Video credit: David Martínez
Clutch is one of those bands that has been around forever, but that I never got into in spite of them releasing album after album since the 1990s. However, all of that changed when I finally saw them live! This occurred on Thursday, April 30, 2015 at The Marquee Theater in Tempe, AZ, where Clutch opened for Mastodon as part of The Missing Link Tour.
Prior to seeing this show, I was not certain that I had even heard of Clutch. It was one of those names that sounded familiar, yet I was unable to match the band’s name with a particular song or album. So, I turned to Spotify. I had purchased tickets to see Mastodon, who were the headliners and whose music I was quite familiar. But what about Clutch?
When I sampled the music available on Spotify, it was one of those listening experiences in which I liked some of what I heard but not enough to get me excited about either listening to more or seeing them live. But like I said above, everything changed when they took the stage around 8pm after Graveyard performed and, in my opinion, overstayed their welcome by a good fifteen minutes. Clutch, on the other hand, opened with “The Mob Goes Wild,” which is exactly what happened—the audience went wild! It is a unique force of human nature to see people bond together with the impact of a driving beat, especially when amplified through a wall of speakers, complete with a light show.
I was so blown away by what I saw that it took me a while to realize that maybe I should record some of this. Fortunately, I managed to pull my phone out in time to capture the second song from their set. “Earth Rocker,” which is featured here in a video I posted to YouTube, is the title track to their 2013 album, the band’s tenth studio release. All I can say at this point is to please watch and judge the quality of Clutch’s showmanship for yourself. What I can testify to on their behalf is the fact that by the time they finished their fifteen-song set—a full concert, not just an opening act—I was totally committed to following this band! Now, whenever I hear their studio albums, the same ones I heard on Spotify, I immediately remember down to my toes the volcanic energy that swept through the theater from front to back—and through the roof!
Photo credit: David Martínez