Luke Spiller is a natural-born frontman. As vocalist for The Struts, Luke shook and shimmied his way across the stage to a sold-out crowd for the opening night of The Anthem on Thursday, serving roughly 6,000 people a desperately needed shot of rock ‘n’ roll.
Appearing as the opening act on the Concrete and Gold Tour for Foo Fighters, The Struts became technically the first billed band to perform at The Anthem (although several others including the Foos played previous friends and family nights, and Trouble Funk appeared for a surprise set earlier Thursday night).
As club co-owner Seth Hurwitz explained when introducing The Struts, the LA-based band (by way of England) left such a deep impression on him during an August 2016 performance at 9:30 Club, he couldn’t help but suggest that they open for Foo Fighters to Dave Grohl. Dave not only took that advice but enlisted The Struts for the first leg of the current US tour.
Full of friendly swagger, Luke continually beckoned the audience to join him in singing and emoting along to the songs of The Struts on Thursday, and the audience giddily rose to the occasion. The Struts opened with “Put Your Hands Up,” a recent single first performed live at 9:30 Club during that 2016 show that impressed Seth (according to Setlist.fm).
Luke’s powerful tenor is pleasing and robust, and he made himself heard above the crowd during their chant of “Put Your Hands Up.” His timing on the song was perfect as he effortlessly called out the audience while they were catching a breath, inciting them to shout out the refrain once again.
If you know anything about The Struts, you know they are a perfect picture of glam rock greatness originally embodied by acts like T. Rex, The Sweet, and of course the great Freddie Mercury of Queen. Not only are they worthy successors to these top shelf bands, but The Struts are terrific performers in their own right. That formidable glam sound was delivered by guitarist Adam Slack, bassist Jed Elliott, and drummer Gethin Davies, who work like clockwork in synch with Luke.
Soon, The Struts perform “Primadonna Like Me,” a brand new single introduced in live performance only last month. In the new song, Adam’s guitar became really quite pronounced, and he played a remarkably addictive guitar riff that defines the song. The new song, which certainly smacks of early ‘70s David Bowie-meets-The Rolling Stones, arrived as a welcome sign that The Struts likely will record again soon.
Toward the end of the show, The Struts reminded us of their excellent debut full-length album with “Could Have Been Me,” from the record, Everybody Wants — which was originally issued in the United Kingdom in 2014 by Virgin EMI and reissued in the United States in 2016 by FreeSolo and Interscope.
The Struts stick with Foo Fighters on tour with a date tomorrow Oct. 17 in Columbia, South Carolina, and they apparently remain with them through Nov. 15 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Whether as an opener or as a headliner, you’ll want to see The Struts! Make the time to arrive early to see them with Foo Fighters for your own dose of the good stuff from The Struts.
Here are some pictures of The Struts performing at The Anthem on its opening night on Oct. 12, 2017.