Live Review: HIM’s Wreck-less Wiltern Welcome

Europe has a wide range of artists and bands that are in high demand but none of them are as over-hyped as HIM (His Infernal Majesty), who surprisingly set off the boredom meter with their performance Friday night at the Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles. Luckily, Drive A offered a glimmer of hope amongst bland, monotonous and depressing sets.

Drive A @ the Wiltern Theater

Opening the night was Drive A, one of two local bands known to dominate Los Angeles’ turf. The punk rock foursome got their groove on as front man Bruno Mascolo (vocals) ran up and down the fore front with or without his guitar in hand, keeping the energy constantly flowing throughout the venue. If it was the front man taking all the attention, guitarist/vocalist Jason Nott reclaimed control. Nott put in everything he could throughout the band’s entire set, singing catchy tunes including, “Are You Blind,” “Can’t Sleep It Off,” and “Take a Side,” among others off their debut album Loss of Desire.

Dommin band photo

After Drive A’s set was over, Dommin, a band also from Los Angeles, performed “My Heart, Your Hand.” Unfortunately, their set was a depressing one – nothing but an assortment of tunes suggestive of sounds from darkened regions with a shade of blood red.

We Are the Fallen

But the show was not over with yet as two acts remained – one being a total rip-off of Evanescence called We Are the Fallen. When it came down to such tunes as “Bury Me Alive,” the song sounded like Evanescence’s classic “Going Under.” It’s no wonder the two bands sounded identical: believe it or not, former members of Evanescence have joined forces with this new venture. Their set, which was the longest out of the two previous bands, lasted a 30 solid minutes. We Are the Fallen decided to end their night with two songs, a cover version of Iron Maidens hit “Flight of Icarus”and yet another copy-cat tune titled, “Without You”, which sounded a lot like Evanescence’s song “Call Me When You’re Sober.”

HIM @ the Wiltern

Last up was one of Finland’s finest acts around, HIM, whose set comprised of an hour and 30 minutes, appearing to be much longer than expected. Without even trying, front man Ville Valo took control of his vocal duties, singing only every so often that the end result was pure boredom. When fans go to shows to watch bands perform, they expect them to do just that – PERFORM. Sure, Valo urged his loyal fan base to sing along with each and every chorus line, but after a while, this became monotonous. It was useless to even watch HIM’s performance because half of the time, the vocalist wouldn’t even sing. It got old so fast that it wasn’t even funny. While HIM’s set was indeed a long one, it was engulfed with such hits as “Join Me in Death”, “Right Here in My Arms”, “Buried Alive by Love”, “Wings of a Butterfly”, “Killing Loneliness”, and newer hits “Like St. Valentine”, “Heartkiller,” and “Scared to Death”, among others.
In the end it was a tour that was poorly constructed enough said.

Were you at this gig? Agree with this review? Let us know in our comments section.

About the Author

Natalie Perez has been a Music/Entertainment Journalist for 7 years now having first started out with her middle and high school newspapers. She now writes for a handful of various online and print publications.

Categories: Sound Off

18 replies

  1. I watched a few songs from H.I.M.'s Los Angeles Wiltern concert on Youtube. I'm physically disabled and it would be difficult for me to go to concerts and such, but anyway, I didn't see anything wrong with the way Ville performed. People were singing along, but so was he. He likes to include his fans in the performance. There isn't anything wrong with that. Whoever wrote this trashy review needs to get a life because Ville Hermanni Valo is amazing and so is his band, H.I.M.


