Helmet

Photos by Mark Derricutt

By Mark Derricutt

Artist: Helmet

Date / Venue: Saturday April 22nd, 2017 - Galatos, Auckland

The other week Page Hamilton asked somewhat jokingly if I lived in a cave, and it was that thought that kept coming to mind as we were all directed to the stairwell of Galatos to wait in the upper VIP bar, looking down over the main hall felt like looking upon a cavernous theatre.

It wasn't long until we realised the main doors had been opened with little fan-fair, people weren't being directed upstairs and the room was now an already over-capacity filled mass of bodies - it was time to get a spot to take photos before Helmet took the stage - or try at least, and as if on demand - Page walks out.

The bass heavy riff of 'Wilma's Rainbow' is now whipping fans into a frenzy and blocking any form of movement - no way am I getting to the front so it's back to the upper room and to the stairwell I go - thankfully all that time living in a cave has taught me to navigate those tight corners and crevices.

"I Know" is now up and Helmet's sounding on fine form; if a little heavy on the bass in the mix IMHO. By now what little light there was falling on the band now seems to be on the crowd, making getting photos all that harder.

If I thought trying to navigate the crowd of jostling fans in the main hall was bad enough, the stairwell was equally bad. With little care for those around them, people impolitely pushing through the narrow gaps between the people around me.  Part of me was wishing the show had been moved to an even bigger venue, "The King's Arms" would surely have been packed out as well - but I wouldn't have the fear of being pushed down the stairs.

The rest of the evening was enjoyed from inside the upper VIP lounge, where even there one was hard pressed to actually see or hear Helmet. Every so often I would catch glimpses of pure sound coming from the main hall - for those in there; Helmet was on fire and sounding awesome, it was, unfortunately, something I wasn't able to feel myself.

Setlist:

Wilma’s Rainbow
I Know
Biscuits For Smut
Milquetoast
Tic
Rollo
Street Crab
Clean
Vaccination
Beautiful Love
Speechless
The Silver Hawaiian
Overrated
Sam Hell
Role Model
Life Or Death
Repetition
Ironhead
Bad News
Drunk
I Heart My Guru
Red Scare
On Your Way Down
Crisis King
Birth Defect [encore]
Give It [encore]
In The Meantime [encore]