The Struts returned to the 9:30 Club less than one year from the last time they performed there. But while there hasn’t been a long passage of time since their last performance in October, much has happened.
Shortly after their previous 9:30 show, The Struts released Young & Dangerous, their second full-length album. That was followed by national television appearances where they performed live on Victoria’s Secret Fashion show in December 2018, and on Good Morning America on July 12.
It would be difficult to find someone who would claim that lead singer Luke Spiller lacks confidence. When you perform “Primadonna Like Me,” a song about how great you think you are, and “Tattler Magazine,” a song about your desire to be in the tabloids, you are not trying to be humble.
So when Luke stole a line from P.T. Barnum on Aug. 7 and asked everyone if they were “…ready to see the greatest show on Earth,” it was perfectly in line with what everyone has come to expect from a concert by The Struts. But while it is impossible to confirm that the sold-out 9:30 Club crowd were privy to the best thing happening on the planet, there was no doubt that they were witnessing something special. The high-energy performances The Struts put forth each and every night has made them one the the most in-demand acts in rock and roll today.
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The non-stop dancing and incredible vocal performance of Luke Spiller was a spectacle to behold, but The Struts shows are highly interactive and engages the fans in a way that most performances do not. For the acoustic performance of “Mary Go Round,” the band turned off the lights in the 9:30 Club so that the fans could light the venue with their cellphones and sing along as part of the show. As part of the “initiation of the new fans,” as Luke called it, the band paused in the middle of “Where Did She Go” so that everyone could crouch down on the floor, and then explode up, causing every last person to start dancing along with the band.
And prior to the start of “Put Your Money On Me,” Luke found a little girl named Olivia up against the rail and brought her on stage to sing the “Oh Yeah” part of the chorus.
After the show, all four members of the band spent ample time with the selfie takers and autograph seekers waiting outside the venue. Even after each member finished working their way down the line of the dozens of fans waiting for their brief moment of interaction with the rock stars, all four guys hung around and chatted with the fans like they were old friends. Despite The Struts growing popularity and larger-than-life on stage personas, this was a sincere moment of humility from a band who’s growing stardom may not allow them these encounters in the near future.
Here are some pictures of The Struts performing at 9:30 Club on Aug. 7, 2019. All photos copyright and courtesy of Chris Smyth.