Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Helmet & Local H @ Visulite

Is is 1996 again?  What a line up!  Two great bands from my youth, together, in a small venue, a mile from my house.  Couldn't get much better.

I got in early for a spot down the front (after last years' Helmet show that was packed, I wanted to make sure I had a great spot).  It's been a while since I'd seen Local H (8 years to be exact) and time to see how new(ish) drummer Ryan performs with Scott.  As usual Local H pull off a great set.  While I was not familiar with their newer material, their sound and performance is infalable.  Lucas seemed to be having a good time, and enjoyed the interaction with the small crowd.  As Good As Dead is one of my favorite albums of the last 20 years, and hearing Eddie Vedder and High Fivin' MF again is a live music highlight for me.  Heard some people surprised that they didn't get Bound For The Floor, but the reality of the night was Local H had a shortened, opening set, have just finished touring As Good As Dead, night after night playing the same album, and have an extensive catalogue.  There are tons of songs I wanted to hear, but was really impressed with what I heard.

Local H - killing it as always

What a difference 16 months makes to a crowd.  Last year the Visulite was packed to the rafters as Helmet toured Betty.  this time I could be blasted right in front of the stage in comfort, as the crowd was relatively sparse.  But Helmet did as Helmet does and played some good, loud, chunky rock.  I lot of cuts from the new Dead To The World album dominated the main set.  For me it was the Encore that got it to kick off.  Unsung was brutal, while "audience request" Wilma's Rainblow was fantastic.  Got to hear Just Another Victim again - such a good song.  Yet the piece de resistance came on the very last song.  The swirling guitar intro of In The Meantime, following by that brief reprieve, only to be hammered by that only-a-Helmet-riff is just awesome to hear live.  4 minutes of pure musical ecstacy.

When the set was over I hung around to see if I could get my hands on a setlist.  I was unsuccessful , but saw something that made me a bigger Helmet fan.  While shaking hands and greeting fans down the front, a mom bought her 7 year old son down the front.  Apparently a huge Helmet fan, this was not his first show, but Paige and the band went out of their way to meet this kid, talk to him, graciously thank his mum for bringing him. and give him a bunch of picks and drumsticks.  The kid looked like he was on cloud nine.  It has been a long time since I'd seen someone that happy.  One of life's great moments to witness.

Helmet Setlist
Like I Care / Exactly What You Wanted / Life Or Death / Bad News / Speechless / Drunk In The Afternoon / Overrated / Red Scare / I ♥ My Guru / Sam Hell / So Long / Beautiful Love / Bury Me
Encore: Unsung / FBLA II / Wilma's Rainbow / He Feels Bad / Just Another Victim / In The Meantime

The Crap Facts:
This is my 415th concert.
This is my 10th concert at The Visulite.
This is my 54th concert in Charlotte.
This is my 60th concert in North Carolina.
This is my 222nd concert in the USA.
This is my 5th Local H concert.
This is my 4th Helmet concert.