A Clutch show is always defined by the setlist. Even now that we are locked in at 17 songs on the head per night, you are still likely to get a good mix across the nearly 30 years. And if the roulette ball happens to land on that one you wanted, say a rando appearance of Immortal or Oregon or Pulaski Skyway or John Wilkes Booth, then the whole show can be made just in that moment.
Or they might play 9 new songs, and you’re left just the slightest bit…fucking furious? Nah, just pissed.
I told myself I’d stop bitching about setlists in show reviews, but this night was really defined by it. There is no way getting around it. Fallon came out from jump and said he got fuckin wrecked the night before(“drank all the beers last night”). As a goddamn rock star, such is his right. Had he never said anything, I wouldn’t have known based on his performance or voice. But the lack of daring and creativity in the set choices betrayed a hastily-thrown-together evening of whatever was freshest in his head. As such, we got long strings of new ones which murdered any momentum the show tried to build. This was most evident when Cypress Grove and Spacegrass peaked out and the crowd tried to get into it—the move right back to the weaker Book of Bad Decisions material stopped everyone dead in their tracks.
The worst Clutch show is still a great rock show and a good time though, and I’m probably being a little harsh because for whatever reason this one lacked even the good modern staples like The Face, D.C. Sound Attack and Firebirds! I also can’t help feel like I tempted fate by all my crab cake bits, because sure enough, 3 songs in and we get the recipe. Barf.
I’ll be back next time though, and every time after that. Just look at what they did in ’16 at House of Blues, and you’ll know why.