Thursday, March 3, 2016

The Struts at Irving Plaza

Adam Slack & Luke Spiller
Luke Spiller was raised in Bristol, England, where at the age of seven he discovered pop music through Michael Jackson's Off the Wall album and felt inspired to become a dancer. By the age of 11, however, Spiller was listening to classic rock, and he began playing in bands as a teenager. In 2009, Spiller, then living in Clevedon, met Derby-based guitarist/songwriter Adam Slack, who also had been playing in bands since his teens. Spiller moved to Derby, where he and Slack lived, wrote, and recorded together for nearly three years, forming The Struts in 2010. The band presently lives in Los Angeles, California, and consists of vocalist Spiller, guitarist Slack, bassist Jed Elliott, and drummer Gethin Davies. The Struts will reissue the debut album, Everybody Wants, on March 4, 2016, adding five songs not included on the original UK release in 2014.

The photo-ready hair, mascara and clothing will make the Struts a favorite pin-up image in teen circles, much like Black Veiled Brides. Indeed, the audience at Irving Plaza tonight was young, but the Struts performed high energy rock and roll that knew no age limitations. The songs emphasized Spiller's well-studied Freddie Mercury, as Spiller belted out a crisp, polished range beyond the capabilities of most rock singers. Meanwhile, the band rocked with full throttle guitar riffs and hard rocking rhythms. The songs were crafted as stadium-ready anthems, building crescendos with rallying chorus harmonies. The set included all but one song from the debut album, including live premieres of "The Ol' Switcheroo",  "Mary Go Round" and "Young Stars." Two surprises were a cover of David Bowie's "Rebel Rebel" and an acoustic version of "Black Swan." The Struts closed with "Where Did She Go?," complete with a massive amount of confetti shot from canons. Teenagers will make this glam band huge, but older rock fans also might be impressed with the Struts' commitment to a classic sound.

Visit the Struts at www.thestruts.com.