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Tight like that

16 Nov

When I started this blog, the first band I wrote about was Clutch. At the time, I went to the show only to find out it was sold out and then – by the force of a miracle – got in at the last minute. The force wit which Clutch enchants its audience had me mesmerized. So, undoubtedly, I had to go again. Luckily, Clutch came to Europe on their tour with Volbeat this fall. And this time, I went prepared – well, at least I had a way of getting in.

Clutch on European TourFor those of you who don’t know Clutch, you’re definitely missing something. The band hails from Germantown, Maryland and was formed more than 20 years ago. Since then, Clutch has been producing the unique “Clutch” sound. While certain undertones of anything from metal to punk rock can be identified, all of Clutch’s tunes – especially the more current ones – seem to embrace the chunky loveliness that is blues.

Needless to say, that is exactly what we got served up at the show. Fresh, heavy, riffed-up blues. A well-selected setlist featuring the best of a quite wealthy catalogue, topped off with “Basket of Eggs” as an encore. As a true Clutch fan, you couldn’t really ask for anything else. The funny thing is: it seems that true Clutch fans are actually made at Clutch shows. How do I know this? Well, one of my favorite allies accompanied me to the show and came out a slightly changed girl. No surprise, really. After all, what can you say when a band is really tight like that.

Find out more about Clutch here.
See the photos from the show here.

Sold out

19 Jun


Never bet on the fact that you can get tickets at the door. That’s what I learned today. I also learned that some people are still willing to go out of their way. So here’s what happened:

I had planned to see Clutch, one of my all-time favorites. For those of you who don’t know, Clutch is a four-piece hailing from Germantown, Maryland. The band formed in 1990 and has since produced nine full studio albums plus EPs and live recordings – the best of which, in my opinion, still being the self-titled album released in 1995.

If you live anywhere outside the US, the chance to see Clutch is a rare opportunity. So, of course, I was set on going. When I arrived at the Schlachthof in Wiesbaden, however, I was greeted by a disappointing announcement. “Sold out” had been pinned – in bold letters – on the door. Now, I am not one for giving up, so I traipsed around the venue entrance asking everyone if they had a spare ticket I could buy. After about an hour of “No, sorry”, I leaned against the venue wall, exhausted.

Enter the good samaritan. He came up and leaned next to me. I guess there was some pity involved as the samaritan began to keep me company on my quest. And not only that. He even tried to talk the venue manager into giving me a ticket or – if that didn’t work – crossing out his stamp and transferring it to me. Unfortunately, the venue manager didn’t think any of these options viable. So what was there to do? We continued trying all through the support band. When it was finally time for Clutch to come on, the good samaritan had bugged the venue manager about ten times and I had asked numerous people over and over again. Finally, it was time to give up.

“Go on inside. You’ll miss the band otherwise. I’ll just listen to the first few songs from out here.”
The samaritan hesitated. But then finally went on in after we said out goodbyes.

So I was left outside the venue and disappointment started to set in. Just as – you’ll never believe it – the venue manager shows up with a viable solution after all. Out of the kindness of his heart. And, of course, thanks to the samaritan.

The Clutch show was awesome. Unbelievably packed, hot, sweaty. A room full of passionate fans rocking out to an absolutely tight performance. A band putting in a 100 percent though conditions were more than tough. There wasn’t one single person in that venue that wasn’t totally enrapt – including me. The only one I couldn’t tell you about was the samaritan – unfortunately, we got separated in the crowd.

Coincidence is just such a funny thing.

If you want to know more about Clutch, go here: