Monday, August 27, 2007

Helmet at the Detroit Bar

I couldn't believe the bulletin from the Detroit Bar when it hit my inbox. It stated Helmet was going to play a special warm up show prior to their Midwest swing of tour dates. One of my favorite bands playing minutes from my house. I made sure I had the day off of work to prepare myself for this event. I was also fortunate enough to sit down and interview Page Hamilton about Helmet's involvement with the new movie Tatua and the crushing new Helmet track "Revenge Destroys Everything".

As if Helmet wasn't good enough, Fluf was selected as the opening band. I last caught Fluf when they opened for the Muffs at the Detroit Bar a number of years ago. If anybody goes to more concerts then me, it would be Otis (Guitars/Vocals) from Fluf. I recently spotted him at Great Northern at the Belly Up show and Strung Out at the House of Blues San Diego. He recorded Blink-182's first album and is a fixture of the San Diego scene. Fluf's sound is a blend of Jawbreaker with detuned guitars and a sprinkle of metal influences. O was playing a custom Fender guitars into a Fender Pro Sonic amp for a wall of sound. I have seen a lot of Fender guitars played on stage but O gets the award for having the heaviest Fender Guitar tone in a live setting. Josh Higgins had a suave looking Fender Jaguar Bass that was overshadowed by the Custom Truth Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Drum kit played by Brad Davis. They blazed through a nice 45 minute career spanning set that reminded me how hard Fluf rocked. They will be playing the Scene in Glendale in a few weeks.

Helmet was up next and cut to the chase with a blistering version of "Exactly What You Wanted". Page Hamilton(Vocals/Guitars) was employing his trusty trademark ESP Guitar and VHT amplifiers. Jimmy Thompson did an admirable job on rhythm guitars with his ESP guitar and VHT amplifiers. Jon Fuller was rocking so hard on bass he broke a string which is quite the feat to accomplish. Kyle Thompson's drumming was so loud it almost overshadowed Page's amazing guitar tone. "Crashing Foreign Cars" sounded like the car crash as Page screamed 'Know I Only Crash This Car". The next song off of the album Size Matters "See You Dead" was a rock solid selection. "Ironhead" is one of my favorite tracks from In The Meantime and sounded like the original. The Detroit Bar was full and the crowd was having a great time with one female fan having a bit too much fun trying to get on stage. She did finally succeed and made a request for "Pure" off of Aftertaste that was fulfilled by the band. Page's in between song banter seemed like a stand up routine that had a lot of fans laughing before going back into punishing the audience with some brutal riffs. "Revenge Destroys Everything" was fantastic and so loud that I had to check my ears for blood. The band was in high gear and eventually blew a fuse for one of the house amplifiers that led to an instrumental version of "Driving Nowhere" with vocals provided by the audience. Page mentioned they blew the house system one other time at a club in New York. The blow out in the system seemed to anger the band, which sometimes works to the advantage of the crowd as the band performed a devastating version of "Turned Out" that made my neck sore from headbanging. I would have liked to have heard "In The Meantime" but I couldn't have asked for a more perfect setlist. Check back soon for my interview with Page Hamilton.

Helmet setlist for the Detroit Bar (8/22/07)
"Exactly What You Wanted"
"Crashing Foreign Cars"
"See You Dead"
"Swallowing Everything"
"Revenge Destroys Everything"
"Just Another Victim"
"Driving Nowhere (Instrumental)"
"Wilma's Rainbow"
"Turned Out"


Anonymous said...

Nice Review, wish I could've been there.


marcus said...

Awesome review! I couldn't believe it when i saw it either. My friends and i both commented that Helmet at the detroit was "weird"

You forgot that they played Give It when the fuse was blown also.

P.S. What camera are you using?