Live Review: The Struts @ Lincoln Theatre — 9/7/21

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The Struts perform at Lincoln Theatre on Sept. 7, 2021. (Photos by Rashad Polk)

The Struts rolled through D.C. recently, taking over the historic Lincoln Theatre to deliver a genuine rock and roll show.

Guitarist Adam Slack’s searing tone and drummer Gethin Davies’ cowbell kicked off the set on Sept. 7 as the band launched into “Primadonna Like Me.” While the band from Derby have an ability to connect with their fans through the music, they are also able to be felt physically by way of Jed Elliott’s thunderous bass. Once the vocals kicked in the party had officially started.

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Otherworldly vocal abilities aside, Luke Spiller is clearly an honor student of the science of rock and roll whose charisma as a front man is undeniable. The entire band in their matching, yet personally stylized, purple and black outfits radiated an energy that brought to mind stadium rock acts in the vein of Queen and the Rolling Stones as they led the crowd through singalong after clapalong throughout the evening.

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Powering through a set of both older hits such as “Body Talks,” “Kiss This,” and “Put Your Money On Me,” as well as performing newer songs in DC for the first time ever, just about a quarter of the songs on the set list are featured on The Struts’ latest effort, Strange Days. Of these newer tunes, I’m really hoping that “Am I Talking to the Champagne (Or Talking to You)” becomes a live show staple. The performance of this song in particular was a stand-out moment of the evening, showing a different side of the band. The Struts are rock and roll. This is something that has already been established for quiet a few years now. But Slack’s understanding, appreciation, and respect of Chicago style blues was on display front and center.

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Another magical moment came about halfway through the set when Spiller and Slack took the stage as a duo, giving their bandmates a chance to recharge. In preparation for “Mary Go Round,” Luke called for the lights to go out. All of the lights in the building — house lights as well as stage lights — immediately dimmed. The intimacy of the acoustic performance was amplified by a theater full of fans using their cell phones to illuminate the stage.

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Once the band returned to the stage for their encore, they closed out the night with “Could Have Been Me,” but perhaps even more fitting was the song which preceded. There’s a line in “Strange Times” that concedes that what was once considered to be science fiction has now become a reality for all of us. This is a sad truth that exists no matter where you are in the world.

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Unless you are at a Struts show. When you party with The Struts there’s no room for science fiction, only pure rock and roll.

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Check out more photos of The Struts performing at the Lincoln Theatre in DC on Sept. 7, 2021. All photos copyright and courtesy of Rashad Polk.

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