Sunday 18 June 2017

Clutch at The Academy Dublin - Gig Review



Clutch in Dublin at the Academy. Not that this has not happened before but I did not think it would happen again this time around if I judge by the number of class acts bypassing Ireland the last few months. But Thursday 15th of June 2017 was not one of those days and Neil Fallon the emblematic leader of Clutch stormed on stage just before 9.00ish.

Clear sound, great voice and very efficient musicians set the place on fire within the first few notes. It was meant to be a great gig where people would have a great time and so it was.

Neil owns the stage and his charisma overtook the entire venue in a matter of seconds. Self effacing musicians focused on delivering a solid set giving Fallon all the latitude to play with an audience which was smitten from the get go. Neil mentioned it had been too long since the last time he and the crew had been in Dublin and I agree. Not many bands are as unique as Clutch. Is it power blues, hard core country, stoner soul punk or plain rock'n'roll? It does not matter in the end and I think this is the secret of Clutch. Listen, if you cast an eye on the diversity of the audience one wearing a Danzig Tee, one Depeche Mode or the other Metallica or Sick Of It All it is a sure sign that it’s all about good music and catchy tunes.

I am not going to make an inventory or detailed the track list one by one but we had a lot of old titles, some from the last album and some titles they are currently testing on stage with a view to record them pretty soon. Drinking water (and eating peanuts?) the bond between an entertaining Fallon and the audience was obvious. He is enjoying his time on stage alternating story telling, powerful singing or possessed moves. Whatever he did, the public responded accordingly.

Songs were introduced, following one another they were refreshingly played without the mandatory guitar solo moment or drums skills show off leading us nicely but surely to the encore. At that point the "mob went wild" on the first notes of Psychic Warfare which turned out to be the last track to be played.

Lights on, Neil made sure to hand back the mobile phone of a fan who had mysteriously landed on stage earlier. He also spent a few minutes behind thanking and high fiving many and made sure some hard core fans from the first row were awarded a copy of the track list.

A super night from a super band with a super audience in a great venue. A band confident in his ability and a singer (almost a preacher) unapologetic to rock and roll 😊.

Photo & Review by Pascal Derrien

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