Finnish gothic rock legends HIM completed their farewell tour, the "Band & Whimper" Tour, in front of a sold out crowd at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City on Friday night.  While they were saying goodbye for good to the United States, I was on site to enjoy all of the music they had to offer.  Playing over twenty songs, HIM rocked a lengthy set particularly for NYC (the last show of the tour), including a Billy Idol cover and a range of their own catalogue.

Two bands opened the show, 3Teeth and CKY.  3Teeth, a band that I immediately fell in love with, rocked an industrial sound that seemed like an amalgamation of Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, and Rob Zombie.  Full of piercings, tattoos, Mohawks, and smooth moves on stage, 3 Teeth had me sold.  They played a fairly short set, only 25 minutes in length, to adjust for HIMs lengthy farewell set, but rocked every single minute. Their moves were synchronous and the set perfectly industrial.

CKY came up next, playing a 30 minute set, as the Hammerstein Ballroom filled up.  Just coming back over the past year after a six or seven year hiatus, CKY proved they can still rock the crowd as fans cheered on and chanted in between songs.   Vocalist Chad Ginsberg had a couple crazy antics, like throwing a mic stand (those mics break, yikes), and throwing a guitar (they break too), but I guess all for the sake of rock and roll I guess, right? At the conclusion of their set, the crowd was packed, tiers of seating were full, and fans were ready for HIM.  HIM's 'heartagram' drum set lit up the stage during changeover, and soon enough, the headliners began.   As "Bye Bye Love" by The Everly Brothers played, HIM took the stage and the Hammerstein Ballroom experienced pandemonium.  Vocalist Ville Vallo, on stage with a simple blazer, hat, and mic, needed to do little more than wave a few fingers at a section to make them scream like pop fans.  The band seemed to bring everything from their 26 year career over a few hours at the Hammerstein, and showed a level of production, professionalism, and rock that was simply 'next level.'  It was an honor to be a part of the crowd at HIM's final US show, and relive all of the songs that they brought to the rock world since 1991.

HIM take to the stage Credit: Tatiana
CKY open for HIM Credit: Tatiana