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  • Writer's pictureJanelle Rominski

THE STRUTS & GRETA VAN FLEET @ Austin’s Fuel Room – Libertyville, IL

British rock band, The Struts, flew across the pond and put on one hell of a show at Austin’s Fuel Room in the northern Chicago suburb of Libertyville, Illinois on Friday. This was the first date as they kicked off their May 2017 US Tour, along with special guests, Greta Van Fleet. It was also a sold out show!

Greta Van Fleet is a quartet of young gentlemen, from Frakenmuth, Michigan. The band formed in 2012 and consists of 20 year-old twin brothers Josh (vocals) and Jake Kiszka (guitar), their 17 year-old younger brother, Sam (bass), and 17 year-old family friend Danny Wagner (drums).

I heard Greta Van Fleet for the first time in my car last week on SiriusXM’s Octane channel where their single, “Highway Tune” was featured. They have a great, raw rock and roll sound and it made me even more excited for their upcoming show at Austin’s.

Upon entering the stage Friday night, their presence was fresh, their style gave off a unique vibe and they started rocking right away.

Their vocalist, Josh, took time in between songs to let the crowd know exactly what song was coming up next. They performed for roughly 30-minutes and played their tunes, “Flower Power” and “Safari Song,” among others.

Greta Van Fleet is going places, both literally and figuratively. They give off a feeling of being the next Led Zeppelin or The Doors. With more honing of their showmanship and more national touring, they’ll easily conquer the masses and gain critical acclaim.

After a very quick set change, it was time for The Struts. I saw them closer to their neck of the woods for the first time at the Sweden Rock Festival in Solvesborg last June. They performed to thousands of people. It was so hard to enjoy their show from afar, so I was very much looking forward to seeing them in a more intimate venue. Let me tell you, they did not disappoint.

The Struts are the kind of band everyone needs in their life. Their music and performances are a natural and safe antidepressant. You can’t help but to feel good when you listen to them. So, if you’re having a bad day, crank them up on your stereo and feel your worries float away. If they come to a city near you, check them out for your dose of musical prescription happiness. Warning, The Struts are addicting.

Lead vocalist, Luke Spiller, thanked the crowd for coming out to their show. He noted they have only been touring the States for two years, but didn’t expect it to sell out.

He was a phenomenal entertainer, very cordial with the audience and had the same massive energy from the very beginning to the absolute end. He is the kind of singer that the majority of lead vocalists out there should model their performances after.

Throughout The Struts’ 13-song set, guitarist Adam Slack and bassist, Jed Elliott pressed their fingers on their fret boards and plucked those strings with perfection. Drummer, Gethin Davies exuded extreme intensity behind his kit and had super stamina.

Spiller went through three outfit changes during his show. He donned a black and gold sequinned two piece for the first half of the set. He momentarily exited the stage and then came back out wearing a black, red and white cloth shirt for the second half. During the encore, he entered the stage with a circus ringleader sparkly top hat and jacket with a black shirt and black and white striped pants.

At the beginning of the encore, Davies stood on top of his drum kit and jumped down, immediately following was an incredible drum solo, followed by a wicked bass solo from Elliott and then Slack came on to show his guitar playing skills in a trio of impeccable musicianship.

Vocalist Spiller, had the crowd wrapped around his finger. During the encore he asked the entire audience to” step back and get down on the ground with me.” Everyone obliged. The crowd kneeled and that was quite a sight to see. In the hundreds of shows I’ve attended, I have never seen the crowd follow directions so well and have never seen an entire venue with people on the floor waiting in anticipation of what Spiller had to say next, so when he told them to jump, they all jumped in unison and rocked out until the end.

Once the final song of the encore concluded, Spiller finalized the show by saying, “ladies and gentlemen, remember The Struts.” He dropped his top hat on the floor and the band exited the stage.

Do yourself a favor, see The Struts now in the States while they’re playing club shows to be up close to them and feel their vivaciousness. I have a feeling they’ll be selling out arenas in the near future and you may have to experience their shows from the nosebleed seats.

The Struts’ Set List:

Put Your Hands Up Times Are Changing One Night Only The Ol’ Switcheroo Kiss This Mary Go Round I Just Know/Roll Up Dirty Sexy Money Let’s Make This Happen Put Your Money On Me Only Just A Call Away Could Have Been Me Where Did She Go?

Upcoming Tour Dates:

MAY 15 @ Deluxe At Old National Centre – Indianapolis, IN MAY 16 @ The Machine Shop – Flint, MI MAY 18 @ Rapids Theatre – Niagara Falls, NY MAY 19 @ Rams Head Live – Baltimore, MD MAY 20 @ BB&T Pavilion – Camden, NJ MAY 21 @ Bottle & Cork – Dewey, DE


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