Break the Cycle
  • Unstoppable
  • Mother (Danzig cover)
  • Reincarnate
  • Dead as Fuck
  • Devil's Night 
HIM (9:35- 11:17)
  • The Sacrament
  • Razorblade Kiss
  • Pretending
  • Right Here in My Arms
  • This Fortress of Tears
  • Your Sweet Six Six Six
  • Wicked Game(Chris Isaak cover) (with jazz fusion keys interlude)
  • Gone With the Sin
  • Soul on Fire
  • Heartache Every Moment
  • Rip Out the Wings of a Butterfly
  • The Kiss of Dawn
  • In Joy and Sorrow
  • Poison Girl
  • Killing Loneliness
  • No Love
  • Join Me in Death
  • Buried Alive By Love
  • When Love and Death Embrace

  • Rebel Yell