Clutch put together an excellent live streaming event for the Thanksgiving Weekend, Doom Saloon IV.
Clutch was out on the road this fall. Their tour got cut a little short because of the pandemic. They do have more dates coming up around the end of the year, and a tour next year as well. Meanwhile, there is Doom Saloon IV.
During the lockdowns and slowdowns of the past couple of years, Clutch has put on several streaming events, notably three full-length concerts from their rehearsal space. The plan for the fourth livestream was to play one song from every Clutch album and two new songs from the upcoming album. Even better: there were to be no repeats from previous Doom Saloon performances. That’s a good plan.
They played these songs, many not heard live for years: “Wicker,” “Impetus,” “12 Ounce Epilogue,” “7 Jam,” “Wishbone,” “Release the Kraken,” “Immortal,” “Sea of Destruction,” “(Notes from the Trial of) La Curandera,” “10,000 Witnesses,” “Child of the City,” “Struck Down,” “Crucial Velocity,” “Decapitation Blues,” and “Vision Quest.” The two new songs are “Slaughter Beach” and “Strive For Excellence.”
Every Clutch show is great. If you missed this one, don’t worry because you can buy the recording of Doom Saloon IV – get ready for a little bit of wait on the vinyl because of the global supply crunch. Link below. You can watch a replay of the stream for a couple days if you happen to be reading this before the weekend is over. Same link. Can’t wait to see them in person again.
Live photo by Wayne Edwards from State Theatre performance in Portland, Maine earlier this year. Doom Saloon shots are screen grabs from the livestream.
Clutch’s 30 Years of Rock N Roll Tour came to the State Theatre in Portland, Maine on Sunday.
Has it really been thirty years? If you look over the discography Clutch has created then it seems like it must be at least that long. One classic album after another, dozens and dozens of unforgettable songs. Not to mention the amazing live performances. I see Clutch six or more times every year, and I have the same thought at the end of every show: I can’t wait to see them again.
On the current leg of the tour, Clutch is supported by King Buffalo and Stöner. King Buffalo opened with thirty minutes of heavy psych music. The band recently released The Burden of Restlessness, one of three planned albums for 2021. They played a mellow set that grew in intensity as it went along, providing a nice ramp up for the rest of the evening.
Stöner is Brant Bjork, Nick Oliveri, and Ryan Gut, the former two being original members of Kyuss. Their music takes a heavy stoner jam angle – it is the kind of thing you can easily get lost in.
Like King Buffalo, Stöner is a trio. The solid basis for their music is guitar, drums, and bass, forming the lines and color for narrative vocals. They were definitely crowd-pleasers on Sunday night. Their current album is Stoners Rule.
One of the more amazing things about Clutch’s live show is the set list changes every night. Sure, there are a lot of songs they play on the regular, but they do not have a fixed set they play for each stop like most bands when they are touring. They always post the set list after the fact on their Instagram account so you can look back over previous shows and see what I mean.
In Portland they opened with “The Promoter,” one of the dozen+ hits from Blast Tyrant. An excellent choice to get the crowd fired up. Not that it needed much encouragement. They were Clutch fans, these people who gathered on Sunday night. And sure, you expect Clutch fans to show up at a Clutch concert, but this crowd knew the music by heart and were heavily into it, more than you would likely see on any given night. The energy of the fans combined with that of the band to generate a burgeoning synergy and create a crackling atmosphere.
I am never disappointed with any Clutch song, but I can say that I am very excited to hear a couple of my favorites pop up that don’t make every set, including “Elephant Riders” and “Mice and Gods.” And the encore was magnificent, featuring “Electric Worry.”
There was no controversy among attendees that the show was everything fans wanted and a whole lot more. There are still some dates you can catch – check out the band’s website for tour info. After this leg, Clutch is doing their usual holiday run between Christmas and New Year’s, too. Get out there and see them. I have seen them twice this year and I am hoping to double that before 2021 is done.
I don’t have to tell you about 2020 – you were there, too. Usually, at the end of the year, I spend December choosing some photos to repost for good vibes and great memories, but this year I didn’t take a single photograph of a live show. Yeah. So, I am going to post a few photos from 2019 that did not see that light of day then, just for fun. I am keeping the cameras warm for 2021 because hope springs eternal.
There was a lot of excellent music released this year. We published 188 reviews in 2020, a lot more than we thought we would. There are so many “Best of 2020” lists out there that I decided not to do one for FFMB. Instead, I am throwing up a couple of covers from albums we didn’t review this year that were really good – just couldn’t get to everything. We’ll try to do better in 2021.
Thanks to everybody involved with Flying Fiddlesticks Music Blog and the Shardik Media Cabal. Deep gratitude and thanks to all the bands, record labels, venues, publicists, and promoters keeping music alive for all of us.
