CLUTCH Concert Overview: CLUTCH At The Crocodile Rock Cafe, Allentown, PA, December 30, 2012
Stone’s Last Metal Hurrah In Allentown With Metal Buddies Danielle & Lee!
CLUTCH – A packed house. No, make that a super-duper packed house to its maximum and (probably) illegal potential. The number of Heavy Rock and Metal fans that jammed into the Crocodile Rock Cafe, in Allentown Pennsylvania, on a very cold Sunday night on December 3oth was above alarming. There were so many people entering The Crocodile Rock Cafe on this night, that it was difficult to distinguish the ID/ticket line from the men’s rest room line! Yes, confusion was an uninvited guest.
My two Metal buddies, Danielle and Lee, picked me up at my house, with plenty of time to spare for seeing this undeniable kick-ass lineup of bands. The three of us were certain we would see WINO, Saviours and Mondo Generator; as well as the highly anticipated headliner of this bill: CLUTCH. Instead, our night of Hard & Heavy Rockin’ jubilation came to a disappointing stop (before CLUTCH hit the stage) due to the size of the unexpected crowd that filled this famous venue.
Apparently, a sold-out CLUTCH show from the Starland Ballroom (Sayreville, New Jersey) was re-scheduled for this same night at the Crocodile Rock Cafe. Both shows were sold-out, hence the over-capacity crowd. Hurricane Sandy did some extensive damage to the Starland Ballroom, that’s why the re-scheduling took place. It would have made more sense to have CLUTCH perform on consecutive nights or on separate dates to accommodate so many ticket holders to “2″ different shows, in my Metal opinion. Shit happens, I guess.
We ordered and ate some pizza slices at the adjoining restaurant; Lee and I guzzled down some beer (Yuengling Lager), while Danielle smacked down some mixed drinks that were tempting to me. However, I stuck to the brews. As the venue continued to fill, we couldn’t find it in ourselves to even attempt breaking into the line… that’s not Metal. This “line” of fans seemed endless to us. We missed the acoustic set of the legendary WINO and that super sucked. Saviours we did hear in the distance and it broke my Metal heart in two to have missed them as well.
Time was passing and we were getting screwed out of a night of Heavy Rockin’ bliss. Hanging out in the bar and sharing laughs with fellow Metal buddies isn’t a total loss, however. You can’t put a price on hanging out with people who make you feel good. As a bonus, I got introduced to mutual friends of Danielle and Lee’s and they were downright cool as hell. As the venue became a sea of humans all seeking the same Metal fix we were, I became worried that I wouldn’t see any band perform live at all!
Mondo Generator came on stage and that was it! The three of us finally were able to get into the venue. Lee fought his way to the merch table (on the side area of the stage) to buy himself a CLUTCH tee. Whoa! That took Metal courage. Lee is a bona-fide badass anyways. Danielle was nowhere to be found for a while, she and a friend took off into the crowd. That didn’t surprise me, cause Danielle is one badass gal. She could probably kick my ass without trying. I ventured back out into the bar cause I just couldn’t breathe. Really. I’ve been to more club shows than I can count over the years and this night was like being packed into a cardboard box of sweaty humans… with the heat turned on high. Unreal.
Eventually Danielle and Lee met up with me back in the bar. More Yuengling Lagers were consumed while good-times laughter swirled around us. As a steady flow of battle-scarred fans began to file out of the venue, their chatter was universal; “can’t breathe in there”, “never saw a crowd like this here, it’s scary” and “can’t move in there” were common remarks I heard.
By the time CLUTCH hit the stage, we were all back inside the venue; no more than fifteen feet from the exit door to the bar. I actually had a prime view of the stage from standing at the end of the (inside) bar, with no obstructions, save for the cool bartender gal that served up the Yuengling Lager to me! Whoa. At this point of the night, I was getting overcome with a (rather welcomed) beer blitz that was top-tier and couldn’t write down the set-list that CLUTCH hammered out if I tried. Metal be thy name and let the good times roll! Hey, as they say back in Burrville, Connecticut: beer happens.
I’ll say this much, CLUTCH kicked legitimate, 100%, potent, high-octane, F’n unreal, Hard and Heavy Rockin’ ass on that December night. Holy Metal shit and tell all the villagers, CLUTCH is a band that was born to play live! If you look up the definition for Heavy Rockin’ Thunder, you’re gonna read: CLUTCH. If you look up the definition for CLUTCH, you’re gonna read: kicks severe and thunderous Heavy Rockin’ ass. It’s that simple. Seeing and hearing CLUTCH perform live was worth every penny of admission.
During my entire live CLUTCH experience, I had the feeling that the entire venue was gonna cave into one gigantic sinkhole; all due to the heavy as fuckin’ hell Rock ‘N’ Roll that CLUTCH was administering upon the thousands of fans inside the Crocodile Rock Cafe. What a band. What a night. Hanging out with Metal buddies Danielle and Lee, experiencing live CLUTCH and way too many Yuengling Lagers. What more can Stone ask for? Metal be thy name.
I did buy some CLUTCH vinyl after the show and bought Danielle a CD. The merch table had their 2004 album Blast Tyrant (on double vinyl) for sale and I bought it! Whoa! The three of us hung out for a while in the back parking lot, waiting for CLUTCH to come out. We finally gave up around 1:00 a.m. and decided to call it a night.
Due to my relocating to Ohio, this CLUTCH show marked the last time I’d be raising Metal hell at the Crocodile Rock Cafe. I’m gonna miss that place, with all the Grand Metal memories I’ve had there. I’m gonna miss Danielle and Lee more though… cause Metal buddies like them are without question: priceless.
This post is dedicated to my 2 Metal buddies for life: Danielle and Lee. I thank and love you both.
LONG LIVE CLUTCH.
LONG LIVE MONDO GENERATOR.
LONG LIVE WINO.
LONG LIVE SAVIOURS.
LONG LIVE THE CROCODILE ROCK CAFE.
LONG LIVE YUENGLING LAGER.
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