It was another hot night in Pittsburgh on Sunday, and another hot performance by heavy rocking Clutch at Stage AE on the North Shore. Thousands of fans packed into the venue, ready to drink and ready to rock. The Missing Link Tour which features co-headliners Clutch and Mastodon along with Graveyard, a great psychedelic/fuzz rock band from Sweden.
Graveyard, who formed back in 2006 played a solid set that transcended from hard rock through some blues and into a type of fuzz reminiscent of early Black Sabbath. A very talented group that I hope to see come back through for a longer set in the future. Next up was Mastodon, who has been to Stage AE a handful of times and always to a welcoming crowd of metalheads. Bathed in heavy green and purple lighting, Mastodon treated the massive crowd to a killer 75 minute set that saw a lot of headbanging and fits pumping throughout the venue.
And now onto the main attraction. Clutch was the obvious choice to go on last here in Pittsburgh. They’re one of this town’s favorite hard rock bands and have been for years. Since its formation back in 1991, the band’s line-up has been Neil Fallon (vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboards), Tim Sult (lead guitar, backing vocals), Dan Maines (bass, backing vocals) and Jean-Paul Gaster (drums and percussion). While Maines, Sult and Gaster are great musicians – it’s Fallon who elevates the show to an extreme level. His constant gesturing with his hands and non-stop antics on stage just add a visual aspect to the show. The opening song “The Mob Goes Wild” brought a roar from the crowd as the lights came up, and the excitement carried on through “Profits of Doom” from the bands 2004 release, Blast Tyrant. “Earth Rocker” was the third song of the show and the last one I was permitted to photograph as per the rules. Clutch’s set continued over the next hour or so with tons of crowd favorites including “Spacegrass”, “Pure Rock Fury” and ten or eleven other hits from throughout the band’s discography which spans over a dozen studio and live albums and twenty-four years. With amazing sound and really good lighting, the show was great both audibly and visually.