Words & Photos by Kyle Bergfors
As HIM’s farewell tour stop in Chicago inched closer and closer I quickly found myself becoming more and more excited to see such a loved and well-known band call it quits, as it often is a very special event to send off a musical act for many people. Even though I personally never got into HIM, mostly because I just never listened to them, I could instantly tell how much HIM meant to so many people from the moment they announced their farewell tour to walking into the venue to the last minute they where on stage.
Kicking off the night was 3Teeth bringing to the crowd a gritty, industrial sound along with delivering a bitting social commentary and “tongue-in-cheek” propaganda similar to Rammstein or Tool. Anyone who is a fan of ‘90s era Wax Trax or pop-industrial trinity, Ministry, Skinny Puppy, or Nine Inch Nails, would find themselves become instant fans of 3Teeth. 3Teeth put out their debut full length back in 2014 and just recently, this year, released their sophomore LP. The future is bright for 3Teeth and I look forward to seeing what is in store for them down the road.
Following 3Teeth, was co-headliner, CKY. Now while I was too young to really get into CKY, I’m showing my youth I know, I still understand and know how big of a deal CKY was and still is too many people. CKY was the voice of a disgruntled, edgy, and, dare I say, “emo” sub culture. While CKY was constantly plagued with line up changes and other distractions during the early years and throughout the early 2000’s, hopefully now they can make up for lost time and be able to keep a consistent, solid lineup. While I, personally, was not a huge fan of the set, I feel as though it is less of CKY being and sounding like the greatest band on the planet, but rather being able to witness and see a band live that had such a strong impact and influence over many fan’s youth.
Finally, the band everyone in the room was waiting for, HIM took the stage and you could instantly feel a change in the air. Cheers, yells, and ungodly noises erupted from each and every person in the room as HIM took the stage and began the last set many in the room would ever see as HIM brought forth their mix of metal, goth, and hard rock known simply as “love metal” to a sold out House of Blues. It is hard fore me to explain in words the atmosphere in the room that night, but can be understand better as I talked to some friends of mine who traveled cross country in order to see HIM as many times as they could throughout the Bang & Whimper Tour since it would their last chance ever too. This dedication from a die hard, life long fan base spoke more than any show review I could ever would. For many, it did not really sink in that a band that has been playing music and performing for nearly 30 years was calling it quits until the “encore” songs began leaving many extremely emotional and some even crying and shedding tears. In all honesty, I was not surprised to see this occurring since a band with such a long history (26 years of love metal) can leave its mark on its fan base and really define many people’s lives. HIM delivered an emotional, vibrant, and phenomenal performance with an amazing, two hour long setlist ranging from their oldest material to their newest leaving every fan in the room satisfied, but also sad that they had just witnessed the final HIM show of their lives.