Helmet // Look Left Tour – Live Review // The Dome // London

Helmet // Look Left Tour – Live Review // The Dome // London

2023 might be closing its doors soon but boy do we have one last gig to end on a high note!

New York City’s alternative metal king Helmet has returned to the UK in support of their newest album “Left”.

Having Helmet as the only band on tonight’s bill is a risky move but seeing as tonight’s show is sold out & The Dome is full to the brim as the band take the stage.

It might also be the last date of the UK leg here in London but the band are on fire, Opening with “Swallowing Everything” and Helmet’s perfect style of rhythmic hypnotising riffs, the crowd are already moving & excited.

They start to turn up the heat when “Ironhead” from “Meantime” hits. The tightest of the group is one of the best I’ve seen in a long time. Guitarist Dan Beeman is in the pocket & seems to be having a blast. Backing the group’s leader & founder Page Hamilton can’t be an easy job but Dan pulls it off flawlessly.

“NYC Tough Guy” from the band’s latest album sees them perfectly merge the hard edge of their sound with some of the most beautiful vocal hooks the band have written to date. The duo of bassist Dave Case & Page singing together on the chorus section really gave it the thickness vocally live & pushed through nicely.

As the bands set gets to the midpoint they are still keeping the fans on their toes and bring out the 90’s anthem “Milquetoast”. The thumping bass section from Case hits hard & they blast through the track flawlessly. Getting to hear this classic track live for the first time was fantastic & lived up to my teenage dream!

“Wilma’s Rainbow” from “Betty” is another track that still holds up years later. The pit went crazy for this one. Even though the band has been around since 1989 the passion from the group & Page is still there. Having fun playing these classic tracks live. Being able to give it a huge punch live is really great to see. Helmet isn’t one of the played out classic acts. They still have it & are putting some newer bands to shame quite frankly.

As the band closes out their set the crowd are still wanting more, a wall of feedback keeps the tension high & gives the band a moment to breath before rejoining on stage for a great five song encore. “Give It” & “Unsung” back to back pushes the crowd again & raises the energy in the room to a high again. Both staples & classics from the group.

Something I didn’t think I would hear in tonight’s set would be “Just Another Victim”. The iconic track with House Of Pain from the Judgement Night soundtrack. One of the leading metal / rap crossover albums from the 90’s. This was a great surprise & a bucket list ticked off for sure!

Closing out the set with the band’s biggest hit “Meatime” with a wall of feedback & noise before bringing in the classic riff.  A chocked full set of classics, new tracks & some surprises has allowed Helmet to still be one of the leading live alternative metal bands from the 90s performing at full steam & full of heart. It might have taken me 20 years to see the group but tonight lived up to years of loving the group & has left me coming away loving them even more after one of the best shows of 2023.

Review: Joseph Mitchell

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