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  #1  
Old 08-09-2014, 05:33 PM
Ironhead Ironhead is offline
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Helmet -- Jacksonville, FL -- August 5th, 2014

Venue: Underbelly

This place has been here in downtown Jacksonville for a few years, but now seems to be trying to step up in the grade of shows they're bringing in. I was pumped to see that Helmet would be coming through. Of course, as has been documented in another thread, they were opening for Filter. A little bit of a downer but still excited as hell. This was my first time in the place and I like the layout. Just one big open area with the bar along the right wall when you walk in and the stage straight to the back. Brick walls and wooden ceiling. Capacity must be around 400 or so. Just a guess on my part based on the size. Crowd size was pretty good for this show.

Now for the crazy surprise in store when I first arrived: When I got to the venue I found out that for some reason Filter was no longer on the bill. Pretty strange for a headliner but boy was I ecstatic!!! Obviously it meant Helmet was now the headliner!!

***Super crazy side note: I wouldn't be ridiculous enough to call it a premonition because I don't really believe in such things and silly random thoughts pop into my head quite often but usually don't actually happen. But the day before the show I did find myself thinking how cool it would be if I rolled up to find that Filter was off and Helmet was now headlining. Crazy but true***

So anyway, it was super easy to get my favorite spot, which is right up front, since I opted not to drink, which meant no constant trips to the bar. Went on up front before Local H took the stage.

The only Local H song I know is Bound for the Floor, their popular hit from the 90's. No setlist to grab afterward so I can't vouch. But looking at setlist.fm, I see that most of their sets are pretty much the same and I remember most of them from the titles. The ones I remember for sure are:

Back in the Day
Misanthrope
Bound for the Floor
All-Right (Oh, Yeah)
That's What They All Say
High-Fiving MF

Like I said, they did play more. Just can't verify which ones they were. I was a little intrigued with them. Never realized they're just a two-piece, with guitar and drums. They created a pretty decent wall of sound with just the two of them. Things got a little strange during the last song when they paused for a few moments and the singer/guitarist admonished the fans that were moshing, saying they were fucking things up for everybody else. The people right next to me were fans of theirs and the girl was pissed. I would assume some fans mosh during their set each night. Does he do this every night? Kinda weird. But on to the highlight anyway......

Now when the setlists for Helmet were taped to the stage floor I did get a little worried. Fully expecting a headline set but still only fourteen songs on the list, which they stuck to. Setlist was as follows:

1) Role Model
2) So Long
3) Renovation
4) Welcome to Algiers
5) Blacktop
6) Exactly What You Wanted
7) Unsung
8) Birth Defect
9) Broadcast Emotion
10) Ironhead
11) Turned Out
12) Better
13) Driving Nowhere
14) Milquetoast

So I was wrong when thinking it might be a pretty Betty heavy set due to their upcoming European Betty anniversary tour. More Meantime and Aftertaste, not that there's a thing wrong with that!!!

Wasn't sure what to think as they got closer to the end, and obviously, for Helmet, this would be a pretty quick set since their songs don't run very long, and this was the length of their warmup sets previously while opening for Filter. I felt pretty good that Page didn't say anything before Milquetoast indicating that it would be their last song. When it ended he said "Okay, well that was our last song", and of course we all gave the predictable reaction, pressing for more. He then said. "But we'll play more", and it was on. They definitely pulled out a few classics for the last portion of the show. Here's the rest.

15) Sinatra
16) Just Another Victim
17) Tic
18) Wilma's Rainbow
19) In The Meantime

Awesome flurry of songs there to round it out. Was thrilled to hear In The Meantime, as they did not play it either of the last two times I saw them in 2011 and 2012.

The show did not come off without a hitch, as they were plagued with sound issues throughout the first half of the set. By the end of Role Model, Page was back by the stacks with his head down close in order to keep in time. Afterward he asked the sound guy for some adjustments because all he could hear in the monitor was "a shit-ton of bass". It was pretty clear going forward that they were all still having issues with sound and it was a struggle to stay all in time, though they did so remarkably well. A couple of songs further in Page asked for an adjustment for vocal sound, and then it was Kyle on drums not able to hear his monitor. They even paused for a good five minutes after Blacktop for some onstage adjustments to be made. Page stayed cool and collected all throughout and just chatted with the crowd from the mike during the pause. Things pretty much stabilized afterward, although I really never did hear much of Dan's rhythm guitar at all. Still an awesome show overall, especially with the way they rounded it out.

It took the crowd a little bit to get really into it. Don't know if the rough start contributed to that but from Unsung on, it was rowdy as hell.

And once again, Page is just cool as hell. He was easily accessible afterward and talked to me for a good 5-10 minutes. Got his sig on the setlist I had taken from the stage as well.

Man....Seeing Helmet will NEVER get old!!!!!
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  #2  
Old 08-09-2014, 07:39 PM
300%_Density 300%_Density is offline
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Odd you hadn't got In The Meantime in awhile. My 4 or 5x I've never not seen that. I'm just mad I can't ever see Blacktop dammit.
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  #3  
Old 08-09-2014, 08:28 PM
Ironhead Ironhead is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Jacksonville, FL
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I agree and considered it to be very bad luck. AND it obviously wouldn't not have been in this set either if not for the sudden headline role. Still can't believe my great luck with how that worked out. And yes, agreed on Blacktop. I was happy as hell to see it on the list when they put it out.
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