Pairing two established bands for a co-headlining tour can be an exciting offering for fans. The tricky part is matching up acts that complement each other musically plus have good chemistry. Hard Rockers Helmet and Prong are a fine example of the formula working out. Currently on a 19-date US Tour, they selected the Varsity Theater as one of their stops to show Twin Cities fans the powerful result of their combined forces.

The double header began with a full throttle set by Prong. Founding member Tommy Victor offered up great attitude in his vocals and guitar playing that is noticeably critical to their edgy sound. Jason Christopher was a bad ass on bass and Art Cruz was unstoppable, whipping his hair around behind a double bass drum kit. I was encouraged to see Prong’s set wrong long and they genuinely did not appear like they were ready to wrap up their set anytime soon.

Helmet has been celebrating a milestone this past year with the 25th Anniversary of their major label debut album “Meantime”. Like Prong’s story, Page Hamilton has been the constant force in this band and responsible for much of the creative output. Although this band is less focused on crowd interaction, their music has always spoken for itself and I have to say, speak it did. The nice size crowd that came out to see this effective pairing rocked hard and more than got their money’s worth.

Review and photos by Patrick Dunn