Review / photos: Clutch, Maylene and the Sons of Disaster stir up fightin' feelings at the State Theatre in St. Petersburg
My ears are ringing. My neck is sore. My wallet is empty.
This could happen at many concerts in the Tampa area, but the Clutch show on Wednesday at the State Theatre in St. Petersburg just seemed to go on forever, and the love/hate mentality from this concert was truly an experience.
I’m not complaining. It was well worth the aches. And while I know many are feeling much more beat up then I (more on that shortly), I was surprised by a few items about this show in general.
First off is the band Clutch chose to tour with, Maylene and the Sons of Disaster. While the mix was actually great for a live show, it was interesting seeing a veteran band like Clutch with a younger band — kind of like taking them by the hand to show them around, like watching a father and son on a fishing expedition? (Okay, my metaphors are weird.) Not to take anything away from Maylene — it’s not that they don’t have any experience themselves. Indeed they do. But it was good to see them touring with diversified group of musicians. Hopefully this will give them some varying inspiration in the future. It seems too many metalcore bands are falling into the same pot lately and I hope Maylene can stay on a path and keep their sound pure.
Maylene has a good following; mostly a younger crowd. Overall their show was great. They had a “we are headlining” presence and had no problem filling the State Theatre for their part of the evening. They had a fill-in drummer, Sam Anderson, while Bailey Griffith was home with his family after recently having a son. Dallas Taylor was on key and full of distant emotion. Some may slap me for saying this, but I always felt his voice was very Blackie Lawless (W.A.S.P.) and it proved very powerful for this show. He had no problem energizing the audience and his ominous glances pierced the audience. The Southern metalcore band blended very well with the underground heavy groove from Clutch.
Maylene had a good number of people in attendance watching their show, but the crowd just piled in sardine-style for Clutch. I normally have no problems during a concert, floundering my way through the crowd to get up front, but this show was just too thick. People were not moving for the camera dude.
The second surprising factor about this evening was the fights. There were many. I saw at least four, including security pulling a large guy to the front door by his feet. He went straight to the front door, and out he went. Like I said earlier, I am sure many people are sore after this show. And what’s odd is, it’s not like the music from Clutch is violent, or that vocalist Neil Fallon even gets the crowd stirred up. As a matter of fact, Fallon is pretty mellow. He is a bearded poet (many beards were on hand for this show) who delivers his message with passive-aggressive poise. So, seeing people being a bit too rough towards each other just caught me off guard.
Fallon took the stage and people got loud. If the microphone didn’t work on this night, it wouldn’t have mattered. When they opened with Big News 1, everyone knew the words. It continued throughout the evening; people were singing very loudly. Fallon took turns banging on the cowbell, and then strapped on the guitar for the last part of the set. The music just kept coming with very little intermission between songs.
And while musically phenomenal, it was one of those shows that I just had a hard time capturing with the camera. Hands were constantly in the air and fans were constantly bustling and shoving, knocking the lens from a good shot. I was enjoying the music but flustered as a photographer. Such are the challenges of this great profession.
Seventeen songs later, with three songs on their encore, Clutch called it a night. They ended with Tight Like That, which was a mellow song for a tired crowd. When the music finally stopped I could hear and feel the room roar. The feeling was similar to a long workout that felt great after a little body trauma. It was time to go, and I did just that. It was a long evening, and I was afraid to see another squabble.
Big News 1
Big News 2
Big Fat Pig
Raised by Horses
Mice and Gods
Basket of Eggs
Tight Like That
-- Review / photos by Andrew Carlton, tbt*