Helmet -- Jacksonville, FL -- July 24th, 2012
Love this venue. Pretty much a dive with a capacity of only 300, but I love seeing national acts in such small places. Jackrabbits gets their fair share of such shows. It’s actually where Exodus has played their last two times here in Jax. The sound is surprisingly good. Much better than you would probably expect when you first walk in the door.
This was the second show in Jacksonville for Helmet in the last nine months. An awesome treat for a fan who hadn’t seen them since 1995. Last October they headlined at a place called The Pit, which wasn’t much bigger than Jackrabbits and has actually since closed as the owner has recently taken over a bigger club here in town, which should be great for the city and help bring in more higher profile groups along the lines of Lamb of God.
Anyway, about the show. Helmet was tight as hell, which is to be expected any time they go onstage. Page has said before that he would retire before he would ever go onstage only able to play half-ass, and it certainly shows. He’s a consummate professional who plays his ass off no matter the venue size. Super cool too. I was able to talk to him for a good ten minutes after the show last October and what a great guy he is. No such luck for me this time around unfortunately. Thanks to the venue size though, I was able to get a spot right at the stage, literally three feet in front of him, my favorite way to see shows. The setlist was as follows:
1. Swallowing Everything
2. So Long
3. In Person
4. White City
7. Wilma’s Rainbow
10. Welcome to Algiers
12. She’s Lost
13. See You Dead
As I stated before, they were certainly on their game and absolutely killed it onstage. One thing that they do is change up their setlist from night to night. This one was definitely different from the ones that I read from both Pensacola and New Orleans. I have great respect for groups who do that. They’re certainly doing things on their own terms. The downside is that you might not get a couple of great songs that you would expect to hear. I really wanted to hear them play “In The Meantime”, as they didn’t play it last October either. The guy next to me was yelling for “Milquetoast” as well. At least they did play that one last time. That would be my only disappointment, but not enough of one to put a damper on the show. Well actually I was a little disappointed to not be able to chat with Page again, but not really surprised. I figured he might not be hanging around the side of the stage this time since the Toadies were still yet to play.
I did hang around for the Toadies as well. I’m not as familiar with them as Helmet but I do know that they played Heel, I Come from the Water, Song I Hate, Possum Kingdom, and Tyler, which is my favorite song of theirs. They were very good and had the crowd really into it. Not going to try to post a whole setlist for them but pretty sure it stays about the same from night to night. So whatever setlists there are out there for them is pretty much what they played.