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13 Random Thoughts on Clutch’s NYC Performance Last Month

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I went to see Clutch at New York’s Irving Plaza on October 26th. Here are a few of my disorganized thoughts on my very first time seeing the band live, of whom I’ve been a fan for many, many years.

  1. Before this show I had only seen Clutch live once before, but that was hardly a typical Clutch show. It was in a private setting, at the former New Jersey recording studio of producer Machine, on the Earth Rocker album cycle. I’m grateful for the chance to FINALLY see a proper Clutch performance.
  2. It’s incredible that such a niche band is able to sell out Irving Plaza on back-to-back nights.
  3. It’s incredible that such a niche band has so many fans that are just as into Sevendust, a way heavier band, the tour’s direct support act.
  4. Sevendust were phenomenal. They played a few new songs and some very old classics with little in between. Forty minutes is not enough!
  5. Clutch would fit on a bill alongside Particle and The String Cheese Incident as well as they do on this show with Sevendust. That’s a compliment: few bands in our scene have such broad appeal.
  6. Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown: not really my thing, but I get it.
  7. At a ripe 36, I feel like I’m exactly the average age of this audience. Lots of graybeards here. That makes me feel comfortable.
  8. While watching Clutch perform I recall Shayne Mathis’s hilarious viral tweet from this past summer poking fun at the uniformity of Rob Zombie songs:

    https://twitter.com/metalshayne2000/status/1017903320353132544?lang=en

    What’s the Clutch version of that? Probably something like:

    [Neil Fallon voice]
    Bang bang, shoot ’em up!
    Barbarella motherfucker giddyup!
    Dynamite! Crab cakes!
    Bluesy boozy woozy fiddily bake!
    [harmonica break]

  9. I think I prefer when Fallon has a guitar strapped on as opposed to when he’s acting as the frontman. Not only does it make the band sound more full but it suits him better.
  10. Clutch’s rhythm section of Dan Maines on bass and Jean-Paul Gaster on drums is what truly makes the outfit go. One of the best duos in all of rock.
  11. Despite my casual fandom, it’s remarkable how many of their songs I know. They have a ton of “hits,” so to speak. Although that perception could well be a symptom of #7 (above). Whatever the case, it rocks and I’m into it.
  12. The band didn’t play “Spacegrass,” perhaps the best known of their tracks. Maybe they were saving it for the following night’s show which ended up being canceled when Fallon suffered a fainting episode.
  13. This show was a ton of fun. Clutch are FUN. That’s the takeaway! So much rock/metal is super srs. We all need a bit of levity, you know?

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