Live Reports

VV has brought Love Metal back to life in Brussels!

Ville Valo is back after 6 years and took the stage of the Ballroom of the Ancienne Belgique with his solo project VV on Sunday 5th May.

The evening began with opening act Zetra at 19:45. Zetra are a mysterious synth duo from London who have carved out a unique niche in the music scene with their blend of dark, atmospheric sounds and a mysterious persona. It all sounds good on paper, but unfortunately we must say that the band has failed to win the hearts of the audience that night. They played song after song, without any interaction with the public. Probably part of their act, but not convincing. There wasn’t a real highlight neither during the whole set. Perhaps this kind of music or performance would be more to our liking in other circumstances.

Zetra – 05/05/2024 – Ancienne Belgique // FreakMike Photography for CtrlAltMusic

The band played a total of 7 songs, and ended with ‘Call Of The Void‘. The audience applauded politely, but were clearly unimpressed after this performance. It was clear that they were there for one thing and one thing only: Ville Valo and his mesmerising voice.

Setlist: Sacrifice – The Mirror – Beauty Has Her Way – Sacred – Starfall – The Angel Cries – Call Of The Void

Ville Valo: a perfect blend of old and new

Finnish gothic rock (or love metal) band HIM announced their breakup in 2017, following a farewell tour that took place the same year. Six years later, the former lead singer returned with his solo project VV and released his debut album Neon Noir in 2023. Ville Valo, for many the face and soul of HIM, has inherited his former band’s strong and dedicated fan base. With his charismatic presence and unique voice, Ville led HIM to become one of Finland’s most successful bands over the years.

While we were waiting for Ville to enter the stage, we noticed that the venue was getting fuller by the minute compared to the previous act. And then, finally, at 21:00, the lights went out and the (new) Heartagram lit up in neon pink and blue.

VV – 05/05/2024 – Ancienne Belgique // FreakMike Photography for CtrlAltMusic

When Ville Valo appeared, the connection between him and his fans was palpable. He started his set with ‘Neon Noir‘ (of course) but quickly followed with a HIM song, ‘Right Here In My Arms‘, to the delight of many fans.

His setlist was a perfect blend of new solo material from his album Neon Noir and beloved classics from his HIM era. Songs like ‘Right Here In My Arms‘ and ‘Wings of a Butterfly’ had fans singing along, while ‘Buried Alive By Love‘ was a standout moment, showcasing Valo’s powerful stage presence. Our favourite moment, however, was when the first notes of ‘Join Me In Death‘ rang out through the speakers, making us feel like teenagers all over again.

The evening began with the opening act, Zetra, however it was Valo who truly captured the audience’s heart. Ville Valo’s concert at the Ancienne Belgique in Brussels was a captivating showcase of his musical journey, from his days with HIM to his current solo project. A beautiful fusion of past and present, a testament to his enduring appeal and his ability to evolve while staying true to the essence of his art. The venue, known for its rich history and intimate atmosphere, was the perfect setting for Valo’s performance.

Setlist: Neon Noir – Right Here In My Arms (HIM song) – Run Away From The Sun – Rip Out The Wings Of A Butterly (HIM song) – Salute the Sanguine – The Kiss Of Dawn (HIM song) – Loveletting – Buried Alive By Love (HIM song) – Heartfelt Of Ghosts – Join Me In Death (HIM song) – The Foreverlost – The Funeral Of Hearts (HIM song) – Echolocate Your Love – Poison Girl (HIM song) – Saturnine Saturnalia – Encore – Gone With The Sin (HIM song) – In Trenodia – Killing Loneliness (HIM song) – Baby Lacrimarium – When Love and Death Embrace (HIM song)

VV – 05/05/2024 – Ancienne Belgique // FreakMike Photography for CtrlAltMusic

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