Very rare now a days that a metal act sells out a show weeks in advanced; however, it should come to no surprise that Clutch sold out Rochester’s Montage Hall on the 29th.
Clutch may not have always been as big as acts like Metallica or Sabbath, but they have been just as consistent as acts of that stature. Clutch, during their 20-plus year career, has been playing in front of big crowds and constantly been releasing great material.
With their latest release Earth Rocker (which as praised by the UK’s Metal Hammer magazine as best album of 2013) Clutch will be spending the next year-and-a-half promoting this album, and with the first full leg of the tour in full swing, upstate New York was blessed to have Clutch rock the Montage, along with reunited veterans Into Another and Lionize.
One hour after the doors opened, the stage was graced by Lionize, a young four piece band out of Maryland. They have a Hard Rock/Alternative vibe from them. It was something different than what I am normally used to, but appropriate opener for a band like Clutch. What made them stand out is that they have a keyboardist. It’s really hard to compare them to other acts as they’re an entirely different breed. The crowd responded well to their 30-minute set. Lionize’s newest album, Jet Pack Soundtrack, will be coming out February 18th, as you will be looking for something new to add to your collection. I would expect Lionize to make more noise in upstate New York in the coming future.
By 8:45 Into Another started their 45-minute set. Into Another recently reunited after splitting in the late ’90s. I don’t know a whole lot about them other than they toured with White Zombie during their prime. Also they went into their set without one of their guitar players due to some kind of illness or accident. Very admirable they still chose to go on stage without one of their key members. I thought they were awesome. This was my first exposure to Into Another. And I think it’s safe to say it was the same for the rest of the crowd. They’re definitely more in the metal category. I would even go as far as they were more Acid Metal due to their use of a more distorted sound approach. Some of their tunes even had a nerdcore sound to them due to some inspiration of Star Wars and other sci fi movies. The crowd was receptive to them. Into Another is a veteran band that’s getting used to the road again. It will be interesting to see what they have planned after their cycle with Clutch finishes up.
Clutch took the stage at 10 pm with a stellar 16 song set. They opened their set with 2 songs off Earth Rocker, the title track and “Mr. Freedom.” Neil Fallon looked great on stage with his beard still epic as ever. Also Fallon is just coming of spinal surgery this past fall. So it was great to see him rocking the stage with such high energy. Half way into the set, Clutch played fan favorite “Cypress Grove” and the crowd ERUPTED. (and lit up) Then Fallon picked up the guitar for the mellower tune “The Regulator.” The remainder of the set consisted of more tunes off “Earth Rocker” and one tune from “Strange Cousins From The West.” After their set was finished, Clutch came out for an epic encore performance of the songs “Electric Worry” and “One Eye Dollar.” I guess the biggest surprise is they didn’t play “Spacegrass.” But it doesn’t matter. Clutch is out there doing what they do best. The band still sounds as tight as they ever had, never missing a beat, and keeping the energy at a high level. On a final note, this was personally my third time at the Montage. The sound of that place has never sounded better. I look forward to more shows there, and I look forward to the next time Clutch comes to upstate New York.