Gather ’round the fire true believers, because right now you’re about to hear a tale of a legendary beast from the land of Maryland. Yes indeed, that beast is CLUTCH, and they’ve returned once more to carry a torch and raise a flag for the legions of ears that can only have their sonic thirst quenched by the sounds of genuine pure rock fury…
On December 28, 2009 – CLUTCH took to the stage at the 9:30 Club in Washington DC for a 19-song set that included a performance of their self-titled 1995 album in it’s entirety. Captured in High-Definition by seven cameras under the watchful eye of Director Agent Ogden, who also helmed the band’s 2008 DVD FULL FATHOM FIVE – the end-result is CLUTCH: LIVE AT THE 9:30.
Disc One: Live at the 9:30 Club
As expected, the performance contained within the first disc is a beautiful display of raw and furious rock-n-roll. “I don’t know what’s gonna happen tonight, but I’ll promise you one thing – it’ll take a long time to do it,” states vocalist Neil Fallon as the band prepares to start “Let a Poor Man Be,” capping off a four-song intro which also included “50,000 Unstoppable Watts”, “Struck Down”, “Minotaur”, all from their 2009 album STRANGE COUSINS FROM THE WEST. Upon completion, the band makes a seamless transition into “Big News I” from the ’95 self-titled, as the crowd starts to rumble with enthusiasm upon hearing the unmistakable intro to the song courtesy of Drummer Jean-Paul Gaster and Bassist Dan Maines.
Undoubtedly the most funk-infused of CLUTCH albums, the self-titled record is best heard in a live setting, and this DVD solidifies what CLUTCH fans have known for years. Fallon’s storytelling style of lyrical mastery shines on songs like “Escape from the Prison Planet,” “Tight Like That,” and “Animal Farm” while Guitarist Tim Sult works his signature mix of heavy riffage and straight-up groove throughout.
Capping off the night is a performance of “The Regulator” from 2004’s BLAST TYRANT, and “Gravel Road” from 2005’s ROBOT HIVE/EXODUS.
Disc Two: FORTUNE TELLERS MAKE A KILLING NOWADAYS: ON THE ROAD WITH CLUTCH (Documentary)
This 110 minute documentary is a fascinating piece for the die-hard CLUTCH fan. Follwing the band on their July-September summer trek in 2009, the doc features a nifty “select a city” feature for quick access to certain dates, along with complete set lists for each. Each stop on the tour finds the filmmakers meeting with CLUTCH fans from around the country to discuss their thoughts on the band, and the impact that their music has made on their lives. The behind-the-scenes footage is broken up with Live performance footage from each date. The filmmakers also caught up with several of CLUTCH’s musical peers for their takes on the almost 20-year legacy of the band. Curious what kind of gear is used to craft the CLUTCH sound? You’ll find that here as well.
The bonus inclusion of VHS footage from the second CLUTCH show in 1991, and a performance from their first US tour whets the appetite for the promised CD/DVD reissues of the band’s back catalog, which are slated for release later this year and promise even more gems from the archives.
Bottom line? If you’re a fan of guitar-based rock music, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be listening to CLUTCH, so pick this one up ASAP!
The Rock Father Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars