The Belasco, Los Angeles, CA
LIVE REVIEW AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY ANABEL DFLUX
Ville Valo’s return to Los Angeles after nearly six years was highly anticipated by the dedicated HIM fans who filled two consecutive nights of shows. Performing under the moniker VV, the Finnish goth rock frontman has returned to the forefront with brand new album Neon Noir. Everywhere around, you could spot excited fans donning custom-made merchandise, displaying signs and flags in celebration of VV and his new solo tour.
From the moment the iconic Heartagram logo, complete with its new VV centerpiece, lit up the stage, the crowd roared with anticipation. “Zener Solitaire” began the night, and Valo immediately segued into the infectious “Echolocate Your Love,” soon followed by the anthemic “Poison Girl.” VV then proceeded to work the crowd, moving between his HIM classics such as “Wings of a Butterfly,” “Join Me in Death,” and “When Love and Death Embrace” to his newer tracks from the debut solo album.
Despite the obvious familiarity the audience had with the HIM songs, the crowd showed a tremendous amount of enthusiasm and passion for the new songs, too, singing along and clapping to tracks such as “The Foreverlost,” “Loveletting,” and “Heartful of Ghosts.”
Valo was visibly happy and energetic, never missing a beat. Valo’s vocal ability is still evident and undeniable . In the duration of 90 minutes, VV proved himself to still be one of the best performers in the goth rock genre, getting the entire crowd going with as subtle as a nod all the way to enticing the fans to sing along with a flick of the microphone.
The encore was just as electric, as VV rounded off the night with “Soul on Fire” and fan-favorite “The Funeral of Hearts,” with the audience singing along in perfect unison. To the delight of fans, VV closed the show with his newest releases “Salute the Sanguine” and “Saturnine Saturnalia.”
It was clear to see that Ville Valo has hit his mark with the Neon Noir album, leaving fans excited for the rest of his future music.