One of the most influential and groundbreaking bands of the alternative metal genre paid a visit to Greece for the very first time after 25 years in the musical forefront. Helmet left a permanent mark in the 90s with such milestone albums as “Meantime” and “Betty” and I am sure that there are many fans out there who still remember some of their video clips that aired on MTV almost twenty years ago.


The New York band has embarked on a special tour as it celebrates the 20th anniversary since the release of “Betty” so we were lucky as Helmet’s first ever show in Greece was combined with this unique occasion. More than 300 people found their way on the club in downtown Athens and created right from the start an ideal atmosphere that didn’t pass unnoticed by the band itself.
Helmet’s founder, Page Hamilton, is the sole member from the early days but let me tell you that the other band members were bombastic and quite impressive. Especially the drummer Kyle Stevenson was a human juggernaut behind his drums and hit them mercilessly throughout the show! The sound was crystal clear and Hamilton’s sharp riffs accompanied with the excellent rhythm guitar by Dan Beeman and the tight bass lines by Dave Case paved the way for a constant headbanging while it became obvious why outfits like Deftones, Fear Factory and Pantera sight Helmet as one of their biggest influences.
The live set was naturally divided in two parts: in the first one, Helmet presented “Betty” in its entirety and I must say that the live renditions of the songs are more powerful and “in your face” compared to the studio counterparts. In the second part of the show, Helmet played songs from the rest of their 90s back catalogue (“Strap It On”, “Meantime”, “Aftertaste”). Highlights of the show surely include the excellent versions of “Wilma’s Rainbow” and “Milquetoast”, the dynamic encore that featured among others the superb tracks “Unsung” and “In The Meantime” and last but certainly not least the absolutely magnificent performance of “Exactly What You Wanted” that left me speechless and in awe!
Helmet threw a hell of a party; a live tribute to the 90s when rock was still very much active and alive! After the concert, I am sure that there were many that returned home and listened once again to “Betty”…personally, I did so!
Sakis Nikas