HELMET, Whelan’s, Dublin, tomorrow
Legendary New York post-hardcore act Helmet were on the bill of the ill-fated BARE in the Woods festival that had to cancel last month — leaving behind one of the most bonkers line-ups in recent years, that also included Right Said Fred.
Led by jazz-trained guitarist Page Hamilton, Helmet’s dense, repetitive riffs and intricate discordant solos were a notch above their peers when they emerged in the early 90s with essential albums Strap It On, Meantime and Betty.
Hamilton’s the only original member left but they’re all his songs anyway, from early alt-metal classics like Wilma’s Rainbow and Unsung, to more recent, smoother cuts from the albums Dead To the World and Seeing Eye Dog.
EDDIE VEDDER, 3Arena, Dublin, tonight; Live at the Marquee, Cork, Sunday
With the deaths of Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain, Alice In Chains’ Layne Stayley, Stone Temple Pilots’ Scott Weiland and Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell, there’s been a ghoulish obsession recently with Eddie Vedder being the last of the big grunge frontmen still standing.
Since Cornell’s passing, the Pearl Jam man’s solo tour takes on an extra poignancy. At his first gig in Amsterdam since hearing the news he made a few subtle tributes and song choices, but opened up in London this week, with memories of his “older brother”.
In these two shows he’ll be reworking Pearl Jam deep cuts, as well as his solo acoustic and ukelele material and covers ranging from Tom Waits and The Beatles, to Fugazi and The Everly Brothers.
Support is from Glen Hansard, who’s a cert to join Vedder on stage on a few tracks.
DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, Academy, Dublin, tonight
The last time Dillinger Escape Plan played the Academy in 2011, frontman Greg Puciato took a few seconds to launch himself into the crowd, trampling on heads and rolling on the ground when he eventually became too much of a handful.
As this is Dillinger’s last ever tour, expect them to wring out every last drop of adrenalin, as Puciato essentially plays ‘in the round’ off the stage.
Over the last 20 years, the New Jersey act have kicked metal down so many alleyways – nominally described as mathcore or metalcore, but with a nod to head-shredding jazz time signatures, noise-rock and and a rabid version of Aphex Twin’s Come To Daddy in the vaults.
Their final album Dissociation is a suitably caustic parting shot — with giddy, sidewinding riffs, Puciato’s throat torn to shreds and wrong-footing beats that are only half human. Wear a helmet, maybe.
STONE ROSES, SSE Arena, Belfast, Tuesday 13th
After a few years of stadiums, festivals other stages in the great outdoors, the Stone Roses are getting relatively ‘intimate’ for this Belfast arena show.
The Madchester legends are now into their Fourth Coming, with one of the biggest money-spinning comeback tours in history — not bad considering they’ve only released two songs in the last 24 years.
Those songs — All For One and Beautiful Thing — are way down the priority list, and Beautiful Thing isn’t even a live concern. This is really just the ultimate nostalgia-fest for anyone who missed the last few Irish gigs, or just fancy one more mass singalong to I Am the Resurrection.
ARCADE FIRE, Ormeau Park, Belfast, Tuesday 13th; Malahide Castle, Dublin, Wednesday 14th
The website Stereogum ran a piece over the weekend headlined, ‘Remember when Arcade Fire were good?’, with a flimsy enough argument based on decreasing returns since their 2005 debut album Funeral. Then again, where do you go after one of the the most revered indie-rock album of the 21st century? The piece even conceded that the LPs The Suburbs and Neon Bible had their iconic moments, but the writer just didn’t dig Reflektor that much.
Even if Arcade Fire’s earnestness and fawning fanbase does invite a few low digs, they’re behind some of the most memorable Irish gigs of a generation — from their bulging Electric Picnic show in 2005, to their Olympia shows around the release of Funeral.
There’ll always be plenty of cynics who won’t succumb to the goosebumps on Wake Up, Neighbourhood #3 and Sprawl II, but they’ll easily be drowned out.
AEROSMITH, 3Arena, Dublin, Wednesday 14th
After 47 years, Aerosmith are calling time on their career and going on a Farewell Tour to prove they’re still half-relevant.
The tour comes a few years after the rest of the band wanted to kick out frontman Steven Tyler for the very un-rock’n’roll crime of focusing too much on his role as a judge in American Idol.
There’ll probably be a few different versions of Aerosmith on show — the dirty blues rock of the 70s like Walk This Way, the tightened up slick 80s anthems like Love in an Elevator and pure 90s cheese like Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing and Crazy.
I’ve never met a legit Aerosmith fan in my life, but I guess that should cover all the bases.