“Rise and shine! Time to take on the day!” said Clutch frontman Neil Fallon, strolling onto the stage for an early 6:30 pm performance the picturesque McMenamins Edgefield Hotel, an outdoor concert venue in Troutdale, Oregon on August 12th. On tour in the form of direct support for 90s Alternative/Funk/Metal purveyors Primus, Portland fans were treated to what many can say is one of the more unique summer tours of the year. Of course Clutch didn’t disappoint, as we saw everything from deep catalog hits on the set list to flying shoes, youngsters crowd surfing, and also a new track to be recorded in 2018, and we saw unsuspecting Neil Fallon personally catch whiff of a crowd blown contact high hit, instigating a humorous response of ”thanks for the free sample” as Fallon gazed towards the crowd with a gentle smile.
The set started with an instant power grab by the band, opening with one of the many fan favorites, ”Burning Beard,” then followed by “Immortal,” “Gravel Road,” and “The Mob Goes Wild” while zeroing in on the branded, ever-transitioning sound that continues to drive Clutch forward. Trucking onward with 90s classic, “The House that Peterbilt,” it was then followed by a “Quick Death In Texas,” and recent burner “DC Sound Attack.” By the time they’d finished, the sun had set and the smell of Rock and Freedom had consumed the night. The band, consisting of Tim Sult on guitar, Dan maines on Bass, and Jean-Paul Gastor on drums, were positioned in their usual cemented spaces. Neil Fallon was on fire with an extra animated energy, interacting with, and leading the crowd throughout the night. Maybe it was Saturday night, maybe it was the venue… “We’ve never been here before. It’s beautiful – I like it!” said Fallon on break between songs. Maybe it was the fresh, green air of legalized Oregon?
In today’s rock world, not many possess the confidence, stage presence, chemistry, original member longevity, and songwriting craftsmanship that Clutch has. Closing out the night’s demonstration of such, the band dealt out ”Big News,” “Escape From the Prison Planet,” and two from their latest release, “Earth Rocker” and “The Wolfman Kindly Requests!” If you’re keeping score, that’s three tracks from the 1995 sophomore release, Clutch! At the latter end, Fallon huddled the guys together for a band chat. Upon further investigation, the band huddle came away with the set list taking a obvious strike after “Earth Rocker”. Even with the unknowing set strike, the seemingly sold-out crowd was treated to more than an hour of Clutch.
By the way, Primus was great as expected, and sang many enjoyable classics including “My Name Is Mud” and “Jerry Was A Race Car Driver,” but they did not sing “Tommy the Cat!” Just like Clutch didn’t sing “Rugulator” or “Spacegrass” although they performed them the night before in Montana! When you have bands with catalogs that stretch a few miles long put together, you win some and lose some when it comes to the hits. The tour closes out August 18th in Berkeley, California. In a time of countless festivals and tours with many bordering on stale, combining two obscure flavors like Primus and Clutch no doubt delivers an enormous amount of intrigue bridging different rock worlds together! Top shelf, fantastic show! Check out the full photo gallery link below!