Clutch Bring Their Full-Fledged ‘D.C. Sound Attack’ to Pittsburgh
It takes a lot of balls for a band well past their 20-year anniversary to play almost every song from their latest album in concert. But that’s exactly what Clutch did Friday night (April 19) in Pittsburgh.
All told, nine of the 11 tracks from 2013’s muscular, streamlined ‘Earth Rocker’ found their way into the 19-song setlist, including five of the first six numbers. Obviously, this meant a lot of old classics went unplayed — no ‘Burning Beard,’ no ‘Big News,’ no ‘Pure Rock Fury.’ Clearly, Clutch has a lot of faith both in their loyal fans and in their new material. Luckily (and unsurprisingly) the new songs are easily deserving of all this stage time.
Dressed as always as if they were all going out for a beer or perhaps to fix the brakes on a friend’s truck, Clutch casually strolled onto a set adorned only with a large banner featuring artwork from ‘Earth Rocker’ and got right to business. Drummer Jean-Paul Gaster’s powerful, creative work on ‘Crucial Velocity’ instantly demonstrated why he’s so revered among fans and peers.
Singer Neil Fallon commanded the stage effortlessly with his herky-jerky moves and deep, bellowing vocals. If anybody in the crowd was resisting the group’s charms, they weren’t in our line of sight. A joyous run through the band’s most popular sing-a-long, ‘The Mob Goes Wild’ (“Everybody move to Canada / Smoke lots of pot“) took things to another level, which is where they stayed for a powerful reading of ‘Escape from the Prison Planet’ and a rare performance of the beloved epic ‘Spacegrass.’
A career-spanning four-song closing set that reached as far back as ‘A Shogun Named Marcus’ from the band’s 1993 debut ‘Transnational Speedway League’ sent the crowd home happy. Apparently Clutch has been changing up the set list and order quite a bit from night to night. If they come anywhere near us again we’ll be there to see what other thrills and surprises await us.
Openers Orange Goblin — making an all-too infrequent trek through the United States — set the stage nicely for Clutch with a tight, hard-hitting set that culminated with the awesome one-two punch of ‘Quincy the Pigboy’ and ‘Scorpionica’ from their 2000 masterpiece ‘The Big Black.’ The most fun part of the whole night was watching one of their roadies try to get the microphone set to the proper height for singer Ben Ward, who’s somewhere about eight feet tall.
Watch Clutch Perform ‘D.C. Sound Attack!’ and ‘The Mob Goes Wild’
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