HIM + Anathema Play Two Stellar Shows in NYC
This past weekend was filled with European melodies as Finnish rockers HIM and UK outfit Anathema played two shows at Irving Plaza in New York City. The first gig took place Friday (March 14) and the second on Sunday (March 16).
During both nights, HIM’s overall energy and charm onstage delighted fans as they played such favorites as ‘Buried Alive By Love,’ ‘Rip Out the Wings of a Butterfly’ and ‘Right Here in My Arms.’
Frontman Ville Valo has always been a versatile vocalist, whether he belts out sweet, soft lyrics of new tunes ‘All Lips Go Blue’ and ‘Tears On Tape’ or elevates ear drums with his falsetto with ‘Into the Night’ and the older favorite ‘For You.’ On the flip side, he can wail and get crowd surfers going with harder tracks ‘Soul On Fire’ and ‘It’s All Tears (Drown in this Love).’
The band as a whole are exceptional onstage and they each get their time to shine. Guitarist Linde Lindestrom provided intoxicating solos that HIM fans know and love while bassist Mige Paananen has such energy and puts every bead of sweat into the performance. Keyboardist Janne “Burton” Puurtinen’s cool and calm demeanor behind the keys is definitely not forgettable as he gives fans a quantum lift with elevating notes in ‘Poison Girl’ and ‘The Funeral of Hearts.’ Drummer Gas Lipstick always has a smile behind the kit even when he’s rocking heavier beats to tracks ‘Kiss of Dawn’ and ‘Passion’s Killing Floor.’
Whether a longtime fan or not, it’s evident when you see HIM live you’re seeing a group of friends who admire each other personally and musically and just want to jam. Memorable moments included the entire crowd singing ‘Join Me In Death.’ The passionate response from the crowd as they yelled back “This life ain’t worth living!” pleased Valo very much, he couldn’t help but smile from ear to ear.
With the re-release of a few of HIM’s older albums this year, it’s no surprise that they ended their sets with the track ‘When Love and Death Embrace’ from their 1997 debut disc ‘Greatest Love Songs Vol. 666.’
British rock outfit Anathema has a career that spans more than two decades and though they served as support for the tour, they also serve as a musical influence to HIM. The band was the perfect choice to tour with HIM, as their heartbreaking melodies and dreamy sounds were nothing short of captivating. On both nights Anathema performed the addictive song ‘Untouchable Part 1’ off of their latest album ‘Weather Systems’ as well as older favorites ‘A Simple Mistake’ and ‘Fragile Dreams.’
Frontman Vincent Cavanagh soft vocals had the entire crowd enthralled as his brother and guitarist Daniel Cavanagh engaged the crowd with his vibrant personality. Songstress Lee Douglas is the band’s gem as her voice adds a tender yet commanding force to the songs. Check out remaining tour dates here to see where you can catch both bands on their North American trek.
Check Out Photos of HIM + Anathema Performing at Irving Plaza in NYC: