Tonight’s show at the Middle East brought together one local band, one band that’s non-local and one band who…um…who am I kidding? Everyone knows Helmet, so here’s how it went:
Ribs – A local band (and a pretty loud one at that). They sounded fairly convincing, save for one song during which they started to remind of Muse (not a good thing in my book) and some of the more comical poses/headbanging. Otherwise, they were good – probably one of the better openers on my recent memory.
Intronaut – From LA. A heavy/atmospheric band that just recently released their new CD. Good, if somewhat samey sounding songs.
I thought that Helmet would kick things off with “Milquetoast” or “Unsung”, but boy – did I turned out to be wrong. They intentionally kept older songs until the end of the show and played less familiar tunes first (including the ones off of more recent “Seeing Eye Dog”).
Its somewhat sad to see hired guns being present in place of the original band members, but even sadder is the fact that Page Hamilton’s voice seemed to have changed for the worse with years. He’s still an amazing guitar player/songwriter, but unfortunately his voice seem to have lost some of its power (due to age? drinking? drugs? who knows).
In the end, however, the show turned out to be a whole lotta fun – part of the deal was all the slamming going during the times when the band played hits/crowd favorites (“Unsung”, “Milquetoast”, “Wilma’s Rainbow”). There was also a great deal of headbanging going on and Page also kept everyone entertained with between-song banter (which included such hot topics as whether or not Helmet are a goth band and the inspiration behind the song “Sinatra”).
In the end, I’d say that Helmet were the best band of the evening, hands down. As for two other bands (Ribs and Intronaut) – I can’t quite decided, so I’ll just give them both a second place.
And kudos to all the bands for not keeping everyone waiting until midnight.