Concert review: Clutch (second opinion)

Clutch

also appearing: Devin Townsend Project, The Obsessed
Express Live! Columbus, Ohio – December 31, 2017

There was a time – a simpler time not terribly many backward miles removed from this one – when I could reliably count on any concert by the groove-slinging desperados in Clutch being attended by most everybody I knew. To me, a Clutch show has always been an event, equal parts party and performance, a saucy suaree chemically engineered to make both your butt wiggle and your head bang, and, as an uncut, undistilled, damned near undeniable example of rock and roll at its most simultaneously festive and combustive, perhaps the preeminent affable, affordable, bi-annual flame to which musical Midwestern moths like me might flock. Even if, beyond the surface, all those not-so-long-ago shows might not have ever been anything particularly special, they always felt singular to me Continue reading “Concert review: Clutch (second opinion)”

Concert review: Mastodon

mastodon

also appearing: Eagles of Death Metal
Taft Theater, Cincinnati, Ohio – May 14, 2017

Words do scant justice to the concussive force and frightening authority with which Mastodon’s full-length debut Remission landed, like a meteor or similar harbinger of doom, in my life in 2002. Muscular and uncompromising, this young band seemed immediately driven to push into and conquer territory other artists were perhaps unnerved by or else hadn’t the capacity to envision. Remission was, at once, exotic and pulverizing, and had a particularly invigorating way about it, a smart bomb cast into the wasteland of the then-dying “Nu Metal” scene to finish the job definitively. In fifteen years as a metal fan, I couldn’t recall ever hearing an album like it. Another fifteen years later, and six more official longplayers into Mastodon’s career, I still haven’t. Continue reading “Concert review: Mastodon”