Saturday, July 23, 2022

Live Review: The Struts Set The Ritz On Fire

On 19th July, The Struts played their first Manchester gig in over three years at The Ritz... on the hottest day ever recorded in UK history.

They opened with the boisterous anthem ‘Primadonna Like Me', with singer Luke Spiller strutting around the stage, living up to the band name and engaging the audience more and more with every word he sang.

They followed with ‘Body Talks' and iconic track ‘Kiss This', which really kicked the show off in the most monumental way possible. Shortly after, Luke introduced the song 'Fire' by saying; “Do you wanna feel hotter than you have all day?? Let’s turn up the heat” and hearing the audience scream the words We're on fire, burning desire” had never felt more relevant as it did in that sweltering heat. Then Luke took the piano to play the massive anthem ‘One Night Only' which was definitely one of the highlights of the gig, that song is huge and truly felt explosive in a live setting.

They played the new track ‘Are You Falling With Me’ then mellow love song ‘Low-Key In Love’ followed by an acoustic rendition of fan favourite ‘Mary Go Round’ these three songs really slowed down the gig for a while which was nice as it gave everyone a chance to catch their breath in the mid 30 degree heat, which became an inferno towards the center of the audience.

Luke reiterated that everyone in the audience takes a break if the heat gets too much for them and mentioned the free water at the bar, stating “no one’s dying on my watch tonight!!” they followed up with ‘Put Your Money On Me’ - the crowd sang this song especially loudly, with Luke Spiller looking out into the crowd in amazement. He looked genuinely emotional when hearing the crowd scream this song, he had a look of fulfilment on his face and it was a vulnerable moment to witness, as it contrasted his usual swaggering around the stage.

They then played a mashup of six songs, introducing the mix as being “Something for the old fans” the mashup featured heartfelt track ‘Only Just A Call Away’ which got the crowd swaying. They then did a cover of Chris Isaaks’ ‘Wicked Game’ which felt really magical, it sounded sparkly and shiny yet raw and emotional at the same time; they chose the perfect song to cover and executed it exquisitely. They did an encore of two songs, ‘Strange Days’ a song which is reminiscent of the pandemic in it’s lyrics. This song was really magical to witness live, with Luke taking to the piano yet again. Finally the end of the show was nearing, as they ended their triumphant set with their classic song ‘Could Have Been Me’ which was a perfect end to the show.

The passion that the band played with was unmatched especially given how exhausting it must have been to be up on stage in such hot circumstances. Many bands would have cancelled a gig due to this heat, but The Struts were dedicated and triumphant and put on the show of their lives. I’d been waiting to see The Struts live since I was 14, and they lived up to my every expectation and more. 

Jazz Myatt

Images: Jazz Myatt 


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