Showing posts with label original live show photos. Show all posts
Showing posts with label original live show photos. Show all posts

Sunday, January 21, 2018

PHOTO RECAP: THE OBSESSED Opening for CLUTCH New Years Eve 2017-2018 at Express Live! In Columbus, OH

Opening Artists: Devin Townsend Project, 
The Obsessed, Mike Wescott Band

Clutch - Psychic Warfare World Tour 2017
EXPRESS LIVE! - 405 Neil Ave Columbus, OH 43215
Sunday, December 31, 2017

Here at ChiIL Live Shows we've caught The Obsessed in Chicago on past tours and they were our favorites of CLUTCH's NYE 17/18 openers. We're Chicago based, but we were more than happy to road trip from Chi, IL to Columbus to catch CLUTCH. We've seen and photographed CLUTCH live numerous times over two decades and this was our 2nd time to catch them for a NYE show. I've even done a video interview with lead singer, Neil Fallon, that's still one of my favorite metal band interviews of all times. Fun fun. Here's our full set of photos of their openers, The Obsessed in the slide show here, with a few favorite shots embedded below. All photos by Bonnie Kenaz-Mara for

Thanks to CLUTCH for providing us with press comps and photo credentials. It's always a joy to shoot them and their openers in action.

The Obsessed
Full Set in the Slideshow Here 
More Favorites Embedded Below

Disclosure: Once again, thanks to CLUTCH for providing us with press comps and photo credentials. It's always a joy to shoot them and their openers in action.

More Photo Favorites:

Saturday, January 20, 2018

PHOTO RECAP: CLUTCH New Years Eve 2017-2018 at Express Live! In Columbus, OH

Clutch - Psychic Warfare World Tour 2017
EXPRESS LIVE! - 405 Neil Ave Columbus, OH 43215
Sunday, December 31, 2017

Thanks to CLUTCH for providing us with press comps and photo credentials once again. It's always a joy to shoot this fierce foursome and their openers in action. Check out our photo features on NYE Opening Artists: Devin Townsend Project and The Obsessed.

The New Years Eve show (appropriately enough on NEIL AVENUE) was incredible, with a stellar mix of old favorites and even a few brand new tunes off their upcoming release, slated for later this year. 

NYE Setlist:

We love that the band members take turns making the set list and it's always different from town to down, like the Grateful Dead of the metal scene. After over a quarter century touring together (still with the original lineup), they've got more than plenty of material to choose from, and tend to play a vast variety of obscure tracks mixed with old and new hits and fan favorites.

Two hours to showtime, we began the evening in earnest, with a pre-show meet up with a bunch of Gearheads from the private Clutch fans FB Page. Here's a shot from earlyish. Lots more members of the "Clutch family" showed up closer to show time. It was great to put some faces to the friends we've been on line with in the Clutch group since 2014, and to meet some new fans too.  

We met a girl celebrating her birthday, 
a couple celebrating their anniversary, several hard core fans 
who've been seeing shows since the mid 90's like us, 
and a handful of newbies catching their first live CLUTCH show. 
Energy was high and everyone was stoked to be there, from the back of the balcony to the rail riders that got to the venue 
hours early to stake out a spot.
Clutch did not disappoint. 
I can't think of a better way I'd rather welcome in a new year.

Here's our full set of photos in the slide show here, with a few favorite shots embedded below. All photos by Bonnie Kenaz-Mara for

Clutch NYE 2017/18 Express Live! 
Columbus, OH

Click here to check out Clutch's Official Website, for current tour dates, merchandise and tickets, and updates on their new release. 

At present, Clutch is back in the studio starting in January, working on a new release. We're excited to hear it. The world needs more Clutch! Clutch is in heavy rotation in our home, and remains one of our long time, genre defying favorites. 

