The Struts are a band on the brink of being huge! Since relocating to the U.S. in 2015, The Struts have been on a steady path to stardom.
I’ve had the opportunity to see The Struts in a fairly small venue a couple of times. But due to their rising popularity, I see them quickly taking the next step up and moving to bigger venues. So, when I had to miss their show at the TLA this fall, I was really disappointed. Shows in small venues are so much better than shows in big arenas. I was worried I had missed out on my last chance to see them in an intimate setting.
But, as fate would have it, our local alternative radio station – Radio 104.5 – and Bud Light announced a special show – “Live at the Dive Featuring The Struts”! The concept behind the show is to take a popular band and have them do a show in a tiny venue where you normally wouldn’t see them play.
The catch? The only way in was to win (or be a “VIP guest” of the radio station or Bud Light). Since I don’t qualify as a VIP, I had to hope that luck was with me and I would win tickets.
So, did I get in? Of course I did (or I wouldn’t be writing this post)! What was it like seeing The Struts play a room that only holds 200 people? Keep reading to find out!
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SO HOW DID I GET IN?
Good concert karma. That’s what I’m going to credit for helping me get in.
There were two ways to win tickets to the show. You could enter on-line. As is typical with these contests, after entering, you post a link on your social media. If you get friends or followers to click on the link and enter as well, you earn additional entries.
The other way to win was to go to one of the radio station’s ticket giveaways. I was on vacation and missed most of the giveaways, but was able to attend two of them the Friday before the show. The bad news is that my name wasn’t drawn at either giveaway. The good news is that two people we met at the giveaways both won, and they invited my husband and I to be their guests!
Morale of the story? There are still good and generous people in this world!
THE STRUTS – WHO IS THIS BAND AND WHERE DID THEY COME FROM?
The Struts are from Derby, Derbyshire, England and consist of Luke Spiller (vocals), Adam Slack (guitar), Jed Elliott (bass) and Gethin Davies (drums). The band originally formed in 2009, with Spiller and Slack being the two original members.
Spiller was raised in a Christian family and was mainly exposed to gospel music when he was young. When Spiller was 7, he discovered Michael Jackson and decided that he wanted to be a dancer. By age 11, he started listening to bands like Led Zeppelin and Queen. He even began imitating Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury in front of the mirror. Spiller started playing in bands and singing at age 16.
Spiller and Slack met in 2009, and they started writing and recording music together. The Struts released their debut studio album – Everybody Wants – in 2014. They signed a record deal in early 2015, and released their EP – Have You Heard – in the U.S. The Struts went on tour in the U.S., and quickly began selling out venues. Their single “Could Have Been Me”, began gaining popularity on the U.S. alternative rock charts.
While The Struts were growing a fan base in the U.S., they were struggling to achieve the same success in their home country. So, The Struts decided to relocate to Los Angeles in 2015. Their popularity in the U.S. really took off when they started opening for bands like The Rolling Stones, The Who and the Foo Fighters.
The Struts just released their second full-length studio album – Young & Dangerous – this past October.
The upstairs concert venue at MilkBoy Philadelphia was packed with avid fans of The Struts. Rather than coming out from the back of the room (which is what I was hoping for), the band entered from the stairs near the front and took the stage a little before 9:00 p.m.
In typical Luke Spiller fashion, he was decked out in sequins and fringe, although he joked with the crowd that there wouldn’t be any costume changes during the show, unless we wanted him to get naked right there on the stage.
The Struts put together a set that consisted mostly of their hits – a mix of both old and new. While the room was hot and crowded, that didn’t stop anyone from dancing and singing their hearts out during the show.
I was too far back to record good video and upload it to YouTube like I normally do, but here’s “Kiss This” from my FaceBook Live feed to give you a little taste of the vibe in the room.
Five songs into the set, Spiller called up one of their “super fans” (he goes by the name WAPS). Spiller introduced him and asked how many shows he had been to (an impressive 46 shows!). Evidently, it was WAPS birthday, so Spiller let him request his favorite song – “Matter of Time”. I’m not a super fan of The Struts, so I don’t know the statistics myself, but my understanding is that the song is one that they don’t play often, so it was a special treat.
WAPS is definitely a super fan, because Spiller let him sing along and the guy knew every single word. Afterwards, The Struts played WAPS their own rendition of “Happy Birthday”. What a special treat for a super fan!
In addition to their originals, The Struts played a couple of covers as well. My favorite was their cover of the classic from The Rolling Stones – “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”. Spiller has often been described as a blend of Mick Jagger and Freddie Mercury, so a cover of The Rolling Stones seemed totally appropriate.
IT’S OVER BEFORE YOU KNOW IT
The Struts played their big hit “Could Have Been Me”, which got the crowd even more into the show (if that was possible). And then suddenly, Spiller thanked everyone for coming and The Struts exited the stage.
That’s it? Only 45 minutes? Only ten songs?
I think everyone in the room was expecting The Struts to come back on stage for an encore. Instead, we had venue personnel asking us to close out our bar tabs and start making our way into the downstairs bar area.
The show was definitely too short, but that’s what you get for free, right? Too short or not, this was a special opportunity to see a great band in a setting where you normally wouldn’t see them. Priceless!
Set List (click on any link to buy the song directly on Amazon): In Love With A Camera, Body Talks, Kiss This, Put Your Money On Me, Matter of Time, Dancing In The Dark (Bruce Springsteen cover), Wicked Game (Chris Isaak cover), Jumpin’ Jack Flash (Rolling Stones cover), The Ol’ Switcheroo, Could Have Been Me
Are you a fan of The Struts? Have you seen them live? Tell us what you think! Comment below or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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