The Struts, Um, Strut Into House of Blues
September 17th, 2019
Don't tell me that new music is dead.
I've seen two separate instances this week alone that would dispel the myth that people, especially those over thirty, don't embrace "new" bands and their output. The Struts, founded in 2012 in England, played the House of Blues on Sunday night to a sold-out crowd and, judging upon the vibe and the amount of hips and lips moving in synchronicity with frontman Luke Spiller's vocals, I think it's safe to say that crowds are soaking up new tunes like a sponge in a Sahara rainstorm.
Granted, Spiller is this generation's version of Freddie Mercury. Down to the glam rock outfits, the ballet he performs onstage, and his ability to hold an audience in the palm of his hand, he neatly fills the vacuum that Freddie left when he passed away almost thirty years ago. And, having said that, as a photographer, it's hard to train your camera on other members of the band when Spiller is in the middle of it; his apoplectic throes train all eyes on him and it's difficult not to stare. The camera, without a doubt, loves him.
But, having said that, the band's swagger and the way they bounce through a tune leaves the audience wanting more, even after the HOB cleanup crew has swept up all the plastic cups and the venue's lights have been shut off.
The foursome, consisting of Spiller, guitarist Adam Slack, bass player Jed Elliott, and Gethin Davies on the skins, came together rather recently and have released a total of five records: Two full-length drops and three EPs since their inception. Touring in support of their 2018 release Young and Dangerous, the outfit offered six cuts from that album on Sunday's stage.
Once again, with song titles like concert opener "Primadonna Like Me" and late-set showstopper "Put Your Money On Me," comparisons to Queen are inevitable. However, like most post-modern parallels of our culture, The Struts transcend and, dare I say, even improve upon the subject material to which they're being compared.
Playing for almost two hours, the outfit offered seventeen tunes, culminating in a three-song encore that had the entire crowd bouncing off the walls with "Could Have Been Me," before shutting it down for the night for good.
Canadian ingenue JJ Wilde opened with a forty-five minute set of Indie Rock sounds. Her major label debut EP Wilde Eyes Steady Hands was released earlier this year.
Photos and Review by Brian M. Lumley