Clutch are a band that gets better with age, and they proved it Sunday night at Boston’s House of Blues. Thousands of Clutch’s loyal – and bearded – fans packed into the venue to spend their Cinco de Mayo with the rockers. Clutch are touring in support of their latest album “Earth Rocker” which has seen huge success on the charts, peaking at number 15 overall and taking the number one spot on the US Hard Rock album charts upon it’s release.
The night kicked off with up and coming rockers Lionize. With a sound that closely resembles Clutch, only with an added organ to boost the retro sound even more. They were well received by Clutch fans that turned up early to catch them.
Next up were The Sword, a band often chosen to support Metallica on their tours. They put their talent on display and showed why they are so often honored with opening slots on such great tours. Frontman John D. Cronise laid down smooth, blues riffs, while pulling off a great 1970’s look onstage. Lead guitarist Kyle Shutt brought the heavy riffs in to give The Sword that sound that has made them so popular. The Texas band rocked the house for a solid 45 minutes showing off influences from everybody from Black Sabbath to ZZ Top.
Right at 10:30pm Clutch hit the stage and like a powerful locomotive started slow, with the mellow track “The Regulator” before kicking it into high gear with their next track “The Dragonfly”. Soon Clutch would begin to dip into the “Earth Rocker” tracks that have been so well received. The title track, “Earth Rocker” was a high energy number that had Clutch vocalist Neil Fallon moving all over the stage. The next track was “D.C. Sound Attack” which was exactly what its name implies, a sound attack. Fast drums, slick riffs, and even the oh-so rare cowbell solo from Fallon had heads banging all around.
From there Clutch mixed classic tracks such as “Subtle Hustle” and “Immortal” in with “Earth Rocker” tracks to give the setlist a great flow with contributions from all eras of the band. They even went into tracks that - as frontman Neil Fallon described - “were first released on cassette tape, the format of the future” such as “Escape From Prison Planet” and the fan favorite, “Spacegrass”. Clutch closed their main set with Clutch concert staples “Electric Worry” and “One Eyed Dollar” that, as usual, brought the house down as the Clutch fan base sang and moshed from the opening notes on.
Clutch returned to the stage after midnight for a brief encore of the ever popular “Mob Goes Wild” and the brand new track “The Wolf Man Kindly Requests…” When the smoke settled and the lights came on Clutch had delivered a blistering 1 hour and 45 minute set that gave the House of Blues sound system a serious stress test. Clutch’s stage production was minimal, as it usually is. They let the music do the talking, a very bare bones stage set up put the focus on the band, who delivered and then some. The “Earth Rocker Tour” continues through the end of May and you can find dates on Clutch’s official website at www.pro-rock.com.