Helmet @ the Amplifier Bar, 2011

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29. Jun. 2011, 11:31

Tue 28 Jun – Helmet, Sleeping Giant

So, um, this was one of the most awesome concerts I've ever ever EVER been to. Ever. I got there when the doors opened, and hung around with a glass of wine. While waiting I chatted to a guy who asked if I'd seen Helmet before and I squeed (in my quiet way) about how no, this was my first go and I'd been waiting for it since I was 17 (that was in 1998 by the way...at least the first half of 1998. hehe). So yeah, after that chat, and after finishing my wine, I headed out to get some dinner and then returned.

By the time I did get back, the support act were playing. Sleeping Giant, they're called. I later found out that their guitarist was a former member of Helmet who lives in Perth. Ooh, Perth has another claim to fame right there. In my book anyway. Hehe. They were pretty decent, but my happiness and giddiness was basically for the next band who would be on stage...the ever-so-mighty Helmet, legends of whatever the heck you wanna call 'em. Alternative metal, hardcore or, according to wherever my iTunes got its info from when I was ripping their new CD, punk?!!? Whatever, all I know is that I lurve this band to itsy bitsy lil bits.

Not long before the band took to the stage, I headed up the front (it was a pretty small venue, the Amplifier, and the crowd wasn't really tight-packed so I had room to move and breathe. While waiting I spoke to some other Helmet fans, but somehow got onto the topic of Soundgarden and Chris Cornell's current tour, and how god-awful some of his music's been in the last few years (but I defended his first album, and nobody disagreed with me there). One of the guys who was cringing over Chris's solo music wore a Soundgarden shirt. So obviously he was a fan. I was also telling one guy about other shows I'd seen recently: Kyuss (event) and Tumbleweed (review). DAMN it's been a great year for gigs!

Anyway, when Helmet finally took to the stage, I had mostly eyes for Page Hamilton alone. I'd been 14 or 15 when I first took notice of this guy, and now last night I was nearly 31 (still am today, incidentally). It was really surreal to finally be seeing him face to face, and SOOOO CLOSE I could have reached out and touched him (turns out he touched my arm later on, but I'll get to that. LOL). I was in deep gid, to say the least. The set began and it was a song from their new album (the one they're touring for - after all, this is the Seeing Eye Dog tour). I won't bother to go through every song in order, as I'll put the setlist at the end of this entry. But I want to talk about certain parts of the night that are memorable to me.

First of all, I loved that Page was so interactive with the audience, talking between most songs and making us laugh. He asked what we were doing after the show, i.e. were we partying on etc., and then talked about another show they'd done (Coolangatta?) and said there was fuck all to do after the gig there. I was quietly thinking, Well, dude, it's a Tuesday night in Perth, so good luck to ya.... hehe. But who knows, maybe they found a party?! They had tentative plans to visit Bon Scott (for like the 4th time or something) in the Freo Cemetary. Apparently the first time Page tried, it was 4 am and somebody called the police because he was trying to jump the fence at the cemetery. Hehe. According to him, "AC/DC is like my favourite band ever. Ever."

Anyway...people were frequently stage-diving, and the mosh pit was really active for such a small one. There were young guys going nuts and having a great time. The only objection I had was when they slammed into me, but I shoved back when it became necessary. Hehe. Most of the time I was just having the fucking time OF MY LIFE screaming my head off to some of my favourite Helmet songs and getting a really awesome workout, I must say. So that brings me to the HIGHLIGHTS section. I want to mention the songs that I absolutely went nuts for, and they were kind of predictable I guess: "Milquetoast", "In the Meantime", "Wilma's Rainbow" and "Unsung". Songs I loved nearly as much were "Exactly What You Wanted", "Speechless", "Renovation", "He Feels Bad" and "Crisis King". There were other songs I really enjoyed, but the above were the top highlights and nearly-as-top highlights.

So anyway...AFTER the show I hung around and got my CD signed by Page. He was hanging out at the stage chatting to people. I saw him give some time & attention to two others before I got my turn at last! I said, "Before I forget, can I get you to sign this??" and handed him my copy of their new CD. As he was signing I said, "I've waited to see you guys since I was 17, when you guys played here but it was an 18+ gig..." and he asked when that was, and I said back in 1998 and he said, "Did we play here then?" and I said, "Yeah!" and he said, "Oh yeah, I remember that show...it was a good show. I probably shouldn't be telling you that since you missed it, but..." And he told this story about some beautiful chick who stormed through the crowd and got on stage and grabbed his leg and would NOT LET GO even as security tried to drag her away. Hehe. Anyway, I told him I'd had the time of my life and thanked him, and he touched my arm and said thanks very much, etc. So that was my time with Page Hamilton, whom I once had daydreams of marrying (along with plenty of other rock stars. lol).

But moving on! The songs listed below were songs that were on the setlists they had taped to the stage (with the exception of *, which was added by request from somebody or a few someones in the audience). I'm not sure if they played all these songs, but pretty sure they didn't have that many songs in the encore... (even excluding the request track):

MAIN SET
Akzeptierte Übermittlungen
A'vron Ayende, I Still Buy CDs, The Green Ajah
Unbestätigte Übermittlungen
Helmet, Dragonmount.com

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