I discovered The Struts in 2015 through word of mouth. The word of mouth was that their live performances were incredible, and they were said to be the next big thing in the rock and roll world. I listened to ‘Everybody Wants’ that whole summer and was happy to purchase the reissue in 2016. The new songs that were added to the album were some of my favourites and I couldn’t wait to see them in concert. Sadly, because of various circumstances, I was never able to do so. It was finally on the ‘Young & Dangerous’ tour that all the stars aligned. I jumped on the tickets knowing that the Corona Theatre was going to be the perfect venue for them. A few months later, the concert was moved to the MTELUS due to ticket demand. Apparently, I was not the only one who had waited a long time to see them.
I got to the venue a bit early and it was quite empty. I was scared that the venue might have been too big for them, but I quickly realized that I was wrong. In fact, it’s the MTELUS that was too small for The Struts. Des Rock were first and they were okay. The sound quality was very poor and you could barely hear their lead singer. The band was very energetic and the crowd seemed to like them but I kept feeling that they were missing a lead guitarist. The songs were a bit empty and every time they would focus on the riffs it would get immediately better. I wished there had been more of these moments throughout their set.
The Struts took their time before showing up, as classic rock played over the PA system to keep the crowd entertained. When the lights finally closed and singer Luke Spiller showed up, the crowd went ballistic. They opened with a perfect rendition of ‘Primadonna Like Me’ and never stopped for what would be an hour and forty-five minutes of pure rock and roll.
All the hits were played and they were even better live. An extensive solo was played before ‘Kiss This’ that made me wish it was part of the original version as well. Many songs from their second album were played, and to my surprise the crowd knew them all. ‘I Do It So Well’ was my personal highlight. On the record, the song leans a little bit on disco but live it has lot more impact. They jammed through it and made it so much better. Mid-show they went through a medley of four songs from their first album that all blended smoothly. It was quite impressive to see them go at full intensity for almost 15 minutes straight! They also took time to play their latest cover ‘Dancing in the Streets’. They even split the crowd in two to let people dance in the middle of the floor.
The musicians are all very good and efficient but this was Spiller’s show. He went through various costumes and accessories. He would often let the front stage to guitarist Adam Slack to play on a side stage piano. I have seen Kiss, Aerosmith and Alice Cooper this year, and Spiller still made a huge an impression on me. He is truly in his prime and I don’t think there is anybody else at his level in the current rock scene. He has Jagger’s swag, Cooper’s harshness and Mercury’s range. They ended the night with ‘Could Have Been Me’ and told us they would be back soon. I’m pretty sure I am talking for everybody present when I’m saying: “I can’t wait”.
1. Primadonna Like Me
2. Body Talks
3. Kiss This
4. In Love with a Camera
5. Fire (Part 1)
6. One Night Only
7. Dirty Sexy Money
8. Tatler Magazine
9. The Ol’ Switcheroo / Black Swan / Roll Up / Young Stars
10. I Do It so Well
11. Mary Go Round
12. Dancing in the Streets (Martha Reeves and the Vandellas cover)
13. Put Your Money on Me
14. Where Did She Go
15. Somebody New
16. Ashes (Part 2)
17. Could Have Been Me
He currently works in the video game industry while continuing to write music with his own band.
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