Helmet released the album Betty on June 21st, 1994. Marvin, Jack and I made a special trip to the mall that day to pick up a copy. Here I was at the Belly Up almost 21 years later to hear the whole album performed from to back to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Betty. I was not at all surprised to see this because during one of the other four times I saw Hemet they played about half of both Meantime and Aftertaste in sequence.
I never had the pleasure of seeing them tour Betty back when it was new, let alone hear most of these songs live at all. It had been almost exactly seven years since the last time I saw Helmet at Cane’s when I started chatting Page up after the show and told him that he should make his new band learn “Clean” and “Speechless” (for selfish reasons). Well he not only made them learn those two songs but the entire damn album and it was incredible. The band did a fine job of reproducing the album pretty much note for note. Seeing any band you love play such a small venue is awesome because the energy translates so well. I would have been satisfied had they left the stage after “Sam Hell” but instead we all got a bonus encore set of songs spanning the rest of Helmet’s career after that.
SETLIST: Wilma’s Rainbow, I Know, Biscuits for Smut, Milquetoast, Tic, Rollo, Street Crab, Clean, Vaccination, Beautiful Love, Speechless, The Silver Hawaiian, Overrated, Sam Hell +