TVD Live Shots: Clutch and The Steel Woods at the 9:30 Club, 12/29

So nice, we reviewed ’em twice.Ed.

Clutch, the mighty four-piece from Frederick, Maryland, performed to a sold out crowd at DC’s 9:30 Club to give 2019 a much-needed final kick in the nuts.

As tradition would have it, the band’s annual December run of mid-Atlantic shows (known to kids across the land as “ClutchMas”) has Clutch on a three show run that includes Washington DC, Sayreville NJ, and Philadelphia PA. For three days the band performs unique sets at each venue, delivering grit and explosiveness to the good little boys and girls with a lucky golden ticket.

This year’s DC stop was the 9:30 Club, and for those in the room who were not too drunk to notice (single digits, trust me) Clutch was in exceptionally good form. As for me, I’m always excited to see Neil Fallon and the boys play live, and as usual they never disappoint.

“You Can’t Stop Progress” and “Power Player” from 2007’s Beale Street to Oblivion got the evening up and running, and “Ghoul Wrangler,” “Gimmie the Keys,” “How to Shake Hands,” and “Book of Bad Decisions” from the 2018 album of the same name kept the evening festive. “Rats,” CCR’s “Fortunate Son,” and “Sucker for the Witch” were among my favorites of the night.

Clutch’s latest record, the aforementioned Bad Book of Decisions is their 12th studio album and was released on their own Weathermaker Music record label in 2018. The album  is available in black, and limited coke bottle clear vinyl.

The Steel Woods from Nashville, Tennessee and veteran guitarist Damon Johnson held down opening duties for the night, and although I missed the latter, I am familiar with Johnson’s guitarwork with Alice Cooper and recently with Thin Lizzy. The Steel Woods however were a lot of fun and seemed to embody the good vibes of a true country-rock outfit. Vocalist Wes Bayless really has some southern style pipes and the beautiful custom Telecaster guitars on stage sounded as good as they looked.

CLUTCH

THE STEEL WOODS

CLUTCH SETLIST
You Can’t Stop Progress
Power Player
A Good Fire
Weird Times
Gimme the Keys
Vision Quest
The Incomparable Mr. Flannery
Book of Bad Decisions
Rats
Nice and Gods
Ghoul Wrangler
Sucker for the Witch
Frankenstein
In Walks Barbarella
Brazenhead
How to Shake Hands
Fortunate Son (CCR cover)

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