  2. omg lol Drive A… Your the first person to say nething good about them so that shows your bad taste right there…. Its also funny that ur the only one that reviewed this show that siad nething bad about HIM or DOMMIN….. And dont speak for fans who are paying to see them perform… Us HIM fans injoy the connection with the band and villes joking… When you can play and sing like they do u dont have jump around like monkeys to keep the fans happy….. Iv seen many live videos from this show and from what i can till HIM and Dommin were the only reason to be there.. We are the fallen are good for what they are thou…. and drive A also does there thing well but there just my not cup of tea… But i have a open mind and can see talent in all the bands….. But HIM is the best but if you are narrow minded and bored with songs with felling and a frontman who is real and some fake ass wanna be…. Then maybe you should review pop music… It would fit with you cookie cutter view .HIM ROCKS! BEST BAND EVER…


  3. I wasn't at this one, but your impression is the first I have seen in which the reaction was anything less than overjoyed. It's hard to tell whether you are a fan of the band, maybe you had not been to a HIM show previously. Regardless, the show was for HIM lovers and the band gave them what they came for. I went to my first HIM show
    under pressure, in 2007, still referring to V as The Annoying One but left wishing I'd been to every show they'd done.
    HIM fans tend to be total, middle of the road, so if excessiveness bothers you, someone else should have been given this assignment. Putting down this band only antagonizes the ones who care, the non fans aren't going to care. While it's your perogative, I don't respect your opinion, it comes across as petty and jealous of a band with nearly 20 years of success. There are people who think sneering at V puts their music taste on a higher plane, but to me, that's just being a pretentious wanna be.

    Poor dear, better luck next time.


  4. Well to me I just felt that HIM could have done better indeed is my first experience witnessing the band perform but it wasn't as what I'd expected.

    To me I think their performance was way better when it come to their DVD performance or the handful of webcast performances that they've shown online. Those were the key shots, this L.A. pit stop just wasn't cutting it.

    As for the other bands, they were alright but didn't grab my attention as much as other acts have done when it comes to shows.

    Drive A really caught my eye because of the energy they progressed throughout their set, it was bouncy and upbeat really capturing the band's performance from every angle. Whereas the other bands just set that doom gloom mellow bore stance that got old too fast.


  5. This is the problem when you give somebody with a prejudice the opportunity to write a review. Natalie, you could be a little more crafty in disguising it.


  6. I am a H.I.M fan and i love their music i buy their Cd's and such!! like Natalie said they save their best performance's for youtube, and they relied on the crazy girls to adore their boring stage presence!! i love them but REALLY how long have they been doing this? they know how to be on stage and i went to their S.F show, soo totally disappointed with the lazy act they put on. it was like they were robots and Ville turns his back to his fans and talks to the band like u should be soo gracious to even be in his presence!trying to make out what the hell he is saying is like understanding someone talking with shit in their mouth!! DUDE I WANT MY 40 DOLLARS BACK!!! NATALIE HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD THEY BLEW!


  7. The first thing that came to my mind while reading your review was “seriously?”. From just reading what you had to say about the first couple of bands told me that you weren't Motivated on writing this article except when you spoke about Drive A. I can tell you are pretty punk rock yourself. Also you are accustomed to seeing bands jump around the stage. I honestly did not like drive A. I give them props for trying and being there don't get me wrong I listen to all kinds of music. I just felt that Drive A did not belong with the group of bands that played at the Wiltern that night. I'll let you think about that one.

    Second of all I feel you weren't all that into the show. When you go to a concert it doesn't matter what type. You have to know what you are getting yourself into. I personally researched all the bands that are going to play before I go to a concert. From the research I can tell what kind of show it was going to be. I knew the concert was going to be Mellow no mosh-pits or anything like that specially when you have bands like HIM, Dommin, We are the Fallen. Drive A had to come down and start a mosh-pit because no one was starting one.(see my point?) You were probably expecting everyone to be like Drive A which wasn't the case so you had a bad experience.

    Lastly the fans control how the show is going to turn out. If you were bored of course you are going to have a horrible time. I certainly felt all the love and energy the fans had for HIM. I loved it. I was down there with the hardcore fans singing and bouncing around. It was fun I enjoyed every moment of it. My point is that the fans control how the show is going to be. If you have a boring crowd then the concert is going to be boring. which means the bands motivation going to go down and this is usually when concerts don't go as well as you thought. But when fans are lively and exited to be there, then things get interesting. Fans control the performance by being active, involved and show the bands they are happy to be there. Trust me Bands feel all those things that is the reason why they go over their time because the fans demand more.

