There are some bands or performers that have a special magic. It’s something that can transform a bad day into one of the best nights you’ll have after just a few minutes. The Struts, led by charismatic singer Luke Spiller, have an uncanny ability to tap into that chemical process making it hard not to have a good time when they hit the stage.
Unabashed rockstars, The Struts pull from the pantheon of great rock architects like Queen and the Rolling Stones. But this isn’t a copy. The UK band have a style all their own with hook-laden songs that are hard to get out of your head. The Struts released their most recent album, Strange Days, in 2020 — and a handful of singles has teased the arrival of their next full-length record. This was a harbinger to a great time at 9:30 Club for a recent sold-out show.
“Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, we are The Struts from the UK… are you ready for a good time?” With that intro, Spiller, Adam Slack (guitar), Jed Elliott (bass), and Gethin Davies (drums) started on what feels like a Struts classic, “Dirty Sexy Money” at 9:30 Club on July 16.
Adam, Jed, and Luke played to the crowd as they stood inches from the edge of the stage. And with nary a breath in between, The Struts went from one high energy song to another. And even newer songs like “Fallin’ With Me” had this packed crowd screaming along.
It’s no wonder with the amount of energy that was coming off the stage that the whole band was dripping by mid-show. Having the crowd eating out of his hand, Spiller asked, “Any primadonna’s in the audience tonight?” Announcing the next song, “Primadonna Like Me,” he called out, “Scream if you’re a primadonna! Jump if you’re a primadonna!” to which the whole place seemed to levitate.
Over the last few years, The Struts have been gathering steam. High-profile tours with the Foo Fighters and The Rolling Stones — and having their song, “Could Have Been Me” featured on the Sing 2 soundtrack (sung by Halsey) — have catapulted them into a much-deserved spotlight. But they haven’t let that go to their heads.
Watching them interact with their fans both before the show and in the midst of a sea of shouting concertgoers, you can tell it’s about giving the audience everything they can. Before launching into “All Dressed Up,” Luke Spiller told the crowd that, after getting “very very drunk” the night before, “we are gonna give you the best fucking show you’ve ever seen!”
Early in the show, The Struts performed “Too Good at Raising Hell,” one of six new songs from the 9:30 Club performance surely slated to appear on the highly anticipated and not yet released new album.
Watch the official music video for “Too Good at Raising Hell” by The Struts on YouTube:
From the Beatlesque “The Ol’ Switcheroo” with that staccato bounce to their cover of Lorde’s “Royals” and newer song that they’ve been road testing the past year, “Pretty Vicious,” it was a rollercoaster of sharp rock ‘n’ roll with a smart pop feel.
My personal fave, “One Night Only,” sounded incredible as Spiller took to the piano. It’s that kind of song that encapsulates the driving anthem with three-part harmonies, big guitar solos, and leaves itself running around your brain for days.
As the rest of the band left the stage, Luke and Adam performed a couple of numbers, “Mary Go Round” and “Low Key in Love.” As Luke told the crowd in his cheeky way, “I’m just getting started, baby. That’s just the foreplay.”
Announcing the last song of their set, Luke Spiller started singing the beginning of “Put Your Money on Me” acapella and had the whole place clapping and singing the song until the rest of the band kicked in. But it was when they came back out for the encore, ending with the crowd-pleasing hit, “Could Have Been Me” that sealed the deal on one of the best shows in recent memory.
The Struts continue their “Remember The Name…” Tour with a special stop at The Atlantis on July 23. This is one not to sleep on!
The setlist included:
Dirty Sexy Money
Fallin’ With Me
Too Good at Raising Hell
Primadonna Like Me
All Dressed Up (With Nowhere to Go)
The Ol’ Switcheroo
One Night Only
Mary Go Round
Low Key in Love
In Love With a Camera / Cool / Matter of Time / Wild Child / Can’t Sleep / Somebody New
Royals (Lorde cover)
I Do It So Well
Where Did She Go
Put Your Money on Me
Fire (Part 1)
Could Have Been Me
Here are more photos of The Struts performing at the 9:30 Club on July 16, 2023. All photos copyright and courtesy of David LaMason.
Here are more photos of Mac Saturn opening for The Struts at the 9:30 Club.