Clutch Concert Review 2018 – Clutch rocked Denver on October 2, 2018, during their Book of Bad Decisions tour with a concert packed with energy, humor and straight talk – no jive. After a week of cancelled dates due to the ManFlu, the date at the Ogden Theatre was their first time back on stage.
“Glad to be in Denver tonight! We’ve been feeling like Nosferatu’s underwear lately.” – Neil Fallon
While trying to process Neil Fallon’s introductory statement about Dracula’s old balls I started thinking about what careers besides becoming the lead singer of Clutch his guidance counsellor recommended. Faith Healer? Carnival Barker? Stand Up Comedian? Arm Flailing and Finger Pointing Consultant? Guy Walking Up To You That You Think Is About To Rant About Conspiracies But Just Needs Directions To Chipotle? Good thing there was an opening at Clutch LLC.
I jumped on the Clutch space truckin’ bandwagon in 2004 the first time I heard “The Mob Goes Wild” and the lyrics “Condoleezza Rice is nice but I prefer A Roni” – a true coffee-spit moment. I bought Blast Tyrant immediately. The musicianship and hooks were excellent but the clever turns of phrase and vocal delivery took the band next level. Clutch’s next decade of releases never matched Blast Tyrant for me…. and then came the triple punch of Earth Rocker, Psychic Warfare and, their latest album, Book of Bad Decisions.
Bands that have been around 20+ years are typically now in nostalgia mode and releasing albums only as an obligation for something new to talk about – something newsworthy to promote their tour. The album comes out, it vanishes, and the songs aren’t played live. Clutch, on the other (contantly pointing and flailing) hand, is putting out the best music of their career and (gasp) actually featuring it in their setlist.
To that end, I was treated to a 17 song setlist packed with 11 songs that came from the most recent run of albums – 6 from Book of Bad Decisions alone.
“I want to let everyone know that everyone here tonight has contributed to my new Super PAC. I’m spending it all on beer and weed. Transparency.” – Neil Fallon
“How to Shake Hands” is an instant classic and easily my favorite song of the year and possibly the decade. This election fantasy song combines everything I love about rock: attitude, groove, and fucking brilliant lyrics. Jimi Hendrix on the $20 bill and Bill Hicks on the five note? Gonna kiss all the babies, maybe kiss their mommies too? Genius. And this song is delivered with such smirk and delivery live it makes it even better. And then they followed up that track with the infectious groove of the new track “In Walks Barbarella.” My socks were overflowing with weaponized funk.
I’m going to reign it in here and just tell you to see Clutch immediately if they hit your town. You’ll smile. You’ll boogie. You’ll thank me.
The current bill includes Sevendust and Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown. While Sevendust has never clicked with me they put on a solid performance. I highly recommend to check out Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown. I was really impressed. I hadn’t heard of them prior but sample the track “Backfire”. Their entire album Heartland is hook-filled rock with a classic feel and the band would be a good fit opening for Greta Van Fleet. Check out the setlist and video links Clutch and Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown after the break.