Being excited for the Clutch show all year made me show up earlier than usual for a gig at the O2 Academy. We got in, secured a good spot, and bought a round of pints whilst waiting on the first band Tijuana Bibles.
The psychedelic rock band got on stage and started their set well. The sound was good, the vocalist was good, the drummer was exceptionally tight. However, the songs weren’t great and the band did not appear to have the right attitude on stage. At the end of each song there was little or no crowd interaction which dampened the atmosphere. The vocalist made really unenthusiastic gestures which gave the impression that they didn’t want to be there.
Once the band finished their last song the guitarist shot off stage without a second glance. Everyone is there to have a good time, but this band looked like they weren’t enjoying themselves, and it set the mood for the next act. Playing to a crowd that big can impact how someone acts on stage, so maybe it was nerves! (5/10)
Planet of Zeus
After a deflating performance from Tijuana Bibles, the Greek southern heavy rock band Planet of Zeus took to the stage giving a spectacular performance. Having seen a lot of the “Black Stone Cherry” bands of this world, it was refreshing to hear a band like that adding more modern metal influences throughout their songs.
It was loud and fast paced and they kept their set interesting as you did not know how they were going to change up their sound after each song. The band had so much charisma on stage, each and every member looked like they were having the time of their lives! They had the crowd in the palm of their hands as the interaction was second nature to them.
Killer band, killer performance! (8/10)
It was then time for rock and roll legends Clutch who started their set with the opening track from their new album X-Ray Visions. The song was performed amazingly well, however the band were so quiet! If the band before is louder than the band afterwards then the excitement and energy is taken away immediately.
Unfortunately, it took another 4 or 5 songs before the volume was bumped up on the PA so we could experience Clutch the way it’s intended. They played an amazing set which never dipped at any point during the gig. It would have been nice to see some more crowd interaction as it was few and far between.
It is also well worth pointing out that the vocalist (Neil Fallon) performs much better without a guitar in his hands. It seemed that he was concentrating between the two and rightfully so as it is not easy to sing and play guitar at the same time. However, when he puts his guitar down and the vocals are at the forefront, the man is an explosion of power and ferocity.
Coming to the end of their set, Clutch really shone with their encore “The Mob Goes Wild” and “D.C Sound Attack”. The band were in full swing with these songs which the crowd responded well too, doing everything from dancing to mosh pitting. Overall a solid performance! (8/10)