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The Day Helix Came to Niagara — a Primer in Essential Canadian Rock and Roll

image001Many aspects of Canadian culture are in keeping with the culture of the United States. Sports, for instance, are incredibly important in both countries. There are just some differences in what sports are the most popular. Thanksgiving is celebrated both north and south of the border — just in different months, and rock and roll is always and everywhere a dominant and popular force to be reckoned with. It’s just that some of the names, songs, and stories aren’t as well known from one country to the next.

One such rock and roll force from the Canadian side of things is a hard rock band named Helix. Since their formation in 1974 through today, they have been one of Canada’s most influential and popular bands. If you’re a lover of rock and roll, but you’ve never heard of Helix, it’s almost certain you hail from the United States. Currently on tour, the band is slated to take the stage at the Seneca-Queen Theatre on November 7. Plan your vacation to Niagara to coincide with this fantastic night of music, and in the meantime, here is a little about what you should know about Helix.

A Little History

image003The band’s early years were marked by a solid rock and roll sound, more lineup changes than anyone but the most die-hard fan could keep up with, and two independent records that brought them a little regional notoriety but little else. Essentially a bar band, it wasn’t until 1983, when they signed to Capitol Records, that the band developed a more well-crafted heavy metal-based image and sound that fit in well with the hair and heavy metal music explosion that was taking place all across North America. The ‘80s were a good time for the band, and they enjoyed some commercial success, a couple of extensive tours throughout the world, including an extensive tour in Sweden, where their album, “Long Way to Heaven,” had reached number one on the charts.

30th Anniversary

In 2004, the remaining members of the band saw an opportunity to aim for the limelight once again. They released a studio album of new songs, two compilation discs, booked and played a special 30th anniversary show, which they then released as a DVD. A documentary on the band was also released in 2004, titled: “30 Years of Helix: No Rest for the Wicked.”

And Now…

It was the boost they needed. Since 2004, Helix hasn’t slowed down. They’ve continued to go through lineup changes, make albums — including 2014’s “Bastard of the Blues” — and tour. Since those early days, they’ve put together an impressive resume, sharing the stage with some of the biggest names in rock, including KISS, Rush, Heart, Quiet Riot, and more. They are, to put it mildly, a Canadian rock and roll institution.

For anyone fascinated by rock and roll as a cultural phenomenon and experience, catching Helix in Niagara Falls on November 7 is a must.