Peeling out like a hotrod Firebird, Clutch engaged the sold out crowd at the Orbit Room in Grand Rapids with a ball of psychic warfare.
The night of pure rock fury starts with Venice, California’s The Shrine. They kick things off with leather-clad rock infused with the primal urge of punk that has the crowded jacked up and ready to rage. This music is intense and even with some technical difficulties with the bass rig, the Shrine keeps the show running hot.
Josh Landau (guitar/vocals) summons the spirit of Hendrix from the wall of orange during his guitar solo while Courtland Murphy (bass) and Jeff Murray (drums) plot a swift course. They close out their set with the punk anthem “Nothing Forever” with much applause from the crowd. They love this blazing glory of aural bliss wrapped in denim and leather.
COC are back and ready to kick some ass as they open up with “Heaven’s Not Overflowing”. Woody Weatherman and Pepper Keenan lay down some sweet licks and the crowd is going nuts. Corrosion of Conformity is an electric elixir of nut busting grooves and hit their stride with “Paranoid Opioid”. Pepper takes a moment to thank Clutch for bringing them out on the road and announces that the band has signed with Nuclear Blast to do a new album. This brings a loud round of cheers from the audience.
Mike Dean is inside each song with menacing bass lines that add to the bludgeoning weight of the music. The mix could be a little tighter as it is hard to hear the bass at the back of the room. Keeping the COC freight train rolling is the drumming of Reed Mullin. He takes us out with heads banging to “Clean My Wounds”. Pepper and the band thank everyone for the enthusiastic reception. The band deserves every ounce of accolades for this powerful performance.
With just enough time to grab a beer, the psychic warfare begins with Clutch slaying the masses with “X-Ray Visions”. The crowd erupts with jumping, moshing, and singing as the band plays “Firebirds” and “Decapitation Blues”. Neil Fallon summons an inner demon as he belts out “Burning Beard”.
We mellow just a bit with the dusty “Doom Saloon” which trails off into “Our Lady of Electric Light” off the new Psychic Warfare album. Tim Sult unleashes the riff madness “The Face”, “A Quick Death In Texas”, and “Behold The Colossus”. Jean-Paul Gaster and Dan Maines rhythms are thick and sticky on “Dragonfly” as it coats the audience in sensuous waves of sound.
Clutch finishes up their set with “D.C. Sound Attack”. After a short break, they are back with the oldie but goodie “Animal Farm”. The encore continues with “The Wolf Man Kindly Requests” and “Electric Worry” before wrapping up the evening with a chorus of “1600!” from “One Eyed Dollar”.
With sweat running down our backs, another night of top fuel rock and roll came to an end. Until next time around, stay classy.