Clutch at the Masonic Temple in Detroit, MI

Clutch arrives in the Motor City with blasters full of booming blues metal for the maniacal music-loving metalheads of Metro-Detroit.

Behold my buttered beard brethren of Baldar, the chosen ones have arrived… so rejoice! For the frenzied fist of the famed Fallon shall lead our Clutch Army to ultimate victory! Clutch; do you know the truth? No, they are not “mainstream” rock, nor metal by definition, not top 40 and certainly not easy listening nor radio friendly. What they are, is a unique blend of self-proclaimed “Pure Fock Fury” that delivers a gritty, blues-driven blend of deeply moving riffs, chords, lyrics and powerfully ear melting vibes…this is Clutch.

Detroit has come to life as hordes of this imperial brigade known as the Clutch Army begin to march into the historic Masonic Temple of inner-city Detroit. The venue proudly displays a “Sold Out” status as beard after beard files their flying flannels into the bowels of this massive cauldron of Motown musical history.

It is 8:00 pm, and we find the historic stage adorned with a ginormous tapestry displaying a vintage CLUTCH air traffic control center, in support of the band’s “American Fall Tour 2019.”  At 8:15 pm, the lights ignite and the crowd roars to life as the four-piece superhero team known as Clutch takes to the stage, lead by the “Blast Tyrant” himself, frontman Neil Fallon. Like a tyrannical king, Fallon thrust a fist upwards to the heavens bringing forth a bolt of lightning, striking the speakers of the gods. The band follows cue and the first notes of “H.B. Is In Control” rips through the eardrums of their cult-like loved ones. Pushing amps to eleven, the audience responds by following Fallon’s booming baritone as he navigates the night’s opening track. Next up is the ZZ Top classic cover “Precious And Grace” followed by the notorious riffs of fan-favorite “Power Player.” The crowd acknowledges Fallon’s dictatorially direction, as they sing along while indulging in some mosh-pit madness. Tim Sult’s reliced Gibson guitar croons the night away, through vintage amps that bring Clutch to life in a full symphonic 3D experience. Rhythm section, bassist Dan Maines and drummer Jean-Paul Gaster, keep the thundering backbeat tight and in the pocket with the surgical precision of gigging bandmates of nearly thirty years.

“Book Of Badd,” and “Smoke Banshee,” are followed with crowd-pleaser “Willie Nelson.”  Neil lends a guitar hand throughout the night, and lays down the bluesy riffs of the “Regulator.”  The crowd sings in unison as Fallon belts out the delta-inspired turnaround. The night continues with “Texan,” “Gravel,” and a most epic performance of “Mice And Gods.” The exhausted crowd maintains fist-pumping, crowd-surfing and mosh pit madness as “Space Grass” rips over the auditorium’s loudspeakers.  Fallon thrusts his mighty fist to the sky as he provides maniacal facial expressions during the recent track “Evil.”

Fallon and Sult swap guitars several times throughout the evening, favoring the flavors of the vintage Gibsons matched with pushed to capacity Orange amplifiers. The night is building toward an explosive climax as the intro riff to “Electric Worry” brings instant gratification to the sweaty horde of bouncing bodies. The night comes to a memorable end on an extended play version of the classic, old-school Clutch track “Rats.”

Clutch comes as a powerful, energetic, and electrical concert experience that totes a satisfaction guaranty of epic proportions. Be sure to catch them on their “Book Of Bad Decisions” tour underway now. Dates, details, and band news can be found on the band’s official website. And always remember….
“Mustache stays, right where it’s at…” – Neil Fallon

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About Jay Dunbar 15 Articles
Jay Dunbar is a professional photographer that enjoys wearing a multitude of hats. He is active in the commercial and stock photography arenas and currently owns and operates a Detroit based investigations firm and photography agency. Despite his many endeavors, Jay can frequently be found in attendance at your favorite concert venues, capturing breathtaking images of live performances of many genres of music. A skilled author and photographer, he could be described as a " Serial Music Journalist." Carrying the photo bug for nearly thirty years, Jay enjoys all styles of photography, testing new gear, and helping aspiring photographers, artists and models to develop their skills and learn their craft.

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