Clutch / Lionize / Never Got Caught / Murder 1 @ Starland Ballroom

SAYREVILLE, NJ—Clutch likes New Jersey, and New Jersey definitely likes Clutch! We have always been blessed in past years with a lot of shows up here of Maryland’s finest. It’s usually typical for them to either start or warm up a tour here, or end a tour here. They also are fond of ending the year here, and I try very hard not to miss that. So for this show at Starland I had made plans long in advance to attend. I came, I drank, I took photos, and I conquered (I also did not puke this time!).

It’s long been my policy to ignore the openers at Clutch shows, as I have drinking and socializing to do and all, but tonight was kinda special. My friend (and Weathermaker Records helmsman) Jon Nardachone’s band Murder 1 was playing, as well and Uzi’s Never Got Caught. Uzi was, until recently, the guitar tech for C!, and a good friend of the band still of course. So this was a great night of friends, songs and beers. Big kudos to Murder 1 for playing “Tomorrow’s Dream” from Sabbath’s best record in my opinion, Vol. 4. Normally I don’t have much to say on covers, but that one I herald as genius—great song done well. I now have Never Got Caught’s latest CD, Creepshow, and I dig it. But at the time I didn’t know their stuff, although I always find them cool live—Uzi rocks. Check ‘em out on Facebook and MySpace if ya get a chance.

On to the headliner. What can I say, no such thing as a bad Clutch show. But this too was to be special, they planned to play the whole self titled record front to back. The record that got a lot of us into that band, I figure. But to start, they ripped into almost the whole new album, Strange Cousins From The West; like six or so songs worth in fact. Then it was all classics from there. Great to hear stuff like “Tight Like That,” “Rock N Roll Outlaw,” “Droid,” “The Body Of John Wilkes Booth,” “7 Jam,” damn…the whole record kills! And what better than to end the set with “Gravel Road?” “Algo Ha Cambriado” snuck in, and not on the list. Power of suggestion I think. Well, okay, I nagged them to play it all night pretty much. If ya missed it, don’t be too bummed, they recorded the show for a DVD, hopefully out soon. Bad ass set! Thanks guys for a very rockin’ New Year’s again!