The Struts @ Mtelus – 19th September 2019

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The Struts in Montreal

We all had that one friend when we were younger. The one that our parents hated. The one who convinced us to do naughty things that got us into trouble.  If you didn’t have that friend…then maybe it was you.  

So last Thursday night I got to finally witness The Struts perform live at the MTelus.  As soon as I heard that mischievous growl;

 “Hey you! Don’t you know who I think I am?”

I knew it was going to be a wild ride.

Frontman and human firecracker, Luke Spiller crashed the stage like he was ejected from a cannon. Decked out in a gold lamé top and a tight black and gold leather suit with fringes that sprung as he danced, The Struts wasted no time getting shit started.  

Opening their set with “Prima-donna Like Me”, from their second album “Young And Dangerous” (released in October 2018) they turned the MTelus into a hot and steamy dance club.

They continued with “Body Talks” from the same album and then “Kiss This” from their first (Everybody Wants 2014).  Since they’ve only released two albums, I thought I guess it’s all downhill from here… But I was wrong.

Like a crazy game of Simon says, Luke had us waving our hands up, jumping up and down and repeating whatever sounds and words that he demanded.  Reminiscent of Freddie Mercury’s famous “day-o” improvisations at Wembley Stadium. It’s no wonder he’s been rightfully described by UK photographer Roger Goodgroves as “the musical love child of Freddie Mercury and Mick Jagger.”

(His clothes were actually designed for him by Zandra Rhodes, who formerly dressed Freddie Mercury. Their current fashion designer is Australian Ray Brown who has dressed musical icons from Cher to Ozzy Osbourne)

“ I think that you have to be a certain breed to be the kind of frontman and I aspire to be.”          Luke Spiller/ET Canada interview 

They only slowed things down a little for “One Night Only”, a love ballad where Luke sat at the piano.  Then they continued with their high energy set. A bluesy guitar solo from Adam Slack gave Luke some much needed time to change out of his sweaty clothes.   

Reappearing like a glam rock samurai in a golden kimono with long flowing sleeves, Luke addressed the crowd with some cheeky banter.  Rolling his kohl-lined eyes, he expressed his annoyance with management and record labels who advised him to “tone it down a bit.” Then began the ballsy “I Do It so Well”,   prancing across the stage like a Victoria’s Secret model.

“I’ve been talking shit almost every single day
Walking down the streets of sunny LA
Watch me now, walk, talk, movin’ ’round the corner, “Hello”
I work harder than a sauna”

After all, their new album is entitled Young And Dangerous. What they lack in material, they make up for in stage presence and enthusiasm. They’re all fantastic musicians and they look like they are having a hell of a good time on stage.  You can’t fake that. You can wear all the glitter in the world and still not bring an audience to a frenzy.

Warning the crowd that they had better get up and shake their asses, they did a groovy Van Halenesque “Dancing In The Streets.” I was glad to be on the balcony as confetti fell from ceiling like a crazy New Year’s Eve party that you’ll never fully remember.

As the opening act for The Stones in  Italy and The Who in Quebec City in 2017, The Struts have proven that they can handle crowds of 80,000.  This show was originally scheduled for the Corona Theatre but then moved to MTELUS. I’m sure the next time they come back to Montreal it will be in an even larger venue. One that can contain the passionate roar of their anthem-like hits. They closed the show with “Could Have Been Me” which everyone knew all the lyrics to and everyone sang out loud as it should be done.

“I wanna taste love and pain
Wanna feel pride and shame
I don’t wanna take my time
Don’t wanna waste one line
I wanna live better days
Never look back and say
Could have been me
It could have been me”

Walking back to my car after the show, I couldn’t help smirking to myself thinking my parents would have hated The Struts.

Set List 

  • 1. Primadonna Like Me
  • 2. Body Talks
  • 3. Kiss This
  • 4. In Love With a Camera
  • 5. Fire (Part 1)
  • 6. One Night Only
  • 7. Dirty Sexy Money
  • 8.  The Ol’ Switcheroo / Black Swan / Roll Up / Young Stars Medley 
  • 9. Guitar Solo
  • 10. I Do It So Well
  • 11. Mary Go Round
  • 12. Dancing in the Street
  • 13. Put Your Money on Me
  • 14. Where Did She Go

Encore:

  • 15. Somebody New
  • 16. Ashes 
  • 17. Could Have Been Me

Review – Annette Aghazarian 
Photos – Pedro Manu Riot

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