We had a chance to catch a few of their upcoming songs during the new years show. Good news is, it sounds like classic Clutch. Bad news is, the new stuff seems to be lacking a bit of something. We're hoping they'll funk it up a bit more during the recording process. They're pros with 25+ years in the trenches, mostly under the radar, yet they're coming off their most commercially successful two albums ever, while staying true to their unique sound, so the bar is high. It's the old band catch 22, if you sound too much like your recent hits it's redundant, and too little like them and your core fans will revolt. 

Here at ChiIL Live Shows we've caught CLUTCH in Illinois, Ohio, and Indiana for over two decades. We're Chicago based, but we were more than happy to road trip from Chi, IL to Columbus to catch CLUTCH for New Years Eve 2017/18. We've covered and photographed CLUTCH live numerous times and this was our 2nd time to catch them for a NYE show. I've even done a video interview with lead singer, Neil Fallon, a few years back, right as Earth Rocker came out, that's still one of my favorite metal band interviews of all times.

VIP for the ADA:
At the venue I was beyond thankful for the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) seating. I've had major knee surgery twice over the past 14 months and I'm still healing from my most recent operation. This is the 4th time I've covered Clutch from ADA seating in 4 different venues. I wove through the crowds and made a trip up to the photo pit for the first 3 songs of each band's set (pretty standard for shooting shows) and was eternally grateful for a chair to return to, in a way no-one truly understands till they've been in major pain. 

I'm finally healed enough to get back to shooting live show as of December, but standing for hours is still a pretty painful prospect. It's been amazing meeting other fans in the ADA section. Some of the most hardcore, enthusiastic music lovers are there. It takes some true devotion to navigate a metal show in a wheelchair, on crutches, or otherwise differently abled. Clutch fans are some of the friendliest, most interesting people out there.

The guy on crutches in the seat next to me had also had knee surgery. He began our conversation "I've never seen Clutch...". I jumped in "They're amazing live, and NYE would be a great first show to see." He laughed and said, "No, I've seen them a ton of times for the past 20 years or more. I was gonna say, I've never seen Clutch on crutches before. This is pretty kickass. We have seats up close to the left of the stage. This is great." Yes, yes it was!

Clutch combined elements of funk, Led Zeppelin, and metal with vocals inspired by Faith No More. Formed in 1991 in Germantown, Maryland, the group included Neil Fallon (vocals), Tim Sult (guitar), Dan Maines (bass), and Jean-Paul Gaster (drums). They built a local following through constant gigging, and after just one 7" single (the classic Earache release "Passive Restraints") Clutch were signed by EastWest Records. Their debut LP, Transnational Speedway League, followed in 1993. A self-titled album appeared two years later and afforded Clutch some mainstream exposure. Pure Rock Fury appeared in 2001, and the similarly uncompromising Blast Tyrant came three years later as their first for DRT Records. Their seventh full-length, Robot Hive/Exodus, followed in 2005 and featured the first lineup change since the early '90s, the addition of organist Mick Schauer.

Clutch's numerous side releases included a groove-based album as well as Live at the Googolplex and the rarities record Slow Hole to China, both issued in 2003. Also issued in 2005, Pitchfork & Lost Needles combined Clutch's 1991 Pitchfork 7" with unreleased demos and early tracks. In the fall of 2006 the band hit the studio with producer Joe Barresi (Kyuss, Melvins) to record its next album; the resulting From Beale Street to Oblivion appeared in March 2007. In 2008 Clutch released a CD/DVD compilation of live tracks from shows in New Jersey, Pittsburgh, and Sydney titled Full Fathom Five: Audio Field Recordings 2007-2008 on their own label, Weathermaker Music. The band followed up in 2009 with Strange Cousins from the West before delivering its tenth album, Earth Rocker, in 2013. Buoyed by the success of that album (their highest-charting release ever) and eponymous lead single, Clutch continued their relentless touring through late 2015, when they released their 11th album, Psychic Warfare.

Disclosure: Thanks to CLUTCH for providing us with press comps and photo credentials once again. As always, all opinions, photos and experiences are my own.

