Earth Rocker Tour Clutch,The Sword, American Sharks- Orph Madison, WI

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MADISON, WI (November 20, 2013) The Earth Rocker Tour arrived at the Orph in Madison on hump day. The fact it was a Wednesday night began looking like it may not draw the usual Orph triple bill show. Billed as a Metal show, The Earth Rocker Tour was more of a hard rock event. There were no outrageous clothes, minimal tattoos and limited special effects. Tennis shoes were the preferred footwear.  I did find it interesting that The Sword wore an American Sharks T and Clutch wore a Sword T.

Kicking off the show were Texans American Sharks. Billed as heavy metal soul, stoner rock , punk trio, the Band consists of  bassist/vocalist Mike Hardin, guitarist Will Ellis (part Tony Iommi, part “Fast” Eddie Clarke), and drummer Nick Cornetti. An opener of a triple bill has the shittiest  spot and stage environment in rock.  This really hurt the Sharks. The three had to play around The Sword’s drum kit and various equipment draped in black. Mike Hardin was all but cut off from the others. Too bad really as they were trying like hell to kick out the jams. Ramones on acid?

The Sword, another Texas band,  is why the Earth Rocker show was a MUST shoot show.  I was drawn to their obvious Black Sabbath influences and their searing guitar solos that embraced what is known as stoner rock. I have played The Sword along side Sleepless and Uncle Acid  and the Deadbeats. The Sword is currently John D. Cronise – vocals, guitar, Kyle Shutt – guitar, Bryan Richie – bass, synthesizers and newest member Santiago “Jimmy” Vela III – drums, percussion. I did not keep track of the length of the songs, judging from the number of shots I got  it was not less than 10 minutes per song.  After my 3 in the pit I made it through the crowd and found an empty seat. The Sword is every stoner , psychedelic , acid, and doom metal rock addicts drug. I was injecting all that I could.

Setlist

Wolves

The Veil of Isis

Cloak of Feathers

How Heavy This Axe

Arcane Montane

Tres Brujas

Maiden, Mother & Crone

Apocryphon

Freya

 Clutch is  Neil Fallon – vocals, guitar, keyboards, Tim Sult – guitar, Dan Maines – bass and Jean-Paul Gaster – drums.  Clutch has released 10 records since 1993. Earth Rocker, the tour’s namesake, was released this year. Minutes before Clutch was to grace the stage the audience appeared to double. If there  is such a thing as Clutch heads then they were out in full form on a Wednesday. Security also doubled in the pit leaving little room for us to shoot.  Having never seen Clutch or hearing much of their music it was a maiden voyage. Given the growth of the crowd and bright yellow SECURITY shirts I expected to bombarded by body surfers  and beer.  In a flash the lights escorted the band, with Neil Fallon leading the way, onto the stage. Instantaneously Clutch launched into Earth Rocker. I could not stop focusing on  Neil Fallon. Fallen possessed Maynard James Keenan (Tool) stage mannerisms with a steel workers” appearance.  Clutch’s songs were much shorter than The Sword’s but I still had time to overshoot  Neil Fallon, he was infectious. Clutch is now”officially” on my radar.

Setlist

Earth Rocker

Unto the Breach

Mr. Freedom

Pure Rock Fury

Texan Book of the Dead

D.C. Sound Attack!

Mice and Gods

Subtle Hustle

Burning Beard

Cyborg Bette

Crucial Velocity

Oh, Isabella

Gone Cold

50,000 Unstoppable Watts

Struck Down

The Wolf Man Kindly Requests…

Encore

Electric Worry

 American Sharks

American Sharks “Overdrive” (Official Music Video) from Picture Machine Productions on Vimeo.

The Sword

 

THE SWORD live at Hellfest 2013 from Hellfest on Vimeo.

Clutch

Earth Rocker by CLUTCH from Karate Pinky Visual Design, LLC on Vimeo.

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