Clutch & Mastodon w/ Big Business
Showbox SoDo, Seattle, WA
Taking the stage with ease, and amplifying the cheers of a sold out crowd, Maryland heavy rockers Clutch brought out some of their best work to Seattle. Truly a band that shines on a live stage, their energy is powerfully stoic, near church-like, and carries the kind of professionalism that comes only with experience. Their bold, southern sludge metal sound has held strong through ten studio albums, with their latest 2013 release Earth Rocker being one of the hardest rocking to date.
Starting the set off with “The House That Peterbilt” from their self-titled 1995 album, the band was clearly going to take us back through some classics. They gave us a good helping of Earth Rocker but made sure to heap on thorough coverage of some career highlights, with the crowd hanging on every lyric, every heavy stoner-blues riff. Lead vocalist Neil Fallon, all animated stage presence and gesticulating arms, led the band with bold screams and lyrical literacy.
Coheadliners Mastodon – another southern heavy metal mainstay – followed up with their own vibrant set. Troy Sanders and Bill Kelliher swung their instruments through the air, bathed in saturated blues and greens followed by an insane laser light show, posing for the photographers crowded along the stage. Similar to Clutch, the gave us just the right mix of tracks from their latest album – 2014’s Once More ‘Round the Sun – and older favorites.
With their huge riffs and conceptual storytelling, the band has always brought ambitious and fearless new sounds to their albums, and their unique stylings translate well on the live stage. The low-end groove set by Sanders and drummer Brann Dailor holds everything together, opening up the stage for their colorful lyrics and sonic layering, bending the hard rock genre into an epic set.
Cherry on top: they closed out the night with Neil Fallon assisting on the “Blood and Thunder.”
Openers Big Business – Seattle boys by way of L.A. – cleaned up a 45-minute set with their spare, hard driving rock. Both also of the Melvins, vocalist/bassist Jared Warren seemed chill but has the kind of power scream that can rip your guys out, while drummer Coady Willis plays like a certifiable mad man. With little talk other than an introduction, they set the stage for the night with their raw power.
Clutch Set List
The House That Peterbilt
A Shogun Named Marcus
Pure Rock Fury
The Mob Goes Wild
Profits of Doom
Escape from the Prison Planet
Unto the Breach
Mastodon Set List
Once More ‘Round the Sun
Chimes at Midnight
Blood and Thunder (Feat. Neil Fallon)
Review by Stephanie Dore
Photos by Sunny Martini