Review: VV live at the Royal Albert Hall, London

On a hot, sunny day in London, VV closed the door on his Neon Noir chapter at the stunning Royal Albert Hall.

It was a hot and sunny day as the goths descended on the Royal Albert Hall in London for the final date of VV’s Neon Noir tour.

First up was London duo Zetra and honestly it didn’t really grab me. From the position I had (seated in the top tier of the circle) the majority of what I could hear was the drum track which drowned out almost everything else.

I thought at first this may have been partly due to me having a dodgy ear too but this was ruled out when Eivor and VV’s mixing were both practically perfect.

I get there was meant to be an air of mystery about the performance but I didn’t find any of it engaging.

Eivor was a mixed bag for me. She is extremely talented, there is no doubt about that and I enjoyed listening to her voice and the instrumentation. However, until the closing song, everything was in Faroese and whilst I do enjoy and appreciate people singing in their native languages, I did find myself starting to switch off a bit as I couldn’t understand what was being said.

There was some crowd interaction too, where Eivor even acknowledged that during the next song we’d not know what she was singing about, but explained it to us and it was a nice song.

The main event however, was a completely different story. Before VV came onto the stage, Zener Solitaire rings out over the speakers and the band and Ville himself come on to screams from the crowd.

Throughout the set, there is a mix of tracks from Neon Noir (including the titular track being the opening performed song) such as Run Away from the Sun, Salute the Sanguine, Loveletting and one of my favourites Heartful of Ghosts. These were alternated with HIM classics such as Right Here in My Arms, RIP Out the Wings of a Butterfly, The Kiss of Dawn, Buried Alive By Love and Join Me in Death.

I really liked the alteration between new and old which was mixed up from the previous Neon Noir tour I saw back in March 2023, where it was a couple of Neon Noir songs followed by a couple of HIM songs. But this way it kept the audience more engaged.

Throughout the set, VV’s musicians absolutely killed their parts with great drums, awesome riffs and solos and a funky bass. I also enjoyed how Ville allowed the band to shine by walking off stage before the end of Saturnine Saturnalia and the closing track When Love and Death Embrace, allowing for the musicians to be the crowd’s focus as they played extended outros.

There were times when Ville seemed to struggle with some of the bigger notes of the HIM classics.

After Saturnine Saturnalia, we were treated to a five song encore which was unexpected but brilliant as it included the likes of In Trenodia, Gone With the Sin and Killing Loneliness.

There was also a nice moment where someone threw flowers on stage and Ville thanked them in a bit of a singing voice as he finished up the track, and he gave a nice speech about still being able to be here singing about love and death.

It was a fantastic concert to end the Neon Noir chapter of VV – probably the best I’ve heard him live.

Now we have to wait and see what will come next.

Elizabeth Birt

May 14, 2024

Band management assistant. Goth princess and lover of all things music and sport.


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