Having been a fan of HIM for about fifteen years or so, it was a sad day when they announced they were calling time on their career, but of course I knew I had to make it to their closest show to me in order to see them one last time.
Although I’m not sure I’ve been at a show with that many screaming girls since I saw Busted live many moons ago, the atmosphere couldn’t be faulted and the fact everyone had come together to show their support for HIM’s farewell was awesome – it was nice to see such a versatile collection of fans crammed into the sold-out venue. However, it would have been even better if the venue had perhaps been the Ritz or even the bigger Apollo. Whilst the Academy 1 venue is okay, visibility isn’t the best and it did feel like we were all squashed in like sardines – a venue like the Apollo would have given more Mancunian fans the chance to see them, as well as give shorter fans (like myself) a better chance of seeing what was going on onstage due to the sloped flooring!
Nevertheless, the set itself was magnificent. Performing in front of a massive backdrop of a steel heartagram (who needs those flimsy fabric backdrops, eh?) HIM gave the performance of their lives with a set that spanned all eras of their career, right from their beginnings with songs such as Your Sweet Six Six Six and Wicked Game right through to their latest album’s title track Tears On Tape. Highlights included Rip Out The Wings Of A Butterfly, where the roof practically lifted from everyone singing along to it, the fast and punchy Heartkiller, and slower track In Joy And Sorrow was a highly emotional performance that sent shivers down my spine.
The set closed with When Love And Death Embrace, which was a powerful ending to the show, and I spotted more than a few tears around me as HIM brought things to an emotional close. Thank you, HIM, it’s been an absolute pleasure and the Manchester show was a fitting final chapter to what has been a long and illustrious career for them.