Clutch, Crobot, and Valkyrie at Terminal 5 in New York City
29 December 2015
In the last week of December 2015, we lost an icon that spread the message of rock and roll – Lemmy Kilmister. The world had to move on and that responsibility rested on the evening’s opening act, Valkyrie. Hailing from Harrisonburg, Virginia, the band played a very short five-song set. However, the audience rallied around them and took a liking to them. The brothers-in-arms Jake and Pete Adams formed the group in 2002, and currently Peter is also in another amazing group, Baroness. Nothing screams rock and roll when you can just sit back and soak in a band that is just barebones sounding like Valkyrie. The seven-minute song “Man of Two Visions” has an Iron Maiden breakdown within four minutes into the song. ‘Majestic’ comes to mind when I see this band. Before they finished their set they dedicated the last song “Carry On” to the life of the man who left us his legacy. Can’t wait to see them again!!!
The night’s festivities were continued with the young group out of Pottsville, PA – Crobot. The lead vocalist Brandon Yeagley has a set of pipes that is reminiscent of a young Chris Cornell. With an EP Crobot and one full length record, Something Supernatural, the future is extremely bright. They opened up with “Legend of the Spaceborne Killer.” This track showcases not only the vocals, but the versatile musicianship of the band, while “The Necromancer” features Yeagley on the harmonica. The song that really showcases Yeagley’s range is “Skull of Geronimo.” Like Valkyrie, Crobot also have a connection to Lemmy – not only did Crobot partake in Motörhead’s Motorboat Cruise, they also embody the same spirit of rock and roll. Ear plugs are a requirement, as they were easily the loudest band of the night. They borderline on a stoner and psychedelic atmosphere, and songs like “Welcome to Fat City” and “La Mano de Lucifer” give us hope that we are truly witnessing something magical with rock music. Like most new young bands, they are a shining star that is burning fast. Let’s hope they keep that pace so we can see them headline New York City again.
This evening’s show was a bag of mixed emotions. As the Germantown, Maryland boys took the stage the audience was still coming down from the energetic performance of Crobot and Valkyrie. As Neil Fallon introduced his brothers in music he mentioned the band’s moments on the road with Lemmy. Many in attendance were sporting the snaggletooth Motörhead mascot t-shirts. The band opened with “The House that Peterbilt” from their 1995 self-titled sophomore album. The set included “X-Ray Visions” from the new album Psychic Warfare, which debuted at No.1 on Billboard’s Top Rock Albums, surpassing the previous record they put out in 2013, Earth Rocker. More than two decades into their career, this is the first time Clutch has reached that plateau. Like Motörhead, Clutch have their own blue print sound and has made the most of it by not messing with the formula that has catapulted them to becoming a soon to be influential band. They gave us all of the exciting songs from the new album such as “Quick Death in Texas,” “Doom Saloon,” and the Motörhead-inspired song “Noble Savage.” Not surprising, Neil Fallon shared with the audience that before they gave the song its current title it was called “Motorhead” during pre-production. You can hear Philthy Animal Taylor inspiration coming from the drums and shades of Lemmy Kilmister’s relentless attack from the rest of the band.
Even on an exciting night like tonight the loss of our rock icon was felt. It did not hamper the boys’ determination to solider on. Shockingly, they ignored songs from Strange Cousins from the West and played only “Burning Beard” from the Robot Hive/Exodus album. However, on this night there was something for everyone. People were moshing in a welcoming way, crowd surfing, and even the casual person just soaking it all in. In the end, that is what unity in the name of real music is all about.