Sunday, May 05, 2013

Helmet at the Viper Room

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The Viper room was absolutely packed when I arrived shortly before 11:00 to see Helmet. I managed to get a good spot at the front of the stage when the previous band ended and was ready for another pulverizing dose of Helmet. After seeing them at the Griffin in San Diego, I knew Helmet was ready to rip it up. Seeing that it was a "hometown" show, I figured Helmet would give the crowd a few extra songs. Little did I know that Helmet would stretch their set to a mind blowing twenty-two song set that included hits, rarities and deep cuts.

The crowd immediately started to swirl upon hearing the knife sharp riff of "Give It". I've failed to mention that Page Hamilton and Dan Beeman drop their guitars down to drop "C" tuning and transpose the riff accordingly. Since a majority of the recordings are in drop "D" tuning, it makes tracking how to play some of the riffs a little more difficult but the songs sound tremendously heavier.

Another standout of the evening was "Better", which had Hamilton digging deep on the screams sounding pretty close to those of the recording which are brutal. Hearing the insane time signature shifts of "Vaccination" was worth the price of admission alone. "Wilma's Rainbow" and "Tic" were also flawless as the crowd was still moshing relentlessly. The curtain had closed after "Exactly What You Wanted" and it seemed like Helmet would end the evening with a few more songs.

Good thing I was wrong as Helmet would play a nine song encore. Although this generosity may have been fueled by the free alcohol being gifted to the band, I wasn't complaining. I could tell Helmet was in a good mood because they even honored the request to play "Unsung" which I haven't heard live in quite awhile. Closing the night in perfect fashion was an earth shattering take of "In The Meantime". Definitely one of my favorite Helmet shows in recent memory.

Helmet setlist at the Viper Room (5/4/13)
"Give It"
"So Long"
"Welcome To Algiers"
"Wilma's Rainbow"
"In Person"
"Seeing Eye Dog"
"Exactly What You Wanted"
"See You Dead"
"Crashing Foreign Cars"
"Just Another Victim"
"In The Meantime"

Pedalboard of Page Hamilton of Helmet


3po1nt0 said...

thanks for the words and photos! i was wondering how this show was. looks like it was a fun, long night

Patric Z said...

Great show, great review, great band. Thanks for 'Crashing Foreign Cars' in the epic encore, Helmet.

Michael B. said...

Perfect review of this show. Thanks for the pics, and thanks to Helmet for an awesome night and for taking so many requests during that amazing encore!