HIM @ The Electric Factory (11/23/2005)

Logo - HIM

Artist: H.I.M.
Venue: The Electric Factory (Philadelphia, PA)
Opener: Skindred, Finch
Date: 11/23/2005
Label: Sire Records

I was invited by Friends who had an extra ticket for the Philadelphia show and figured why not go one more time. My main reasoning was that I had never been to the Electric Factory and it sounded like a cool place to check out a show. The truth be told it was very much that and we even began the trek by sampling authentic Philly Cheese-Steak sandwiches. Proving to everyone that even the staunchest New Yorker can be an inexperienced tourist. Anyway let me get back to the show; the Electric Factory reminded me a lot of Irving Plaza in NYC with it being a mid-sized venue with a sizable upstairs and balconies to hang out on. It seemed to be able to hold the same amount of people as this venue (1100). The main and only difference is that the bar is upstairs and this keeps it an older crowd up there while the folks under 21 remain downstairs. At this show I was able to see the opening bands and this time around Fireball Ministry was added to the bill. I had seen this band perform with Dio and Anthrax not too long ago and at that show I hated them but in the context of a H.I.M. show they were dead-on and fit perfectly. This time around I was able to catch both Skindred and Finch and I have to say that I felt both bands were severely lacking. Skindred mixes Reggae with Heavy Metal and I found the result a terrible thing to behold. It seemed like some folks liked it but the larger amount of the crowd seemed to be in my corner on this. Finch came up immediately after and they were just as unimpressive with their music being a cacophony of screaming notes and equally annoying vocals. The odd part of Finch especially with the lead singer seeming to perform mainly to the stage amplifiers and the drum kit. If he came to the front stage for a second it would be an understatement. I remember asking the girls behind me if the band realized we were there as an audience. Maybe I am missing something in both bands but I am hard pressed to think so. If this is what Emo is all about you can keep it and let me enjoy something else.

The intermission time between the opening bands and H.I.M. was far too long in my opinion and not only was it long enough to allow Bam Margera to play a full episode of his show, but is also left plenty of time for him to also do something up on the stage. I know that the entertainer has been instrumental in the promotion of H.I.M. when it comes to the states but let’s face it, this is a H.I.M. show and not a Bam show. This is who the people paid good hard cash to see no matter how amusing or interesting some of the audience finds you. So despite this being a tour that Bam put together I felt he was wasting too much time and ruining the overall vibe that the evening was supposed to be building in the audience and also ruining the experience to some extent. The place exploded when H.I.M. finally did some on stage and it did not come as a surprise to me that the set list would be exactly the same as the one that I saw him do in New York City only a few days before. I was a little surprised at the fact that his total lack of audience banter traveled to Philadelphia from New York and felt that when the shows were planned they set up the list as such and such and determined that no talking would be done to the audience. Given his appeal to the huddled masses and how much the female demographic adores him, I felt that Ville Vallo was in a sense cheating his fans by acting as if they weren’t even there. His performance was on target but again was the same thing as in NYC and he came off as very aloof as opposed to being someone who loves the people who flock to see him. I am not too sure that this is a smart practice and can safely admit this after seeing it twice in a row. The bands sound and their delivery was as tight as that previous show and the audience just as receptive despite whatever reservations that I had personally lined out and each song was met with the expected thunderous approval. To many it seemed the perfect way to begin their holiday weekend. Having just watched it I felt as though I was watching a rerun since it was such a dead on replica of the show a few nights ago. Either way, I still had a good time and was happy to have caught him in a different environment outside of my immediate area.

Set List:
1. Rip Out The Wings Of A Butterfly
2. Right Here In My Arms
3. Soul On Fire
4. Wicked Game
5. Under The Rose
6. Join Me In Death
7. It’s All Tears
8. Killing Loneliness
9. Razorblade Kiss
10. Play Dead
11. Your Sweet 666
12. Vampire Heart
13. Behind The Crimson Door
14. The Sacrament
15. Funeral Of Hearts
16. Poison Heart

Official Web site: www.heartagram.com

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