More Photo Favorites:


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Review: CLUTCH Psychic Warfare Tour and House of Blues Chicago LIVE Show Shots

“Psychic Warfare” tour. Fall 2015
10/14/15 Chicago, IL House Of Blues

The curtain rises and the crowd erupts in whistles and eager applause as Neil Fallon, the wild eyed anti-preacher, takes the stage with the band. 

The first notes of X-Ray Visions resound and the crowd goes completely wild. We're talking an actual mosh pit... at a Clutch show?! Unlike many metal bands with guttural growlers on the mic and unintelligible lyrics, Clutch lyrics are literate, literary and actually audible. Mythical, Biblical, political and original phrases bump up against each other in an utterly compelling mash up of wickedly witty wordplay. Unencumbered by a lead guitar, Fallon's free to rock his infamous gestures and work the crowd energy like a pro. And why not? Clutch has been touring under the radar for 25 years.

We had the pleasure of catching them this fall at House of Blues, Chicago, supporting their brand new release “Psychic Warfare”. The band was unbelievably "on" that night. We've seen them live for over two decades and I don't think I've ever heard them sound so good!

Tim Sult was absolutely smokin' on guitar and Neil Fallon has found even greater reserves of power in his already impressive vocals.

Jean-Paul Gaster and Dan Maines were tight with the rhythm and bass.

You've heard of "The Hottest Band in the Land... KISS" 
and "The Only Band That Matters... The Clash." 
Now meet "The Best Metal Band With Cow Bell... CLUTCH!!"

Check out ChiIL Live Shows' full set of pit photos 
in the slideshow here:
Photo credit: Bonnie Kenaz-Mara

Psychic Warfare was newly released when they hit Chicago, and still unfamiliar to many in the crowd. Generally new material's a bit of a hard sell, as fans want to hear their old familiar favorites. This show was an exception. The new material is so stellar the crowd lapped it up and begged for more. Yet, if there's a band fame won't implode, it's Clutch. They're too down to earth and they've been touring pros too long to let a little thing like a #1 album fundamentally change who they are and what they're all about.

By the way... speaking of old favorites. It was SO great to hear Dragonfly! I generally don't wear band shirts to their concerts on principle, but I'd worn my Dragonfly Clutch tee all day before I changed for the show. And literally right before Clutch launched into Dragonfly at the show, I ran into Omar, the tattoo artist who did an awesome dragonfly on my foot, right around the same era as the first Elephant Riders album release in 1998. Kismet indeed.

Like the myth of Sisyphus, Clutch has been rolling their rock up the metal mountain for a quarter of a century with little acclaim, only to have it roll back down again every day. They refused to sell out or change for any label, even if that meant fame and fortune were elusive. Then their label went under and they began the laborious, lengthy task of slogging through the courts to regain the rights to their early releases. 

Finally Clutch's tenacity is paying off. They own all their own material again and are releasing new albums and rereleasing early works on Weathermaker Music, the band’s self owned label. They love what they do, and play what they love, whether anyone else likes it or not, and that integrity and passion shines through. Clutch's sound, sometimes called stoner metal or lumped in with prog rock, is unique and defies easy genrefication. Yet their appeal across metal, rock, funk and even jam markets is skyrocketing. 

We discovered Clutch in the early 90's and have eagerly anticipated each new album release, and frequented their live shows ever since. So their recent success is bittersweet. On one hand we're elated to see them getting the critical acclaim and larger audience they've deserved for years. Yet, the days of seeing Clutch in small venues like Chicago's Cubby Bear bar or Logan Auditorium, where we caught them with Subhumans and World Inferno Friendship Society may be a thing of the past. Sure, larger venues and arena shows have their own energy and they are a rush, but that intimate, hole in the wall vibe, and connection between band and fans is hard to beat and will be missed.

