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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.