CONCERT REVIEW: Helix – The Power of Rock and Roll CD release party 2007/08/19

I found this concert review on a hard drive and realized I had never posted it to  OVERSIGHT!

This was a special experience.  Read on.

video by John Hockley

HELIX POWER_0004HELIX – The Power Of Rock And Roll – CD Release Party Report  – East Side Bar &  Grill, London Ontario, 2007/08/19

Today Jen & I headed down to London to check out Helix playing, and to celebrate the release of their new CD, The Power of Rock and Roll, on EMI. We threw on some Helix for the drive down, and met John Hockley (Helix MySpace guru) and his family at noon. John has quite an impressive autograph collection, as anyone who’s got him added on Facebook can attest to.

Stocking up on coffee and Timbits, John and I trekked over to Brian and Linda Vollmer’s house to drop off some salad for their after-show BBQ and to say hello. It was my first time at their place and I was blown away by Brian’s cool collection of rock and roll stuff! My favourite thing of his was his prop from the fourth season of Trailer Park Boys, “Ricky’s Dope Map”. Very cool to see it up close and personal.

VOLLMERBrian was gracious enough to take a photo with me, and Linda told me how everyone loved my [now deleted] YouTube video “Why I Prefer Helix To Rush”. That was very cool; I told her that if I had known that anyone would actually watch it that I would have worked harder on it! Maybe next time….

From there, we headed over to the venue to see Helix play. Milled around the crowd, ran into Brent Doerner and said hello.

John introduced me to Randy, the merchandise guy, who had also seen my YouTube video. He sold me some rare Helix stuff, including the CD Never Trust Anyone Over 30 which I thought I would never be able to find! Then I got it signed by Rainer Wiechmann who played guitar and engineered a lot of the later Helix stuff on it. Rainer was cool, and thank you John for introducing me.

fritzWe found a table, and sat with a very nice couple, Diane and Mark from Kitchener. Wouldn’t you know it…Diane used to be Greg “Fritz” Hinz bookeeper, and asked him to come over and sign my CD for me! I told Fritz that my very first concert was Helix at the Center In The Square in 1987. […where he mooned the crowd.]

Then the band hit the stage. This was our second time seeing the current live lineup of Helix. [Brian Vollmer – lead vocals, Rik VanDyk – guitars, Jim Lawson – guitars, Paul Fonseca – bass, and Brent “Ned” Niemi – drums.]  Nine months after seeing this version play for the first time, I think they were even tighter, and definitely heavier. I have never seen Helix play so fast and heavy before. Blew me away. Still played a couple of slower tunes as well, but even they had more energy.

The full and complete set list:

1. No Rest For The Wicked / Band intro and solos

2. Boomerang Lover

3. Get Up!

4. Wild In The Streets

5. Dirty Dog

6. Eat My Dust

7. Running Wild In The 21st Century

8. The Kids Are All Shakin’

9. Heavy Metal Love

10. Rick Van Dyk guitar solo / segue into Metallica’s Creeping Death riff

11. When The Hammer Falls

12. Deep Cuts The Knife

13. Good To The Last Drop

14. Baby Likes To Ride

15. Gimme Gimme Good Lovin’

16. The Power Of Rock And Roll

17. Animal House

18. Rock You



19. (Make Me Do) Anything You Want

20. Fill Your Head With Rock

Packed house, great show, the band played & sang great. Thanks Helix for an amazing afternoon!


        1. Yup I thought that’d only be polite since I don’t think he drinks. I’d have baked a cake and everything.


    1. I see you with a picture in this article when your talkin about Greg hinz book keeper is that not Greg you are in the picture with ? Was he there thr day? I am an old friend of the group since the 1980’s. I would love to be able to reconnect with crew “fritz”hinz can u help?


  1. Cool story Mike…caught em with this lineup in Tbay.
    The thing is even with all these lineup changes Vollmer always put together a crackin good band all the time….where he would find these guys is impressive…..
    I’m glad though that at least Fritz/Grey are still with him….


    1. Yes, although I think there’s also some benefit to having younger guys too. Like I mentioned this was the heaviest and fastest I’ve seen them play, I’m sure a lot of that came from youth. Rick VanDyk was a monster player — from a thrash metal background. I have his first CD when he was in a local thrash band called Zero Option. He also played in a Metallica tribute band called Sandman so that’s where that Creeping Death riff comes from.


  2. Excellent find! I’m glad everyone was so cool, that your day was excellent!

    The best part: “I have never seen Helix play so fast and heavy before. Blew me away.” YEAH BABY!!! \m/ \m/


  3. Nice day!
    Refreshing to hear how down-to-earth they seem to be.
    Now if a 14-year Jian Ghomeshi is to be believed, in terms of being decent guys, the equation may end up being Helix = Rush.
    Have you read his book 1982? He & a buddy spent their summer loitering outside a recording studio, trying to catch glimpses/sounds of Rush recording Subdivisions. Geddy & Alex went out to talk to him one day & sign autographs.


    1. I didn’t even know Jian Ghomeshi wrote a book to be honest. Sounds incredible!

      Helix are the most down to earth band I’ve ever met. Hell a few weeks ago Brent Doerner called me up out of the blue, bored, looking for somebody to hang out with…unfortunately I had company over and couldn’t hang.


      1. We have Ghomeshi’s book here, I got it for my lovely wife for Christmas. She likes his work. She read it and liked it. I haven’t read it yet, but it’s in the wee little pile of Stuff To Hear/Read/Watch For Review. It’s just a wee little pile, hardly worth mentioning…


      2. Hahaha….that’s awesome Mike…I still remember Doctor Doerner playing our University back in early 85 on the Razors Edge Tour……
        I would love to drill his brain on that tour esp the Whitesnake/quiet Riot tour….


        1. I got to talk about that era…opening for Kiss…Gene Simmons chased him around the dressing room with a kettle saying he was going to cook him in a pot! Said Gene treated people very well.

          When I saw Helix on this occasion, Brent was really studying Rick’s playing. He was like, “Yup, he nailed that part…that part not so much…”


      3. 1982’s a good read – he commits to his character as a 14-year old in the aforementioned year. It has a lot of Jian’s signature talking in circles (taking 3 pages when 1 would likely suffice) but I enjoyed it.


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