Review & Photographs by Diane Fleischman

Fans lined the spiral staircase from the ground floor straight up to the third floor of the Musikfest Café for The Struts concert Tuesday night. The show sold out fast, equally matched with this band’s talent and popularity.  

The Struts hail from the U.K., a four piece band consisting of Gethin Davies on drums, Adam Slack on guitar, Jed Elliott on bass, and front man, Luke Spiller, who singlehandedly may have brought back glam fashion.  Their music has a strong metal base, but often very melodic, with many punches of pop. 

As the show began, each band member greeted the crowd, and started to play.  This provided the grand introduction for Spiller to take the stage and meet his adoring Bethlehem fans. The anxious crowd applauded and screamed which brought the excitement to a fever pitch.   They opened with “Put Your Hands Up” with bass and drum lines that punched hard enough the entire room shook, and as the song title indicated, the audience clapped and waved with their hands high in the air. 

The energy continued to build as “Body Talks” followed, Spiller covered the entire stage with his larger than life high energy dancing.  It has been said that Spiller carries a stage presence similar to Mick Jagger and Freddie Mercury, and I’d have to agree.  Spiller’s presence is over the top, dance and  theatrical movements that he pulls off with ease.  His vocals are versatile and full, and I noticed he even rolls his “R”s in a most regal way. 

The Struts also slid into the set list some new songs, from their long awaited second album, like  “Fire (Part 1)” and “Primadonna Like Me”, a slightly cheeky fun song full of pop pizzazz.  Spiller removed his gold-fringed jacket, as her performed in a short sleeve sequined shirt.  

The crowd went crazy and clapped along during “Kiss This”, an early favorite of the night, also it seemed the most phone-recorded song.  “Dirty Sexy Money” followed, then “Let’s Make This Happen Tonight”, which featured a long vocal solo between Spiller and the crowd, very similar to what you might expect at a Queen concert. Spiller controlled the crowd, when he said “Jump”, the crowd eagerly followed his command. 

With true British charm, Spiller explained the history of the band. He explained that the band was not well received in England, and that once they came to the States, their music took off.  The Struts have been touring as the opening band for The Foo Fighters for the past nine months, and when lead singer of the Foo Fighters, Dave Grohl, was interviewed after the Wembley concert, he proclaimed that The Struts are the best opening band.  Spiller admitted his phone started ringing after that statement.  “We absolutely love them.  I can’t tell you everything the band has done for us.”  He humbly thanked the audience, “We will always be your band.” 

They covered Bruce Springsteen’s classic hit, “Dancing in the Dark”, punched up with fast beats, and similar to Springsteen’s video of the song, a lucky fan was pulled onstage to sing and dance with Spiller.  The set closed with “Put Your Money on Me.”

The crowd howled and chanted which brought The Struts back out for an encore of “Could Have Been Me”, and “Where Did She Go”. Spiller had changed into a full sequined suit, jacket with long tails, and an oversized top hat. 

One thing is for certain at a Struts concert, no one sits on the sidelines.  This is a full on audience participation event, whether one is clapping, singing along, jumping, or dancing, the audience becomes just as overheated and sweaty as the band at the end of the night.  The Struts possess a very large presence on stage, commanded the power of music, and in return, the audience is given a completely satisfying performance experience.  Catch The Struts as their tour continues through September.