Updated: Nov 28
Canadian Thanksgiving at Winnipeg's Burton Cummings Theatre was a night to remember as two iconic artists in metal, Black Veil Brides and Ville Valo (VV), took the stage at the Burton Cummings Theatre. Despite the hiccup of the opening band, Dark Divine, having to drop off due to vehicle issues, the crowd's anticipation was palpable as they waited for VV's Winnipeg debut performance and Black Veil Brides Winnipeg stage return.
Ville Valo, a true legend who had never performed in Winnipeg throughout his 32-year music career, set the tone with an enchanting start. The evening began with "Zener Solitaire" playing over the speakers, creating an eerie atmosphere that perfectly set the stage for the night ahead. The crowd's energy surged as Ville Valo, the former frontman of HIM, stepped onto the stage, and the band launched into "Echolocate Your Love."
VV's setlist was a glorious mix of his solo work and beloved HIM classics, including "The Funeral of Hearts," "Join Me in Death," and "The Kiss of Dawn." Ville Valo's hauntingly beautiful voice filled the venue, and the crowd swayed and sang along, creating a mesmerizing atmosphere. The highlight of the night was when VV performed "Right Here in My Arms," a HIM classic, which sent the audience into a nostalgic frenzy.
The Finnish love metal icon wrapped up his set with "When Love and Death Embrace," leaving the crowd in a state of euphoria. Winnipeg had waited three decades for this moment, and Ville Valo's performance was well worth the wait.
VV. All photos by Samuel Stevens.
As the stage transformed for Black Veil Brides, the anticipation in the air was electric. The band emerged amidst a sea of crimson lights and opened with "Crimson Skies." From the very first chord, the audience was catapulted into a world of high-octane heavy metal.
Black Veil Brides tore through their setlist, delivering a mix of their anthemic hits and newer tracks. "Rebel Love Song" and "Wake Up" had the crowd singing along at the top of their lungs. The intensity of "Coffin" and the haunting melodies of "Scarlet Cross" showcased the band's versatility, drawing cheers from the ecstatic fans.
"Knives and Pens" took the crowd back to the band's early days, with fans passionately singing every word. A moment of reflection came with "Lost It All," which had the entire theatre swaying in unison, lighter and phone screens illuminating the darkness.
Black Veil Brides. All photos by Samuel Stevens.
Closing the night with "In the End," Black Veil Brides left the Winnipeg crowd with a powerful message of hope and unity. It was a fitting end to an unforgettable night of rock and metal in a city that had waited patiently for Ville Valo to finally grace a Winnipeg stage and waited over eight long years for Black Veil Brides to return to a Winnipeg stage.
As the concert ended, the audience left the venue with the echoes of Ville Valo's mesmerizing voice and the raw energy of Black Veil Brides' performance still ringing in their ears. Winnipeg had celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving with a night of music that will be etched in their memories for years to come.