13 Random Thoughts on Clutch’s NYC Performance Last Month
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.
- 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.
- It’s incredible that such a niche band is able to sell out Irving Plaza on back-to-back nights.
- 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.
- Sevendust were phenomenal. They played a few new songs and some very old classics with little in between. Forty minutes is not enough!
- 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.
- Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown: not really my thing, but I get it.
- 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.
- 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:
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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?