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:: Clutch - Live At The 9:30

Following hot on the heels of their ‘Strange Cousins From The West’ release from last year, cult hard/stoner rock underground Maryland based legends Clutch are back with something new – this time a double DVD release entitled ‘Live At The 9:30’.

As the name would suggest, Clutch’s latest product is their second foray into the DVD realm. But while ‘Live At The 9:30’ is another live concert recording, it has to be said that it’s not just a carbon copy of their last effort. No, this really is something different, and something altogether quite special for diehard fans of the group.

The first disc of this effort is a full live show from the quartet, shot at Washington DC’s the 9:30 Club on December 28th 2009. Clutch’s long association with the 9:30 Club is quite renowned, and it’s because of this close association that the four piece act (comprising of vocalist/guitarist Neil Fallon, guitarist Tim Sult, bassist Dan Maines and drummer Jean-Paul Gaster) decided to put together something special for fans. At that something special was to perform their classic self-titled sophomore album in its entirety. While the concept of playing an album in its entirety is far from a bold and new concept these days, the prospect of seeing Clutch performing a set list of the classic album in full was always going to be a must see event. And sure enough, with the help of seven high definition cameras, the event was captured in all its ragged glory.

After warming up the sell-out crowd with four songs from their most recent release ‘Strange Cousins From The West’, Clutch get the real show underway with their self-titled album played in chronological order. Finishing up the show is a performance of ‘The Regulator’ from 2004’s ‘Blast Tyrant’ and a cover of Mississippi Fred McDowell’s ‘Gravel Road’ from 2005’s ‘Robot Hive/Exodus’. Performance wise, Clutch are well and truly in their prime, which isn’t all that surprising given that the band spend most of their time out on the road playing live. Although Fallon’s vocals have lost a lot of the gruff and edge of the early days, his vocal performance tracks such as ‘Escape From The Prison Planet’, ‘Tight Like That’ and ‘Animal Farm’ still amaze in the live setting. As for the rest of the band, well there’s not much to say about their stage presence, and they’re not really the kind of group that go crazy onstage. But in terms of pulling off their music live onstage, few groups can honestly match Clutch’s impeccable sense of groove, rhythm and seamless flow onstage.

Overall, Clutch put in a powerful show throughout their ninety minute live set, making ‘Live At The 9:30’ every bit as essential as ‘Full Fathom Five: Video Field Recordings (2007–2008)’.

The second disc, entitled ‘Fortune Tellers Make A Killing Nowadays’, covers a couple of the group’s short North American tours in 2009. Running for close to two hours, the documentary is part Clutch history lesson, and part road movie. The various interviews with the members are informative as they are forthright, while the various cameos from peers (Including members of System Of A Down, Fu Manchu and Lionize), road crew and diehard fans help embellish the Clutch story and are spliced in with various bits and pieces of live footage, which more than keeps the movie interesting for its entire duration.

But if there’s one gem on this disc that fans will no doubt find the most fascinating are the four bonus tracks found outside the official documentary. Filmed in October 1991 (a mere couple of months after they first formed), the footage captures a short three song set of the second show Clutch had ever played (Performing ‘Driven’, ‘The Wheel’ and ‘Far Country’), along with an additional performance of ‘Wicker’ from 1992. Although the footage is quite raw, and the sound is quite muddy, seeing the band at such an early stage of their career is really something else. All up, even if you own Clutch’s previous DVD, ‘Live At The 9:30’ is a worthy must-have addition to any fan’s collection.

DVD Extras

Full list of DVD details

DVD 1: Clutch Live @ 9:30 Club Filmed Concert Performance 12/28/09
· 13 songs/60 minutes of classic self titled music
· cuts from the new Clutch masterpiece ‘Strange Cousins from the West’. Filmed at Washington DC's 9:30 Club with 7 hi-def cameras
· 19 songs.
Total running time: 93 minutes

Live at The 9:30 Club Track Listing
50,000 Unstoppable Watts
Struck Down
Let A Poor Man Be
Big News 1
Big News 2
Rock & Roll Outlaw
Texan Book of The Dead
Escape From The Prison Planet
I Have The Body of John Wilkes Booth
Tight Like That
Animal Farm
The House That Peterbilt
7 Jam
Tim Sult Vs. The Greys
Gravel Road

DVD 2: “Fortune Tellers Make A Killing Nowadays” documentary style film
· band interviews & classic ‘c’ footage/songs: vintage 1991 performance footage
· ’Wicker' (from the old 9:30 Club, ca 1992) plus tracks Immortal, Burning Beard, Abraham Lincoln, etc
· appearances by DC legend Scott Sino Seinrich, as well as members of CKY, Fu Manchu, Llionize, Murder 1, System Of A Down and more.
Total running time: 118 minutes