We’re still here and we are carrying on in 2021. See you out there.
Clutch is doing another livestream on December 18th aptly titled Live from the Doom Saloon Volume III. To get the word out, they released a video of the band playing four songs in that space.
Neil Fallon introduced the songs, and the first two are well known from getting attention of late, “Motherless Child” and “Run, John Barleycorn, Run.” Then they played “Wishbone” from Elephant Riders. I did not see that one coming. The big news, though, was the last song, a cover of Black Sabbath’s “Lord of this World,” and it flat out smoked. Fallon said they were doing it just for fun, and the fan reception has been overwhelmingly positive. During the livestream, the attendee counter hit a high of about 2,200, but by the next day there had been more than 35,000 views. Word must have gotten out. I hope this song lands in their regular rotation when touring starts up again.
You can watch a recording of the event at the YouTube link below, and the poster for the upcoming livestream is down below that.
Clutch collects the singles they have been releasing over the past several months in Weathermaker Vault Series, Volume 1.
The idea behind doing this at all is to release fan favorites and songs that the band has played live a lot over the years because they have evolved as time has passed. These new studio versions are closer to the way you hear the songs when you see Clutch in concert, and several of the songs are covers that were not released on studio albums. In some cases, they differences on the re-records are small, but in others the comparison between the original recordings and the new ones show that the differences really stand out.
The album has ten songs on it, nine of which has already been released as digital singles: 1. Passive Restraints, 2. Electric Worry, 3. Run, John Barleycorn, Run, 4. Evil, 5. Fortunate Son, 6. Algo Ha Cambiado, 7. Spacegrass, 8. Precious and Grace, 9. Smoke Banshee, and 10. Willie Nelson.
On “Passive Restraints,” Randy Blythe of Lamb of God joins the band and creates an amazing synergy. “Electric Worry” has a slightly more stripped down sound here (and no harmonica) like, again, it is on concert – always one of my favorites. “Run, John Barleycorn, Run” was only previously available on a split from some years back. “Evil” and “Fortunate Son” are fantastic covers of those legendary songs, and “Algo Ha Cambiado” is a briefer version than the one that appears on Strange Cousins from the West. “Spacegrass” gets an extended treatment, and “Precious and Grace” is a ZZ Top cover. “Smoke Banshee,” another one of my personal favorites (that is a long list when we are talking about Clutch songs), never sounded better, and on “Willie Nelson,” we find out he “only smokes killer weed.”
Should you buy this? Of course. If you are a Clutch fan, you want all these songs together, even if the singles are floating out there separately somewhere. If you are a collector, you will want to look for the vinyl (or even the CD) as it’ll be a hot sold out item almost immediately. And if you like music, this is great music. C’mon. It’s Clutch.
The full album drops on Friday, November 27th. You can order the CD all over, at Amazon and whatnot, and the digital in the usual places. There is a vinyl version at the Clutch merch site (link below) that should be available soon to order. Highly recommended.
The first Live at the Doom Saloon livestream a couple months back had Clutch plus three other bands (Crowbar, Saul, and Blacktop Mojo) playing short sets. This time, Clutch is playing a full set of fourteen songs. The set list was chosen by fans as part of a tie-in promotion leading up to the show.
The Doom Saloon (Clutch’s rehearsal space) has gotten an upgrade with new cameras and some lights. The editing (directing, I guess is a better way to put it since it happened live) does make a big difference in the way spectators experience the performance, switching from one camera to another and having close-ups camera movement and whatnot. It looks smoother and you get a better look and the band while they perform. In the end it is the music that matters most and this band never disappoints.
I have been to a lot of Clutch shows, but I have never seen these songs played together before, or any set very close to it. Lots of rarities. They played for about 60 minutes. Here is the setlist.
1. How To Shake Hands
2. Power Player
3. Rock and Roll Outlaw
4. Far Country
5. Smoke Banshee
6. What Would A Wookie Do?
7. Mice And Gods
8. Profits Of Doom
9. Ghoul Wrangler
10. King of Arizona
11. (In The Wake Of) The Swollen Goat
12. Your Love Is Incarceration
As with the previous livestream, $2 from each t-shirt sold will go to the Clutch road crew. The event also supports ILF, the Innocent Lives Foundation – check them out here, https://www.innocentlivesfoundation.org/.
The T-Shirt Inventory Project 2020 has been a lot of fun. There are still other shirts lying around here that didn’t catch a wave. I wouldn’t call them a wave, exactly. Let’s call them a tide. An ebb tide. Here are a few shirts that did not appear in the eight waves that came before.
And just in case you are interested, here are direct links to each wave so you can check out the shirts that rolled ashore.