    I apologize if I took it out of proportion. I just thought you weren't being fair to the bands. It just offended me. You have to realize there are so many variables that you have take into consideration for a good performance not just because you expected it to sound like the DVDs or CDs. You should know live performances are completely different from well edited music and performances. Or that you want them to be jumping around like monkeys.

    P.S. I am not just saying this because I like HIM, I am saying this in general from all the shows I've gone to. From all the the music I listen to and I listen to various types of music ranging from country, pop, rock, death metal and so much more.


  8. “Sure, Valo urged his loyal fan base to sing along with each and every chorus line, but after a while, this became monotonous. It was useless to even watch HIM’s performance because half of the time, the vocalist wouldn’t even sing.” You make it sound like if Valo had begged them to sing along. Fans willingly and hurriedly sang along with him. Valo sang ALL of the time. But you probably weren’t able to hear him over the excited and overjoyed HIM fans that sang every single song with him. Did he urge them to do this? NO.

    “When fans go to shows to watch bands perform, they expect them to do just that – PERFORM”
    You must obviously be blind and deaf to not have seen HIM perform. Valo sang with all his heart. Linde’s great solos had the crowd cheering. Perhaps your definition of perform is having a lot of moshpits, or just listening to a skinny teenager say “fuck you” as a response to someone messing with him.


  9. I was at their show in Toronto on March 31, and I must say, I had the complete opposite experience. People went to that show for HIM, so it's no wonder that the fans could care less about the other bands, especially Drive A, who were the worst and most pretentious losers I've ever seen live. In Toronto, when they realized that they weren't going to get fans jumping around and screaming for them, they swore at them and tried their hardest to start a mosh pit.

    Dommin was completely amazing, and even threw roses out to the crowd. They knew people were there to see HIM and they certainly didn't mind, but they performed beyond expectations and many people at that concert bought their CD after it, myself included. They're now one of my favourite bands.

    We are the Fallen was just balls. Complete balls. Ripoff of Evanescence, and their set was way too long for fans that had been standing up for three hours by the time and could care less about their music.

    HIM was what everyone was waiting for, and when they finally came out on stage, it was insane. During that concert (I was in the second row), I witnessed the most crazed behavior among fans I have ever seen. Girls were passing out left and right, screaming, crying, trying their hardest to push through the crowds to get to the front, being pulled out by the bouncers, people were violently hitting other people because if you were near the tumultuous front row, chances were you were drowning in a sea of bodies.

    Eventually my boyfriend had to pull me out through the crowds to the back because we were both being trampled, drenched in sweat, and couldn't breathe. On our way back other people were accidentally pulled with us, and they looked as though we'd stolen their lives from them. We even accidentally went through a mosh pit near the back, and got pushed around so much I thought I was going to bleed.

    I didn't stay for the whole concert because a cab would have been impossible to catch afterward if I had. But I can honestly say it was the crowning moment of my life. I got to be five feet from Ville Valo, and no matter how boring you found their concert to be, I'm sure many fans feel the same way as I do. People travel LONG distances to see HIM live, your review couldn't possibly ever put a damper on their love for the band.


  10. Drive A ALWAYS starts a circle in the mosh pit. It's not a matter of them overtrying. They may not have fit in with the rest of the bands, but it isn't their fault. The other bands are boring. Those kids are AWESOME and are going places, so keep watching.


  11. I was at their 4/20 show in S.F. and it was awesome! For the opening bands, the only band I liked during the show was Dommin. Their music was original compared to the evanescence & sum 41/green day rip-off bands (We are the Fallen, Drive A). Drive A was just annoying to hear. When they asked where the punk kids were at, my sister yelled loud “at the under 18 clubs” – I was laughing so hard. Once Ville and the boys came in, it was hell in a handbasket. Many fans were going crazy and the music didn't even start yet. Ville was going crazy moving around, giving random conversations. I love how Ville is free from the mic stand & cigarette so he move around the stage. Linde was spot on, giving a 5 min. solo during “wicked game”. Overall, I loved the show, I was just disapointed that not that many fans came to the show & we covered only 3/4 of the venue room. HIM is a really good band & they deserve more people to see their shows.


  12. Well after reading that review, I'd like to see her write music and jump on stage! Then Ville and the rest of the “ripoffs” can write a review for you, that aint gonna be pretty! Pen, pit, or preformer, I'm happy with what I do with my day, know what your getting before you buy and it turns out diffrent than what you want.


  13. I agree with this review. I was at the SF show and it was as if he was just punching a time clock, no umph. It was my first time seeing them and I was super excited only to be let down. I love their work, its just a shame.


  14. I just came across this review. And I had to write something.

    I went to the Orlando show May 2, 2010. My first HIM concert.

    Drive A: I can see your point as far as “energy” goes but, no one from the crowd was really interested. Even when the lead singer made his own mosh pit didn't get the crowd going. I'm not going to say because they were bad. I think it's because it's a different genre of music that apparently no one was into. And frankly I think they over did the crowd but, I knew why they did it… it's to gain some fan base. I think this was the wrong tour for them. They should be on The Warped Tour or something like that.

    Dommin: Now I listened to some of their music before going to the show and I liked them. I liked them more at the show as well as the rest of the crowd. They had a Depeche Mode/ The Cure vibe. They even did a cover song of “People are People” and entertained the crowd very well. They gained a fan in me and I'm sure with other crowd members as well. They fit the genre category when it comes to playing with HIM. I didn't feel they were boring at all and I see them going further.

    We Are The Fallen: My honest opinon, I'm not sure if they're going to go as far as Evanescence. They might think so because it consists of the ex Evanescence band members and taking in an ex American Idol contestant “thinking” something is going to happen. But, honestly, sounding like a band you were previously in is not going to cut it. We already have a “Amy Lee”, I don't think we need another. And frankly, I think they should have been 2nd in line after Drive A and Dommin have more of a play than them. If I want to listen to music like that, I'll just pop in a Evanescence CD in. They actually bored me. And all I could hear was people talking about how much she was trying to act like Amy Lee.

    As far as HIM goes. I think they put on a good show for what it's worth. Mind you (and I'm sure not many people knew) but, Ville was talking about how sick he's been on this tour and apologized. And that didn't affect any of us. We still enjoyed his presence. During one of the songs, he took a 4 minute break while the rest of the band members played. When he came back and finished he was talking about his asthma. No one was mad for him leaving. The crowd sang with every song he sang (me included) and we all enjoyed it immensely. He did laugh and make a few jokes throughout the set. Now, if you search on youtube and look for previous shows he did on this tour (like Boston for example that he did in march), he seemed pretty healthy. A lot more energy than probably what you saw. But, I say this, for my first HIM concert and with Ville being sick, I thought he put on an awesome performance. Take into consideration that touring is hard. To constantly try and keep yourself healthy so you can put on a good show. Not to mention this band has been performing for 20 years, I believe they know what they're doing. And I appreciate the dedication they have for US FANS by continuing to play the same songs we all keep requesting even if they've been played more than enough, we still can't get enough. And we appreciate them more for continuing to play even when they're sick.

    I think you have analyzed this concert wrong.



    and WATF is a fucking copy of Evanescence… but Carly Shitson over sing everything… resuming…
    WATF as Evanescence FAIL!!!
    WATF as Maddona (they play “like a prayer”) FAIL!!!
    WATF as WATF FAIL!!!!
    hahaha.. 😀


  16. Omg seriously was this review like a practical joke? Honestly you haven't been to one of his concerts. I was there that day and the whole crowd was singing. They were into the performance. This review is a piece of crap


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