Finnish Goth rockers, HIM, are in the middle of a U.S. headline tour along with British eclectic rock band, Anathema.
Anathema formed in Liverpool, England in 1990 as a doom metal band, initially going by the name Pagan Angel. They would morph into Anathema during the 90â€™s. The bandâ€™s musical vision has continually evolved from a death/doom band to a more gothic metal direction and finally to the progressive rock band that they are today. They have always remained true to their original goal of creating forward thinking, meaningful, passionate, and honest music. This original goal has transcended into their live performance as well. In 2012, they earned the Progressive Music Award for Best Live Event.
HIM formed in Helsinki, Finland in 1991 by vocalist Ville Valo, guitarist Mikko ‘Linde’ Lindstrom, and bassist Mikko ‘Mige’ Paananen. Every generation has its icons. Our decades are defined by the sounds they produce. HIM is no different. Since 1992 these veteran songsmiths have peddled their unique fusion of forlorn balladry and heavy, synth-laden sounds to create a uniquely potent brew, often referred to as ‘love metal’ by the band and their loyal die-hard following.
HIM have grown to become more than national icons in their native, rock and metal-loving Finland. Their trademark Heartagram has left its indelible stamp on the globe. It was created by Valo on his twentieth birthday. Valo has stated that the heartagram is a “Modern Yin Yang”, and is meant to represent the juxtaposition of â€˜good and evilâ€™, â€˜light and darkâ€™, and â€˜love and deathâ€™.
With over 8 million records sold and the distinction of recording the best-selling single of any Finnish artist to date with 1999â€™s Join Me In Death, as well as being the first Finnish band to receive gold certification in the U.S. for 2005â€™s Dark Light, HIM are a force like no other.
The tour made a stop at Revolution Live in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on March 20, 2014. Anathema took the stage to a jam packed venue full of kids who were dressed up like their idol, Ville Vallo. Although it appeared that this was the first time many had seen Anathema, the crowd responded well to their performance. The band was very eager to please. They thanked the fans many times for their support. There was a â€˜family-orientedâ€™ chemistry between the band members with them joking with each other in-between songs.
HIM brought the house down. There were deafening screams from the girls in the crowd as the band took the stage and throughout their entire performance. The band set the tone for a wild night with an aggressively intense opening. Vallo is an exceptional front man. His presence is calm and steady and he seems one with his microphone. He is very comfortable on stage and seemed to be personally singing to each and every fan. Valo left the frenzied motions to his other band-mates who kept the momentum going throughout their whole set.
Our photographer, Keith Johnson, was on hand to catch both of these bandâ€™s acts at Revolution Live in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Here are his images from that night.
Pics by Keith Johnson