By Jake Rage, Rock At Night Orlando
As a concert photographer I have photographed and reviewed my share of bands at the Orlando House of Blues. I knew tonight was going to be different but I didn’t realize how different. The show started off with Tyler Bryant and The Shakedown. After relocating from Honey Grove Texas to Nashville, Tennesee Tyler Bryant along with Caleb Crosby – drums, Noah Denney – bass, and Graham Whitford–together created Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown. Young and talented are not always synonymous. In the case of TB&SD, it doesn’t even begin to describe the level of skill this band brought to the fans last night. There are many people who call themselves blues players. Sure, they know, the right progressions and go through the motions. This band didn’t just play the blues, they poured their blood sweat and tears into it. If there is any truth to the term “Old Soul,” I am betting Tyler Bryant and The Shakedown are just that. The energy this band produced not only took over the HOB’s, but also won the hearts of the fans.
At one point drummer Caleb Crosby walked to the front of the stage carrying one drum. He began to pound on it as the crowd started to amp up. Just when you thought it was safe, he launched into the audience. The fans loved it and they surrounded him as he continued to play with the rest of the band from the audience. Tyler Bryant and the ShakeDown isn’t just a another blues band. They are an electrified, personified, blues band that knows the difference between performing and ROCKING THE HOUSE! Check them out, I know you will be happy you did.
After a short break, Sevendust hit the stage. Formed in 1994 this band puts other bands half their age to shame. It was obvious as soon as the band hit the first note they were there to “wow” the fans. Moving through their set, it definitely seemed like the walls were beginning to shake. They say you are only as strong as your weakest link–there are definitely no weak links in this band. The music and vocals are just as rock solid as the first time I heard this band back in the 90s. I don’t know what this band does to keep in shape physically and musically but they had no trouble getting the capacity of the crowd up on its feet. Being older, myself, it completely blows me away that bands like Sevendust don’t show signs of wear and tear. As I walked to the venue I ran into friends I hadn’t seen in awhile. I asked why they were there. More than once the answer was, “Are you crazy?” The answer, of course, was “to see Clutch and Sevendust.” It’s obvious their fans are as hardcore as the band themselves. Through their set you could feel the walls expanding from the energy.
Like I said earlier, I knew tonight was going to different. Clutch walked on stage and the audience erupted. Clutch isn’t just a great band, nah, they are also one of my personal favorites! Every time I have attempted to see this band, something came up and I missed them. Tonight, the dream became a reality and Clutch did not disappoint. Nothing says “fan base” like hearing a capacity crowd at the HOB’s singing all the lyrics along with and back to Neil Fallon the vocalist for CLUTCH. The band has been around since 1991 and just like Sevendust, they came to destroy the HOB. They played songs off their brand new album, Book Of Bad Decisions as well as some old favorites.
Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown along with Sevendust totally cranked the crowd up and Clutch kept the momentum going. Clutch may look like a bunch of conservative, middle-age rockers, but looks can–and are in this case–completely deceiving. Neil Fallon’s voice is just as strong, gravelly and bluesy as ever. Clutch’s lyrics and songs are fun, political punchie, and as crazy as the stories in the National Enquirer, but that’s just half the reason fans like myself love CLUTCH. To me CLUTCH represent everyman. Like Clark Kent to Superman, you would never have clue these guys are hardcore rockers they are. It might have taken a while to finally see this band, but it was well worth the wait.
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