It was all about pure Rock-n-Roll on Friday night as First Avenue served as a perfect venue for Clutch to spread their wings. When Clutch took the stage they did so in an almost casual manner, but they as soon as they started playing, the intensity was clearly in their delivery. All clad like a blue-collar bar band from the suburbs, the band made its intent clear from the opening notes of “Immortal” and “Firebirds!”, with the latter pulled off their newest release, Psychic Warfare. The new record served as the crux and the highlight of the set. Clutch also included several songs from past albums that really rounded the set. In all, the quartet played 18 songs for the ecstatic crowd, spanning all the way back to their 1997 Impetus EP album.
Frontman Neil Fallon delivered a dynamic performance with his whiskey-throated bellow commanding the crowd. Drummer Jean-Paul Gaster propelled Clutch like a groove-laden, synchronized weapon. Tim Sult’s guitar sounded clear, sharp, and very loud through his Orange amp. Dan Maines’ bass shook First Avenue, rumbling prominently, in particular on “Sucker for a Witch”.
Clutch is above all else, a consummate live band. Every performance served up a balance of humor and emotive punch, with Fallon utilizing his voice and mannerisms to create the right atmosphere for each song. On this night in Minneapolis, the band felt as comfortable as a favorite pair of worn in jeans; they fit right, they feel right, and they make you want to grab a beer and crash a party.