Clutch at the Fillmore, 12/21/12
Brandon Marshall Clutch on stage at the Fillmore Auditorium in Denver.
Unfamiliar material didn't derail the crowd - they kept up their frenzy and enthusiasm until the final tune. Multiple mosh pits formed on the floor within the first fifteen minutes of the set; the entire house seemed to rock as a single entity during the chorus of "Electric Worry." Before playing the final song, an encore performance of "Cypress Grove," Fallon thanked the crowd for their kindness, and spoke to the fact that Denver has always welcomed the band with open arms.
"Starting this March, we're gonna be on tour for a real long time," Fallon said, adding that it was likely the group would be back in Colorado in 2013. The crowd responded with cheers and frenzy -- either from excitement at the prospect of another Clutch show, or out of the pure joy borne of surviving an apocalypse. Either way, the audience at the Fillmore seemed happy at the mention of a new year.
Brandon Marshall Lola Black on stage at the Fillmore Auditorium in Denver.
Both Lola Black and No 1 left standing showed why they'd earned the titles "Best Band in Denver" from KBPI. The local acts delivered dynamic and energetic sets early in the night, earning applause and enthusiasm from a crowd that was still getting settled.
The Texas Hippie Coalition delivered a compelling mix of traditional Texas blues and hardcore fervor straight off a Pantera record. Frontman Big Dad Rich cut an interesting image on stage. Describing himself as a "300-pound, Sasquatch-looking motherfucker," Rich sang of whisky and weed, brought his two sons out on stage and talked about moving to Colorado to take part in the budding legal marijuana industry.
Brandon Marshall Big Dad Rich of Texas Hippie Coalition on stage at the Fillmore Auditorium in Denver.
Fresh off his dismissal from KBPI, Uncle Nasty (aka Greg Stone) enjoyed a stirring tribute from fans and peers alike during the show. Between the sets of Lola Black and THC, Stone walked onstage to furious applause from the audience. "Thank you," he offered simply, "You've made it a great fifteen years." He exited to a coordinated chorus of 'Nasty' from the capacity crowd.
Personal Bias: Maybe it was because I grew up with a dad who played a lot of ZZ Top on the stereo, but the cues of Texas blues in THC's set resonated pretty deeply with me.
Random Note: When Maines broke a string on his Rickenbacker bass and hurried to replace it, Fallon spoke of one of the band's first Denver gigs at what was then called Mammoth Gardens. They were opening up for Sepultura, he recalled, and the venue looked completely different.
By the way: Fallon kind of looks like Charlie Day from "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia."