CONCERT REVIEW: The Struts have the charisma ‘Everybody Wants’ in intimate Wilkes-Barre show
It’s not often concert-goers in Northeastern Pennsylvania get to see an up-and-coming new band on its first tour of the United States, but that’s exactly what we got when The Struts played the Chandelier Lobby of the F.M. Kirby Center on Sunday, Nov. 29.
The foursome, originally from Derbyshire, England and now based out of Los Angeles, has already taken Europe by storm with its electrifying live shows, including a gig in front of 80,000 in Paris opening for The Rolling Stones.
With the recent release of its debut American EP “Have You Heard,” The Struts – charismatic lead singer Luke Spiller, guitarist Adam Slack, bassist Jed Elliott, and drummer Gethin Davies – are bringing their sound influenced by Queen, the Stones, Oasis, and T. Rex to the masses in this country.
The Struts kicked off the Wilkes-Barre show with “Roll Up,” a tune from the band’s 2014 U.K. album “Everybody Wants,” then followed with “Could Have Been Me,” the lead single from the American EP that has racked up more than six million plays on Spotify.
Right from the get-go, it was evident that Spiller is a formidable frontman with an amazing vocal range, at times reminiscent of one of his heroes, Freddie Mercury, but the way he overdramatically rolls his Rs in nearly every song and in his stage patter is an unnecessary gimmick that he hopefully will retire soon.
The band continued with its second U.S. single, “Kiss This,” then it was on to U.K. album tracks “She Makes Me Feel,” “Let’s Make This Happen Tonight” and “Dirty Sexy Money.”
“Did you enjoy that?” Spiller asked after the latter tune as the females in the sold-out crowd continued to scream as they had been since the opening number. “This wonderful crowd is definitely one of the highlights for sure.
“Should we do something Christmas-y? This is spur of the moment, this is magic, but we’re going to do one of the covers we already know but change the chorus to ‘Christmastime, Christmastime, Christmas, Yeah!’”
With that, The Struts then played a phenomenal version of T. Rex’s “Bang a Gong (Get It On)” with the seasonal alterations to the chorus, showing its roots in grand style.
The quartet then ended its hour-long main set with “Put Your Money on Me” and encored with “Where Did She Go,” two more standouts from the American EP.
Kudos to the people at the Kirby Center for bringing The Struts to Wilkes-Barre and giving us the opportunity to catch a band on its way up, and in the intimacy of the Chandelier Lobby no less.
If you are bummed out that you missed The Struts (and you should be), you have two more chances this month to check them out: Thursday, Dec. 17 at the TLA in Philadelphia and Thursday, March 3 (rescheduled from Dec. 16) at Irving Plaza in New York City.