Saturday, May 04, 2013

Helmet at the Griffin

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Helmet embarked on a mini-tour of the West Coast in preparation for some big gigs down in South America. As I detailed in my Last Shot column, Helmet is one of my favorite bands. I was pretty exhausted from a busy week and recovering from chemotherapy but was determined to make the drive down to San Diego to see Helmet destroy.

As always, Helmet delivered a super sharp set. The last batch of Helmet shows have found the band reaching far back into their catalog and playing a number of songs they don't normally perform. As an example, they dusted off "Impressionable" which I can't even remember seeing them play that live in my twenty years of seeing Helmet shows. The song that blew me away though was "Vaccination" from Betty. The riff is incredibly difficult to play and Page Hamilton and Dan Beeman crushed it on their guitars.

Since I was stationed so close to the stage, I heard Hamilton's vocals cutting out on the monitors which potentially could wreak havoc on a less seasoned performer. The sound guy kept coming up front to diagnose the problem but never was able to get the monitors to work. It didn't affect the overall performance of Helmet, but I can only imagine it must have been frustrating. The San Diego crowd was much rowdier compared to other Helmet shows and a mosh pit did end up formulating knocking down quite a number of people.

Helmet really revved things up at the end of their set with a slew of my favorite songs by knocking out "Milquetoast", "Iron Head", the highly overlooked awesome "Crisis King", "Give It" and "Just Another Victim". The last batch of songs gave me the boost I needed to make the late night trek home. Can't wait to see them again at the Viper Room.

Helmet setlist at the Griffin (5/1/13)
"So Long"
"Crashing Foreign Cars"
"Welcome To Algiers"
"In Person"
"Everybody Loves You"
"Wilma's Rainbow"
"Seeing Eye Dog"
"Crisis King"
"Give It"
"Just Another Victim"

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