Reviewed: The Struts at the Metro

Photo by Zoe Huettl

Photo by Zoe Huettl

By Zoe Huettl

The first band to take the stage at the Metro on Wednesday night was Spirit Animal, a solid opening act that leaned heavily upon the grungy side of modern rock. They did however, demonstrate their pop-electronic sensibility with a performance of their new single, "Yeah," that proved to be enjoyable despite its departure from the classic rock-and-roll vibe that dominated the rest of the evening.  I expected The Struts to take the stage after Spirit Animal, but an unannounced second opener followed. I will admit, I wasn’t overjoyed. But once Ontario-based The Glorious Sons started playing, I changed my mind.

I hadn’t heard of The Glorious Sons before the show, but they have a formidable following in Canada. Back in 2015, they won a pair of SiriusXM Indie Awards for both Group and Artist of the Year. After their initial success, they put out “Young Beauties and Fools” which won them a Juno Award (Canadian music award). Their classic rock sound is complicated by lead-singer Brett Emmonds’ rusty, bluesy voice, which gives their songs a nuanced roughness. Standouts from their performance were “Everything Is Alright,” “Godless, Graceless and Young,” and “Mama.”

Following the two openers, The Struts burst onstage with “Put Your Hands Up,” with lead singer Luke Spiller decked out in an orange fringe jacket and matching pants. What followed was a testament to the band’s powers of entertainment. Spiller in particular was quick to involve the audience in the performance. He coordinated crowd-wide dancing, clapping, singing, and at one point had the entire crowd sit down and then (in impressive synchronicity for something that hadn’t been rehearsed) spring up together.  While this might seem a bit juvenile to the more aloof concert-goer, it brought the experience to the next level. Spiller’s energy was infectious; everyone seemed to agree that the proper response to the singer’s hyper-engaged performance style was to embrace it. As Spiller swept across the stage and directed the crowd, the energy spread throughout the whole venue. The Metro’s size, in conjunction with the united audience made for an incredibly intimate and connected concert.

The music itself was another spectacle. The band busted out jam after jam, showing off Spiller’s vocal range and the musical prowess of guitarist Adam Slack, bassist Jed Elliott, and drummer Gethin Davies. They smashed through favorites like “Kiss This,”  “Put Your Money on Me” and “Could Have Been Me.” They also teased a bit of their upcoming sophomore record with a song that maintained their classic sound. The highlight of the night for me was a cover of Springsteen’s “Dancing In the Dark,” where the Struts’ glam-rock sensibilities transformed a classic into a memorable number that still flowed with the rest of the show.

MusicSteven Norwalk