Grrrrrr was the sound of the night, plain and simple. If you came to the show expecting anything less, you would have been highly disappointed. The already-established roster of bands – Ume, Helmet, and the Toadies – had nothing to prove, so they engaged their timeless engines and succeeded in rocking the living daylights out of Tipitina’s.
The musical cultivation of the 90’s sprung grunge, and out of that musical wake sprang Helmet. On the complete and opposite side of the map, Ft. Worth-based band, Toadies, was also beginning to show their roots. Each band took their hold on the music scene in different ways, and each has still managed to pass the test of time.
Ume was first to get things going, and if you’ve never seen this band, picture Nirvana with a female lead singer. The sparse crowd was entertained with a quick and loud set, which got them primed up for the upcoming perfroamnces. Next up was Helmet, who by any stretch and means could have been the headliner. For all intents and purposes, this really was a Co-headlining type of show.
Helmet took the stage and just ripped into it, each song pounding like mad into the next. What little stage banter that did occur was comic relief, and even somewhat informative. Take, for instance, the fact that the song “Wilma’s Rainbow” was titled from a Snoball stand that once was on Magazine Street, just a few blocks away. The main set ended with “Milktoast” from The Crow soundtrack, an anthem of sorts. It still has the same power as when I first heard it all those years ago. As an added treat, they came back to the stage and did “In the Mean Time” for an encore. This was my first time seeing Helmet and I was not disappointed at all, even not knowing all their songs, it did not matter. The crowd and I enjoyed every minute of it.
The night concluded with the Toadies. Todd and the guys took the stage and went straight into, “Heel.” No looking back and straight forward was the motto of the night. The set was composed of material from the entire Toadies’ catalogue, as well as a few from their upcoming release Play.Rock.Music. Todd remarked that he was a bit puzzled as to why they had not toured with Helmet before, and that it made way too much sense. You could tell the crowd was partial to the material from Rubberneck, but who could blame them, it is an amazing record. It was a nice bonus to hear “Paper Dress.” The main set ended with crowd favorite “Possum Kingdom.” After a brief break the guys came back for the encore to play a few more. I’ll have to admit I was a bit hesitant to see “Rattler’s Revival” as the band’s last song, but after hearing it live, it all made sense.