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It’s obviously been Strange Days for many over the past few years, but we finally had a reprieve in the madness as The Struts finally made it back to the House of Blues in Anaheim for their much-anticipated concert.  Luke Spiller and Company crushed a 17-song set in front of thousands of rabid fans, and as a result, firmly planted a flag as one of the best live rock and roll acts on the planet today. I know that’s a bold statement, but The Struts are the real deal and deserving of that high praise (and then some) …

Opening up for The Struts on Tuesday night were two killer bands, Charming Liars and World’s First Cinema.  I’d never heard of either band up until this point and wasn’t sure what to expect with either of their live performances.  Surprisingly enough, both bands crushed their opening sets and fired up an already anxious crowd here in Anaheim.  Although uniquely different, both Charming Liars and World’s First Cinema brought their “A” game to the stage in a way that highlighted their unique sounds and abilities, leaving fans wanting more when the dust finally settled.  Check these bands out when you can, they are both well worth the price of admission!

Now on to the main attraction, The Struts.  Fronted by Luke Spiller, this high flying glam-rock throwback from Derbyshire was just what the Doctor ordered on a crisp Tuesday evening here in Southern California.  Accompanying Luke on stage was Adam Slack on Guitar, Jed Elliott on Bass, and Gethin Davies on the Drums.  Together, these four cats put on a whale of a show in front of a nearly packed house at the Anaheim House of Blues.  It was nonstop energy from start to finish, and that statement alone doesn’t begin to give their live performance the justice it actually deserves. It was truly fabulous on so many levels.

Kicking off their performance with “Primadonna Like Me”.  Spiller immediately went into hyperdrive, bouncing all over the stage like it was a pinball machine packed with quarters.  As a frontman, this guy is tops in class and his stage presence reminds me of a young Mick Jagger and Steven Tyler all rolled into one.  They followed up the opener with “Body Talks” which highlighted Adam’s incredible guitar skills and Jed’s chunky/funky basslines.  And let’s not forget Gethin buried beneath his signature drum kit.  Good Lord, this guy is talented, as he so soulfully demonstrated during one of my favorites of the evening, “One Night Only”. 

Over the hour and 20-minute show, The Struts packed in 17 amazing songs into one memorable performance.  Fans from all over Southern California finally got a chance to smile, sing, and dance the night away to a band that most certainly is in a continued ascent towards greatness.  And from the fanatical reaction to their final encore of the evening (which included “Strange Days” and “Could Have Been Me”), you’d be hard-pressed to think that Luke, Adam, Jed, and Gethin were going anywhere other than up!

Matthew Belter

Executive Editor - Long Beach

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