The Struts-The Riviera Theater, Chicago, IL

The Struts – Performance Review

The Riviera Theater, Chicago, IL

June 23,2023

Photos & review by Roman Sobus

On a warm, muggy summer evening where it seemed that every major venue in town had something going on, fans jammed the iconic Riviera Theater to near capacity to see the Struts. The Struts have a solid fan base in this town and it was no surprise that the line for entry stretched around the corner an hour before the doors opened!

Opening the evening were Detroit rockers Mac Saturn. These guys have a definite 70s vibe and did a great job getting the crowd ready for what was to come. They are a high energy band with lead singer Carson Macc seldom standing still, engaging the crowd constantly. Guitarists Mike Moody and Nick Barone compliment each other, interacting throughout the eight song set. Drummer Angelo Coppola, bassist Jive Moses and Evan Mercer (keys) round out the band. They are young, motivated and talented. Definitely a band to watch!

You could feel the electricity as the lights dimmed creating an eerie setting as the band entered the darkened smoke filled stage. Last to enter is frontman Luke Spiller, and after greeting the cheering crowd the band dove right into “Dirty Sexy Money”. Followed by “Body Talks” and “Fallin’ With Me” in quick Succession.  The crowd jumped up and down, pumping their fists as the band played “Too Good at Raisin’ Hell”.  Their set consisted of selections from their earlier releases and brand new material performed live on this tour for the first time.

Luke Spiller is a master of connecting with the crowd and holding them close. His smile and stage mannerisms reached those attending on a personal level, whether they were on the rail right in front of the stage or in the upper reaches of the balcony. Performing “All Dressed up (With Nowhere to Go)” just reinforced that sentiment.  Backing him are guitarist Adam Slack, bassist Jed Elliott and drummer Gethin Davies.

When going to see The Struts for the first time several years ago, my initial was “another Glam Rock band”, but my opinion quickly changed. Yes, they can certainly be cast as that, but they incorporate elements of Pop, and Rock and Roll into a style all their own. I’ve been a fan ever since!

Moving through their set list, “Primadonna  Like Me” had the fans singing along and dancing, arms in the air! The dancing, bouncing, singing along and arm waving continued throughout  “In Love With a Camera”, “Cool”, “Matter of Time”, “Wild Child”, “Can’t Sleep”, “Somebody New”.  Luke’s piano  performance of “Fire” was the only departure from the high energy of the evening but shifted back into high gear for the finale with  “Could Have Been Me”,

This band is one that you should add to your “must see” bucket list while you can still catch them in relatively intimate venues. Look for them when they play near you!