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Live Review: DC101-derland featuring The Struts and Silversun Pickups @ The Anthem — 12/7/22

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The Struts shake the house at the DC101-derland at The Anthem on Dec. 7, 2022. (Photo by David LaMason)

Nearing the end of 2022 in style, the wintertime celebration by radio’s DC101 called the DC101-derland rolled back into The Anthem on Wednesday, Dec. 7, and brought with it a bevy of earth-shaking artists that kept our ears ringing well into the weekend. 

This year’s bill included bands that I had been dying to see but for some reason — fate, misfortune, emergency surgery (well, maybe not that severe) — I had not witnessed on stage before.  But that was all about to change for the best as we filed into the 6,000-capacity venue. Now, I have to tell you, this was a pretty tight ship they were running — and with a bill like TALK, Silversun Pickups, The Struts, Spoon, and Jimmy Eat World you surely had to have a massive behind-the-scenes crew.

From the DJ spinning beat-mixed tunes between sets to the quickly changing stage set-ups, I was impressed by the sheer organization of it all. 

As the crowd came in from the chill and began filling up the venue, you could feel the excitement as there were VIP meet and greets before the show, as well as food, and enough great pre-show music to keep the kids on their toes.

Silversun Pickups

After kick starting things with an impressive set by Canadian singer TALK, Silversun Pickups took the stage with a wall of fuzzy pop that had the crowd moving. Having just released their sixth studio album, Physical Thrills, over the summer, Brian Aubert (vocals/guitar), Nikki Monninger (bass/vocals), Christopher Guanlao on drums, and Joe Lester on keys played a set heavy on hits that spanned, well, a little bit of everything from the opener, “Well Thought Out Twinkles” from heir breakout sophomore album, Carnavas, to “Alone on a Hill” from this year’s excellent Physical Thrills.

Although I had not seen Silversun Pickups perform live before, this set made me wish I had had that opportunity before. Between Aubert’s guitar thrash and Monninger’s bouncing bass playing, they put on an ear-ringingly fun set that was all too short but hit all the right buttons, making for one heck of a set!

The setlist for Silversun Pickups included:

Well Thought Out Twinkles
It Doesn’t Matter Why
Panic Switch
Scared Together
Circadian Rhythm (Last Dance)
Dots and Dashes (Enough Already)
Alone on a Hill
Lazy Eye

The Struts

The Struts have been putting on some of the most exciting shows since their genesis 10 years ago. Early on opening for the likes of the Rolling Stones, they built a huge following, even playing the first show ever at The Anthem in 2017, so it comes as no surprise this band led by charismatic singer, Luke Spiller puts on one of best live performances around. And at the DC101-derland they did that and more!

Taking the stage in fashion, Spiller along with the twin-stringed machine that is Adam Slack on guitar and Jed Elliott on bass shook the place to the hammering rhythm of Gethin Davies on the drums.

In true rock ‘n roll style, Luke Spiller ran onto the stage as the Gethin, Jed, and Adam laid the groove to the hit “Primadonna Like Me” from their sophomore LP, Young & Dangerous — perfect introduction to the stage — with a little “Dancing Days” thrown in the mix.

There’s something to say about seeing a band who just gets it. The genuine fun The Struts have on stage is refreshing and the crowd at The Anthem responded, being drawn in by that sense of joy under the massive stage lights.

As Adam and Elliott took turns playing to the crowd, Luke, well, strutted across the stage clearly having us eating out of the palm of his outstretched hands. And it wasn’t just older tunes. There were two brand new ones from, what I hope, is a new record over the horizon. As Luke told the crowd, “Now who here wants to hear a brand spanking new song? We’ll play it under two conditions… The first condition is that you sing this,” and he proceeded to sing a bit and had the crowd sing it back. “Very good. And the second condition is that you jump around and dance to the chorus. Alright?”

And dance they did! If “Fallin’ With Me” and “their next single,” which Luke explained was the second time they had ever played it, called “Pretty Vicious,” then we are in for a great new record.

The Struts finished up this shortened set with the hit single, “Could Have Been Me.” A smashing set that left this crowd wanting more. Here’s hoping they come back around these parts soon.

The setlist for The Struts included:

Primadonna Like Me
Body Talks
Kiss This
Dirty Sexy Money
Fallin’ With Me
Put Your Money On Me
Pretty Vicious
I Did It So Well
Could Have Been Me

Here are more photos of The Struts performing at The Anthem during the DC101-derland on Dec. 7, 2022. All photos copyright and courtesy of David LaMason.

And here are more photos of Silversun Pickups performing at The Anthem on Dec. 7, 2022.

And here are more photos from the DC101-derland, including Spoon, Jimmy Eat World, and TALK, at The Anthem! All photos copyright and courtesy of David LaMason.

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