By Anita Stewart, Managing Editor and Chyrisse Tabone, Editor and Photographer
Venue: Jannus Live
Date of Show: August 31, 2021
One of Rock at Night’s favorite bands, The Struts played a rousing set of rock and roll music under the stars on a steaming hot night in downtown St. Petersburg at one of the area’s best venues. This was the first date of their “Strange Days Are Over” Tour and it was so hot–well just how hot was it? It was so hot that at one point, Luke Spiller, the band’s engaging front man and vocalist dropped to the floor of the stage to put his face right next to the blowing fan and said he was never leaving!
Due to the venue not being at full capacity due to Covid, Jannus Live was crowded, but not packed and the beer flowed freely while the audience was burning up and trying to stay cool. With all of that said, people were pushed up against the barricades ready to see their favorite band! We always thought these audiences for The Struts would be mostly women, but last night, the crowd looked evenly divided, with men and women rocking out (lots of kids too) and everyone singing along! So this band has their enthusiastic man-fans, as well! Rock At Night has been reviewing The Struts’s live performances in the US and UK since 2016. The last time we covered their appearance was in Tampa back in 2018 (the Orpheum in Ybor City) and you can check out that story HERE.
Starbenders opened this show and they played a rousing set! This is a glam rock band that hails from Atlanta, and has been around since 2014. They already have two studio LPs and three EPs along with lots of singles under their belts already. Kimi Shelter is the lead guitarist and vocalist with a Joan Jett kind of vibe, tough and gritty. Loved her stage presence! The rest of the band is her old friend, Aaron Lecesne on bass and the newer additions of Kriss Tokaji on guitar and Emily Moon on the drums.
The Struts took the stage at a little after 9PM and the audience applause was deafening! We struck up a conversation with two women standing in front of us. The mother had paid for her daughter to go to the Meet & Greet before the show–it was a gift for her 15th birthday. Both of them are huge fans of the band and they got to hang-out and talk with them–it was a birthday the young lady will remember forever!
All four of the band members are super talented and Luke Spiller is the perfect front man–think Freddie Mercury and Tim Curry‘s love child! Theatrical and an expert in audience engagement and call and response, he has his fans eating out of his hand in moments! Adam Slack, the lead guitarist is a dreamboat, super-great on the solos, Jed Elliott, the handsome, bouncy bass player and Gethin Davies on the drums providing the steady back-beat to the very sing-able, dance-able, rock songs! And every song was a stand out during this show. The band ran through the highlights from their three studio albums: “Everybody Wants,” “Young and Dangerous” and the newest “Strange Days.” In particular, I loved the songs “Wild Child,” “Dirty Sexy Money,” “Kiss This;” and OH, who am I kidding? I loved ALL of them! The song “Strange Days” was especially poignant with the state of the world we are in right now. It was half of the encore, the other song was “It Could Have Been Me.” A fantastic show!
Be sure to catch this band while they are out on tour here in the US and they are going everywhere! You can see the tour info and all things Struts-related right HERE. If you are not a fan yet, just see them live one time. That will convert you!
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