Shadows of Rail Riders/ View from the Pit 

It was amusing at the Chicago show, the fans around us were utterly convinced that Neil has true prophetic powers. 

But instead of ogling the musicians like groupies who want to sleep with the band or BE the band, the consensus seemed to be that they all wanted to have Clutch over for a cocktail party, because they thought the guys would be intriguing to talk with! 

That's the power of Clutch's riffs and tangents. They're catchy enough for crowds to belt out their lyrics, and their riffs can really get a room going. Yet they're cerebral and bizarre enough to keep people guessing. 

Check out ChiIL Live Shows' photo features for The Shrine and Corrosion of Conformity who were direct support for Clutch on the Psychic Warfare Tour.

Pepper Keenan, C of C

We'll be taking a road trip down to Cincinnati in a few weeks, where we have press credentials to shoot Led Zeppelin 2 at Bogarts December 27th, where we shot both CLUTCH and LZ2 last December. Deja Vu, all over again!

CLUTCH will be playing there four days later, so we've bought tickets for their New Year's Eve show and can't wait to catch them again. Bogarts is an intimate venue, so I guess, despite their chart topping new release, the band's not too huge yet to go small sometimes, even for New Year's Eve. Check out their winter tour details below. And catch them if you can. Clutch IS the real deal!



Clutch has announced their annual “Holiday” tour dates for December with Crobot and Valkyrie supporting the tour. Tickets on sale NOW all dates. Stay tuned to the official Clutch Facebook, for fan club pre sale and all ticket links.

Clutch Winter Tour Dates:
Sun/Dec-27 Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
Mon/Dec-28 Philadelphia, PA @ Electric Factory
Tue/Dec-29 New York, NY @ Terminal 5
Wed/Dec-30 Cleveland, OH @ Agora
Thu/Dec-31 Cincinnati, OH @ Bogart’s 
(*ROCK N ROLL ROAD TRIP: ChiIL Live Shows will be there... will YOU?! Can't wait to spend NYE with CLUTCH.)

Neil Fallon - Vocals/Guitar
Tim Sult - Guitar
Dan Maines - Bass
Jean-Paul Gaster - Drums/Percussion

It was our great pleasure to catch Neil Fallon for a video interview at The Vogue in Indianapolis shortly before their acclaimed Earth Rocker release. Check it out here. We've had over 18,000 views.


Clutch scored some high chart positions with its new release "Psychic Warfare”, landing on 6 Billboard charts. Weathermaker Music, the band’s self owned label, sold over 25,000 copies of the new album in the first week of release. The album came in at #11 on the Billboard Top 200 chart, the toughest chart to crack. "Psychic Warfare” is the highest debut charting album for Clutch and Weathermaker Music to date.

The album landed at #1 on Billboard’s Rock and Hard Rock charts respectively. The full list, including International charting is below:

#11 Billboard Top 200
#7 Top New Albums
#2 Independent Label
#1 Rock
#1 Hard Music
#5 Digital

#20 Top 200
#5 Independent Albums
#23 Aria Album Charts
#46 Top 100 Album Charts
#18 Top 100
#4 Hard Rock Metal

“Psychic Warfare” was produced by longtime producer Machine (Lamb Of God, Every Time I Die) and consists of 12 new tracks. The album cover was designed by renowned photographer Dan Winters.

“Psychic Warfare” track listing:
01 The Affidavit 
02 X-Ray Visions 
03 Firebirds 
04 A Quick Death in Texas 
05 Sucker For The Witch
06 Your Love is Incarceration
07 Doom Saloon 
08 Our Lady of Electric Light 
09 Noble Savage Clutch 
10 Behold the Colossus 
11 Decapitation Blues 
12 Son Of Virginia

For more information, check out the band’s website:

More Favorite Show Shots:

Whose Shoes? 
I find it fascinating to see where musicians are grounded, connected to the stage. What type of footwear they choose and how they stand speaks volumes. Not the brands per say, but the style and personality... 

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