Brendan Schieppati, lead singer for Bleeding Through, understands the confusion by HIM fans as to why the Finnish rock band would invite such a “radically different” sounding band to join them on tour. He recognizes that HIM fans may not have previously heard of the band and vice versa. Despite this, Schieppati (formerly of Eighteen Visions, Throwdown) maintains that the two bands should share the same stage because “people should listen to different types of music.”
Generally, I would agree with that statement. I have attended many a concert at which I was exposed to bands that are now some of my favorites, expanding my musical palate.
I saw HIM for the first time this summer on the Projekt Revolution Tour. It was quite impressive how well such seemingly dissimilar bands including Styles of Beyond, The Bled Madina Lake, and HIM weirdly complemented each other’s sounds. Unfortunately, the combination of Bleeding Through’s metal sound infused with Schieppati’s incomprehensible screaming and HIM’s melodic rock did not mesh well.
Unless you had studied Bleeding Through’s lyrics, it was impossible to decipher what Schieppati was screaming about. Despite this, I will give them credit. While I have no idea what the songs were about, Bleeding Through provides a high-energy performance demonstrating the passion these musicians have.
HIM, formed in 1991, consists of vocalist Ville Valo, guitarist Mikko “Linde” Lindstrom, bassist Mikko “Mige” Paananen, keyboardist Janne Johannes “Burton” Puurtinen, and drummer Mike Kristian “Gas” Karppinen. They have released 6 full-length albums and are the only Finnish band to have an album reach gold in the United States.
Taking the stage, however, HIM seemed to have left all enthusiasm at the door. Lighting cigarette after cigarette, Valo found comfort close to the microphone. Although the band seemed unenthused, HIM entertained the crowd with an outstanding musical performance. Valo showcased his rather impressive vocal range through “Wings of A Butterfly,” “Your Sweet 666,” and “Right Here In My Arms.” Closing with rock ballad “The Sacrament,” HIM fans again found themselves disappointed as crew members immediately began dismantling the stage. There was no hope of an encore.
The sounds of Bleeding Through and HIM may not complement each other, but their performances at the 9:30 Club sure did. What one lacked, the other made up for. HIM found strength in their sound, while Bleeding Through found strength in their dynamic stage presence.
Although this time around HIM’s overall performance was merely mediocre, I highly recommend any of their albums and checking them out when they return to the District.