Acting as a visual document of Clutch’s most recent holiday East Coast run, Maryland’s finest purveyors of bluesy American rock took 2009 as an opportunity to perform their 1995 self-titled album in its entirety, something that I take some responsibility for (see page two of October 2009’s Clutch feature). And, since you can still buy the self-titled, I guess they decided to keep this on video only.
Though as it happens, the self-titled is bookended in the set by some newer cuts. Opening with “50,000 Unstoppable Watts,” the band takes about 20 minutes to get to “Big News I” to start the self-titled set, before closing with “The Regulator” and “Gravel Road.”
Anyone who’s seen a Clutch show knows what to expect: All eyes on the preacher-esque Neil Fallon and the quirky stickman JP Gaster, ’cause bassist Dan Maines and guitarist Tim Sult are just gonna stand there and look down. Which is fine. The camera work for the night is active enough—with plenty of cuts, quick zooms and pans—to keep the spectacle as entertaining as possible.
Actually, they should have turned the camera on the crowd more often, as you get some Clutch fans making some pretty crazy faces while singing along.
This being their second live DVD in as many years, the carrot for Live At The 9:30, aside from the self-titled play, is the second disc, Fortune Tellers Make A Killing Nowadays, which is something of a documentary of the band running along the late 2009 tour (sections divided by the town they’re in), with fan interviews, interviews with the band and their roadies, and some bonus footage of early ‘90s performances.