St. Pete Psychic Warfare with Clutch

By on October 9, 2015
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Clutch (Photo-Travis Failey)

Clutch, Corrosion of Conformity, The Shrine – Jannus Live, October 4th, 2015

Psychic Warfare is real …

Clutch and Corrosion of Conformity (C.O.C) brought the hard rocking grooves to Jannus Live in St Pete Sunday night on what was just the second date of the first run of shows for Clutch since releasing their latest album Psychic Warfare just two days prior. I heard lots of great things about the opening band The Shrine, but sadly the rain kept me from catching their set, so my apologies to those guys.

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Pepper Keenan (Photo-Travis Failey)

C.O.C. took the stage at 8 pm and delivered a fifty minute set that had everyone head banging and singing along. It’s been a while since I’ve heard anything from these guys and they did not disappoint. Lead singer Pepper Keenan thanked Clutch for the opportunity and said that it had been a long time since the four guys on stage had played together. Guitarist Woody Weatherford and Keenan’s guitar skills complimented each other and as the rain continued to come down, the ferocity in which they played, intensified. C.O.C. finished with their two biggest songs “Albatross” and “Clean My Wounds” from their 1994 release, Deliverance, and they received a huge response from the crowd as they sang the chorus’ with them.

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Woody Weatherman (Photo-Travis Failey)

It has been reported that the most successful lineup in Corrosion of Conformity’s history is heading into the studio to record another album. If C.O.C. can replicate the magic of Deliverance by releasing a hit-worthy single, I’m predicting they’ll be included in the summer festival circuit, which could rejuvenate their careers.

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Pepper Keenan (Photo-Travis Failey)

Right around 9:15 pm, the guys in Clutch came out onstage at Jannus Live and did exactly what I expected. They completely rocked the packed house and with mostly new music I might add. An eighteen song set that consisted of eight songs off their latest release and four off of Earth Rocker, which was released less than three years ago. Not many bands in my opinion can pull this off. I mean honestly, who wants to hear mostly all new music at a show? Not me, unless of course it’s Clutch.

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Neil Fallon (Photo-Travis Failey)

With the exception of the first single “X-Ray Visions”, this was the first time I, and most in attendance, had ever heard these tracks and everyone seemed to love every second of it. I purposely waited to pick up Psychic Warfare until the show hoping they might be selling an autographed copy at the merchandise booth, but sadly they were only selling it unsigned. I bought it and listened to it on my drive home and again three more times before writing this article.

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Dan Maines (Photo-Travis Failey)

Clutch formed in Maryland in 1990 and Psychic Warfare is their eleventh studio album. They have been in my top general rotation of bands I listen to since the early 2000’s and I still feel that they are one of the most underrated Hard Rock bands out today. Clutch continues to put out great albums every few years, yet they hardly get any local radio play. Probably zero in the Tampa area but then again, I haven’t listened to local radio since getting Sirius radio. You can, however, listen to Clutch on SiriusXM’s Liquid Metal and Octane and they are doing a great job promoting new music from new bands and old.

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Neil Fallon (Photo-Travis Failey)

Clutch’s live shows always sound amazing with just as much energy coming from the fans packed in at the rail as lead singer Neil Fallon dishes out from the stage. Fallon is a very animated singer with the way he moves his hands and points at the crowd. Fallon also connected with tonight’s crowd by using his eyes like the lasers that were beaming from behind the stage. Fallon doesn’t look in a general direction like most musicians on-stage but he looks directly through you and he did this specifically during a “Quick Death in Texas.”

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Jean-Paul Gaster (Photo-Travis Failey)

The rhythm section is really the driving backbone of Clutch and their groove is infectious in its effect on the crowd. This was evident during “Critical Velocity.” Dan Maines’ bass and Jean-Paul Gaster’s drums incite an extreme foot tapping groove and when mixed with Tim Sult’s trance like surf riffs, you are hooked. Clutch’s songs are diverse in nature and do not become redundant even during an 18 song set list.

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Dan Maines (Photo-Travis Failey)

In addition to the newer songs, Clutch also played a few favorites like “The Mob Goes wild”, “Gravel Road” and “Burning Beard”. To my knowledge this was Clutch’s first time playing at Jannus Live, which was previously known as Jannus Landing for the Tampa area old schoolers. I have seen Clutch many times right around the corner at the much smaller State Theater and this venue provided a better sight and sound experience that caters to Cluch’s strengths. It was also a pretty good turnout. My guess would be around 1000 plus in attendance as the upper V.I.P. levels were full and the crowd went deep into the back of the multi-level venue. It seemed like the earlier rain didn’t keep anyone from going to this outdoor venue, and thankfully, the sky cleared during C.O.C.’s set.

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Tim Sult (Photo-Travis Failey)

Speaking of the crowd, a lot of the older fans brought their kids with them, who were treated to an amazing light show, an aggressive but non-violent crowd, and some interesting aromas that some of Pinellas County’s finest may take offense too. All in all though, the fans were there to appreciate one of the most underrated bands of our generation, and I don’t doubt that there were a few people in the crowd that became fans by going to see them for the first time. I know this first hand, as I went to the show with a Clutch “virgin” and now he wants a “Best of Clutch” playlist from me.

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Neil Fallon (Photo-Travis Failey)

If you are tired of what’s in your playlist, and if you’re not familiar with Clutch, ask yourself these questions: Do you like intelligent lyrics? Do you like ripping guitar solos and driving bass and drum lines? Do you like to feel good? Do you like beer? Do you like sex? HA! If you answered yes to any of those questions then you owe it to yourself to check out a Clutch show.

For more information on Clutch:

http://www.pro-rock.com/

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(Photo-Travis Failey)

Clutch set list: 1.X-Ray Visions 2.Firebirds 3.A Quick Death in Texas 4.Crucial Velocity 5.Burning Beard 6.The Face 7.D.C. Sound Attack! 8.Your Love Is Incarceration 9.Our Lady of Electric Light 10.Noble Savage 11.Texan Book of the Dead 12.Earth Rocker 13.Behold the Colossus 14.Son of Virginia (encore) 15.Gravel Road 16.The Mob Goes Wild 17.Electric Worry 18.One Eye Dollar

 

More Photos by Travis Failey

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Neil Fallon (Photo-Travis Failey)

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(Photo-Travis Failey)

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Woody Weatherman (Photo-Travis Failey)

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Clutch (Photo-Travis Failey)

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