The Struts ‘Roll Up’ to Cleveland

(Photos and Review by Tess Casto)

On any ole Sunday, most people are at rest with their family at home. That was not the case for many patrons at The House of Blues in Cleveland this past Sunday night. Many people dwelled to the concert venue in support of seeing the up and coming band known as “The Struts”. 

The Struts are a band that comes from the UK. For the last four years, they have been touring, primarily here in the USA, nonstop. If you were to ask any of the fans how they discovered this powerhouse of a band, you would get many different stories. Some have seen them open up for “The Foo Fighters” back last year. Some have been long-time fans since the beginning. The diversity amongst the age of the audience was also a notable sight. As someone who is only 23, I’m at an in-between. I saw kids who were barely ten coming with their parents. I saw those who were in their fifties singing all the words to the songs. To know that music breaches and touches all generations, was a fantastic sight to see. Especially when you overlooked the venue.

To begin the night and set the mood for what was to follow, opened up with JJ Wilde. This young singer-songwriter is flourishing with energy and spirit. I had the pleasure of seeing her open for The Struts when they came to Pittsburgh this following July. At the time I knew not much about her genre and music. I can reassure you though, she is someone to look out for! Her songs are packed with power and meaning. Two songs out of a hand full that she performed were “State of Mind” and “The Rush”. “State of Mind” being one of my favorites, I could not help but sing along. She delivers raw sentiment behind every word she sang. 

Once when JJ had wrapped up her set, the concert-goers eagerly awaited the main act. Seeing the crew set up the boys stage made all of us antsy with excitement. One when it hit around 9:20 pm, the lights went down. Everyone roared with delight. Adam, Jed, and Geth came on stage taking their positions. Last but not certainly least, the lead man himself “strutted” his way on stage, Mr. Luke Spiller. They led off with “Primadonna like Me”, a fantastic intro for what was to come for the next hour and a half. The slue of songs for the setlist was notably amazing. The variety offered to new and old fans is surely to please most, if not, almost all. Playing a mix of old and new material flowed seamlessly. Halfway through the night, they did a medley compromised of songs from their first album, those songs being, “The Ol’ Switcheroo”, “Black Swan”, “Roll Up,” and “Young Stars”.

The rest of the night went by in the blink of an eye. When you know the band, it’s history, their songs, their presence, and so much more, such a situation always seems to happen. The show felt a wildfire that didn’t want to be repressed. Every single person in that venue relished in the energy radiated by the boys. The undeniable rare ubiquity is astonishing. 

The Struts wrapped up with an encore consisting of “Ashes” and “Could Have Been Me”. I must add a personal touch from a fan insight. When CHBM came on, I sang my heart out. CHBM is a track I heavily relate to. The one lyric (which I have tattooed on me in Luke’s handwriting) that I make sure to give my all to is, “Don’t want to live as an unsung melody”. To the unseeing person, it’s just another lyric in another song. Not for some of us though. I’ve come to know so many Strutters who live by that song as a mantra. It’s the perfect way to send off the audience into a positive and upbeat mindset when the show is done. It did just that.

The Struts are the future of rock and roll. They are the future of a generation that laid down what was set many generations ago. Following in the footsteps of their predecessors while paving a new path of music and individuality. To me, that is exactly what The Struts are doing, and they’re “doing it so well”.