Jan 17, 2011
History of the Helmet
Daft Punk - Derezzed (Original Mix) [Walt Disney]

Daft Punk needs no introduction. Their music is big, but their production is bigger. The lucky few that have gotten to catch their scarce and at times out-of-nowhere shows have had the privilege to experience the nirvana that is a Daft Punk show. The stunning robot get-ups, intense pyramids of light, and mind-boggling effects tell tales of the effort the French duo put in to build their mystique. Even their helmets are impressive. How impressive? You have no idea.

Want to look like Daft Punk? Give Alterian Inc, a special effects company, a call. Make sure you have your wallet, though–rumors value these bad boys at $65,000 a pop. The helmets have evolved through the eras of Daft Punk. Abandoning simpler costumes at the end of the 90s, the duo took on their robot persona when they entered the “Discovery Era.” (click to view) Thomas had a silver helmet with a red LED strip across capable of displaying pre-programmed on-board effects like text, or even syncing with the music. Guy-Manuel’s helmet during this period sported a removable back, rainbow colors, and a vertical strip of LEDs.

Following this period, the two rocked a brief transition helmet before going all-out with their Human After All (HAA) period helmets (shown above), which show a closer resemblance to the helmets they wore in their cameo in Tron and on their Alive 2007 tour (see video below). If you haven’t seen Tron, have a look–or a listen–Daft Punk produced the soundtrack. Adding to their arsenal are encore helmets with red linings. Backpacks store processors that link to buttons to initiate special effects when the two want to add some spunk to their performance. Matching LED gloves have even evolved over time to accompany the helmets in style and technology.

Fashionistas–eat your heart out. Daft Punk sports the mink coat of robotic excess. You know what’s on my wish list for next year’s holidays.