What an amazing evening. I was so stoked to see that Fayetteville was able to get one of the few dates on this mini Clutch/Prong tour. 2 of my 3 favorite bands, a shorter drive than KC (sorry Manky, no Lawrence for this guy). Stupid place wouldn’t allow cameras. What shit. I think the last place that didn’t allow it was when I saw Tool at the Sprint Center 2 years ago. Pisses me off, could have had killer pictures. Oh well…
Opening band was Lionize. I didn’t really seem to enjoy them as much as I did when they opened up for Clutch back in ’09 in KC. Might have just been an off night. Maybe a sound issue. I don’t know but they weren’t as fun as I remember them being a few years ago.
Prong was my #1 reason for being so excited about this show. Sadly, they don’t seem to tour all that much, although I know that will be changing with Carved Into Stone just being released a few months back (that I would say is the best thing since Cleansing, not as big of a Rude Awakening fan). Of course I was right up against the rail, dead center. Figured I’d be right in front of Tommy. Didn’t take into consideration the tiny ass stage as Tommy was stage right. Kind of a fail on my part. Got to see the setlist and I figured it would be a lot of their hits which I still won’t complain about. Crappy thing is I think they were having bass issues as they were 5 minutes or so late and because of that Unconditional was on the set but not played yet Power of the Damager was not on the set but was played. Tommy absolutely killed it. He was getting the crowd hyped up. Jumped up in the air several times. It’s been 3 years, I guess I forgot how energetic of a front man he was. Crowd was going pretty well for Prong, lot of headbanging. Pit was finally started and lasted for Snap Your Fingers & Power of the Damager. One thing I was confused about was no Tony at bass. I know he was playing for Soulfly but I didn’t know if he was out playing with them or not. Not sure the name of their bass player there last night. Easily the best opener I’ve seen Clutch take on the road w/ them in the 7-8x I’ve seen Clutch. Such a great time, but dear god was it ungodly hot. After Prong I went to grab some (free!!!!) water and cool off. Set is correct and in order.
For Dear life
Beg To Differ
Unconditional (Not Played But On Setlist)
Revenge Best Served Cold
Who's Fist Is This Anyway?
Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck
Power Of The Damager (Played, Not On Setlist)
I was sitting up in the area with the reserved tables cooling off. I heard a guy say that Tommy Victor was hanging out by the bar. I hauled ass to the bar and there he was standing talking with a couple in front of the merch table. I had sent Tommy a tweet earlier in the day asking if they were playing Keep On Living In Pain off the new album in the set and he tweeted me back saying that they weren’t. I shook his hand and told him I was the guy who he tweeted and we ended up talking for almost a half hour and he was just the best. The best part was when he asked where I was from and I told him Joplin, MO and instantly he had this look on his face because he actually knew about the F5 tornado that hit us last May and he sent his condolences and he asked if I was hurt and I told him my parent’s house was demolished and we talked for a few minutes about that. It meant the absolute world to me that he actually knew about this and cared enough to ask me if I was affected. That meant more than what I can even put into words. Then of course the conversation switched back to music. I asked him about what Page from Helmet told me last year and it was true that Prong & Helmet were trying to do a tour together but apparently it was when Tommy was trying to finish the new album but he said he hopes that could still happen. He said he’s good friends w/ Page and that’s one of his favorite guitar players. I told him about seeing him in ’07 when they headlined the Riot Room & when they were at The Midland w/ Soulfly in ’09. Then we talked about the size of the crowds they seem to get. He said that lately they’ve had to play support to bigger bands because they just don’t draw the bigger crowds as a headliner. He wondered if it’s because they aren’t sexy enough. (I had no comment for this, I was unsure what an appropriate answer would have been.) He talked about how shitty the tour w/ Crowbar was. Apparently it didn’t draw worth a shit either which is a shame. That would have been a killer show to see. I told him how absolutely great the new album is and he said it meant a lot because he spent a ton of time working on it. I also asked why Power of the Damager didn’t go over bigger, boy this opened up a whole new conversation. I just got this look from him. He said “Al Jorgensen is an asshole”. I think I also heard him say that he was evil. He apparently didn’t do shit for the album. Then the kicker… he said Al hasn’t paid him a goddamn thing in royalties. He’s done 3 albums with Al with several songwriting credits and he has got ZERO from Al. I asked him if Al’s wife does the financial part and Tommy said she’s an asshole too. Apparently Al asked him if he wanted to go out with him on Ministry’s brief tour. Tommy said his lawyer basically said “No, he hasn’t paid you shit.” Apparently it’s something ongoing that is in the hands of lawyers. I got a lot more than what I was expecting in this conversation. I could see Al doing something like that. He seems like someone who would do that. He was telling me about other tours, like them doing 4 shows w/ C.O.C. and doing a lot of dates w/ Static X. We both kinda made the face like “yea it’s kind of sad we are supporting Static X” although he said Wayne was a friend of his. I asked him when/if they planned on doing headlining shows. He said next year they hoped to do so and then he said he was wanting to play the whole Cleansing album and that definitely would be amazing. Those were pretty much the highlights of our conversation but it was really great getting to talk to him for so long. I’ve wanted to meet him for I don’t know how many years. Out of all that I almost forgot to have him sign something so I bought a small poster for $2. Clutch was already about 4 songs into their set but this was a tradeoff I was willing to take.
Even loving Clutch like I do, everything seemed to pale in comparison after getting to talk to Tommy. Crowd seemed like they got even bigger. I was ok with finding a platform that was raised up and still had a good view of the stage. I got in just as 50K Unstoppable Watts was finishing. I don’t know of any other words to use to describe Clutch that I haven’t used tons of times before. Neil still had his rockin old school Def Jam Records shirt that he was wearing back when they opened for Hellyeah. Amazing I can see a band this many times and still hear songs that I’ve never heard before. I’m a little bummed for missing Promoter at the beginning. This was quite Blast Tyrant heavy and since that’s the first Clutch album I heard that is quite good news for me. Best part of the show was them doing Regulator (which got a huge response) and then Cypress Grove (“I’m not a sports fan very much but I will say that this next song has a Razorback in it”. Huge cheer from the Razorback crowd.) I’m a little disappointed in myself but I did actually leave a little early. I left after Big News I. I read the set from the soundboard that was right behind me. I thought it looked short. Apparently they did 3 for encore but still nothing I can’t live w/ Soapmakers which I’m not a fan of & Burning Beard which I like but not worth staying and getting home 30 minutes later than what I did. I’m unsure of the 3rd song. I looked on the Clutch board and the person didn’t know the 3rd song. Barring it being Rock & Roll Outlaw, Tight Like That, El Jefe or a couple others I’m sure it’s nothing I can’t live without.
Mob Goes Wild
Pure Rock Fury
50 K Unstoppable Watts
Crucial (New Song)
Big News I
Big News II
A Shogun Named Marcus
One Eyed Dollar
I also got Alexi from Prong to sign my poster as well on my way out. Tommy was by the bar and I thanked him again for coming down here and thanked me and he still called me by my name which I really appreciated as well. I almost walked out the door and then I thought screw it. I hate being one of those people who take shitty iPhone pictures but it’s all I had so I went and got a pic w/ Tommy as well and then I headed home. Thanks for reading and putting up w/ my excitement over meeting Tommy.