Monday, March 3, 2008

Live Review:
Clutch at the Beaumont

Clutch is often cited as one of the hardest working bands around. With a rumored touring schedule of between 100 and 200 shows a year (yikes!) and new LP releases every couple of years, it's amazing they've been able to keep momentum for nearly two decades.

Thursday night, patrons of the Beaumont in KC were treated to a small taste of a band that has some of the most devoted followers since the Dead Heads. A sea of Clutch shirts, almost no two alike, undulated in the smoky venue. So how was the show?

I'm not a member of the Clutch Cult. I don't own any of their albums, and I've never really listened to them much. If I don't know the words to the songs, it's usually much harder for me to get into a performance. Singing along is a big deal for me, so seeing bands I'm not already into live is a whole different experience. It's a more passive than interactive event.

The only other time I've seen Clutch was when they came to the Granada about a year ago. I know some big fans, so I figured I'd give it a shot. Their vocalist, Neil Fallon... is amazing. The sheer amount of energy he is able to project throughout a two hour show is incredible. It's difficult to describe how intricately expressive the man is. It's fun just to watch his facial expressions.

As with the lyrics, the whole performance is very tongue in cheek. The fact that they don't take themselves too seriously makes them infinitely more enjoyable. Neil is truly a rock preacher from the Discordian temple. At least... he usually is.

If Clutch's performance at the Granada was a 9, their Beaumont gig was a 6. It was still enjoyable, don't get me wrong, but Neil just wasn't into it. I guess that's to be expected with a tour schedule as busy as theirs, but I can't help but feel a little disappointed. A friend and uber Clutch fan tells me that's typical. They're more lively when touring for a newly released album than when they're working on a new LP.

For a band that has been thrown into genres like "Stoner Rock" and "Funk Metal," Clutch has a style all their own. To keep such a rabidly loyal falling since their first EP's release in '91 (named Pitchfork, interestingly enough) is an impressive feat. So this one show has by no means soured me on them. I'll definitely be giving Clutch another go.


The Moon said...

A Clutch concert review... ?

Hackworth Artifex said...

An ambiguous comment... ?

The Moon said...

Well they don't exactly fit into the field of music normally covered on this page...

Probably becuz they suck...

but that's only my personal opinion.

Hackworth Artifex said...

The words of the foolish and those of the wise are not far apart in Discordian eyes.