Venue – House Of Blues
Location – Orlando, FL
Date – January 4th, 2015
Lineup – Clutch w/ Torche and Lionize
I arrived at the House Of Blues right as the doors were opening, it was my first show of the year, and I was beyond excited for every band on the bill. I had somehow managed to never see Clutch perform live before, which is odd considering how often they come around. There was no doubt in my mind it was going to be a great show.
Up first were Lionize, I had the pleasure of photographing their set back on the St. Pete date of Warped Tour, and I was excited to do it again. I’ve grown to love this band over the last year or so, their sort of throwback rock n’ roll mixed with their own modern twist, displaying funky guitars and infectious choruses, it’s hard not to move along even just a little. I was somewhat disappointed with the small crowd that showed up early, I will never understand why someone would deliberately show up late and skip out on potentially discovering their next favorite band. But despite it, Lionize definitely made the best of it, quickly winning over a majority of those in attendance with their own brand of rock n’ roll. I heavily recommend that everyone go listen to “Jetpack Soundtrack” if you’re a fan of rock n’ roll, and even if you’re not, go do it anyways.
Up next were Florida natives Torche. I was already sold on Lionize and Clutch, but when I saw Torche on the bill it made me even more excited for the show. After hearing their name thrown around so much, I finally checked them out back at Maryland Deathfest, and I was definitely blown away not only by their performance, but the fact that I literally could not stick them under a single sub-genre. Their sound is refreshing and incredibly unique, taking influence from doom and sludge metal, mixing it up with a somewhat hardcore/punk vibe, giving it a very interesting and experimental, but effective sound. Literally my only complaint about their set was that they were playing a no moshing/no crowd surfing show, which was bogus, but it is what it is. Overall, Torche put on a very energetic set, despite the limitations, and their sound was on point.
And now it was time for the almighty Clutch. While they were setting up the stage for their set, the House Of Blues went from being less than half full to being nearly packed. The band wasted absolutely no time coming out on stage and getting started, kicking right into “The House That Peterbilt”. I was pleasantly surprised to see such a big crowd on a Sunday night, and absolutely everyone was as enthusiastic as the next, the entire crowd dancing and singing along with every word, it proved to be one of the most fun shows I’ve attended in a while. I’ve been a fan of Neil Fallon’s work for a while, whether it be with Clutch, or his many guest spots outside the band, but I can definitely say I have even more admiration for him as a musician, I haven’t witnessed very many frontmen that control and work the crowd like he does. It’s very apparent as to how Clutch have managed to stay relevant for over twenty years, it’s downright impossible to have a bad time at a Clutch show.