In a couple of months, I’ll be seeing Helmet live for the second time in my life. The first time was in 2005, on the Size Matters (2004) tour, during that brief period when Frank Bello left Anthrax and was playing bass for them, (which made it extra exciting for this long-time Anthrax superfan), and it was an amazing show. They’ve since released two more albums (Monochrome in 2006 and Seeing Eye Dog in 2010), and I haven’t heard anything from either of them yet, but that’s not what’s important here.
What is, in fact, important is that this upcoming show is an extension of their successful mostly-European tour from last year, wherein they celebrated the 20th anniversary of what is arguably their finest album, 1994’s Betty. What this means for me (and for you, if you know what’s good for you) is that Helmet will be playing Betty in its entirety, from beginning to end, and I’m about to shit myself in anticipation.
But wait! there’s more! –> They’re following that set with ANOTHER FULL SET OF SONGS FROM THE REST OF THEIR CATALOG, which means I won’t have to miss out on, for example, “Harmless” (from 1997’s criminally underrated Aftertaste) or “He Feels Bad” (from their breakout 1992 album Meantime) just so I can hear “Speechless“! And of course this would be exponentially more exciting if original drummer John Stanier and original bassist Henry Bogdan were on board, but goddamn is it ever still exciting, and besides, I think I would be literally, actually anticipation-shitting myself if they were, in fact, performing with sole original member, guitarist/vocalist Page Hamilton. And I don’t know anything about Hamilton’s current bandmates, but I do know that if they are capable of performing Betty live night after night, they must at the very least be pretty fuckin decent at their jobs.
If you don’t know Helmet’s work, you should change that, but if you’re reading this, you most probably are familiar with “Unsung” (from Meantime) at the very least.
Here’s an especially sweet jam from Aftertaste:
And here’s Betty in all of its lush, beautiful, magnificent 1994 glory:
That’s all for now, friends. Wherever you go and whatever you do, don’t forget to stay heavy.