In a night that will undoubtedly go down in Motor City’s rock ‘n’ roll history, the British sensation The Struts launched their highly anticipated “Remember the Name” tour at the renowned Fillmore venue, joining forces with local heroes Mac Saturn. The result was an impeccable fusion of showmanship and musical prowess, leaving the audience awe-struck and ignited by the electrifying performances.
The Struts, hailed as one of Britain’s most promising rock bands, exuded unabashed rock ‘n’ roll spirit with a touch of undeniable flair. Led by the captivating frontman, Luke Spiller, the band mesmerized the crowd with their infectious energy and infectious tunes. Mac Saturn, the talented six-piece ensemble from Detroit, set the stage ablaze with their relentless hustle and a musical style that blended Motown, funk, and pop hooks into a swaggering rock ‘n’ roll experience.
The Fillmore, known for hosting iconic acts throughout the years, pulsated with anticipation as both ensembles took the stage. The intensity and passion with which they performed seemed to trigger an imminent explosion, causing the venue to reverberate with warning bells, amplifying the anticipation. Positioned eagerly at the front were the devoted fans, affectionately known as the Barricade Babes, ready to immerse themselves in a night they would forever cherish.
With The Struts on a 25-date tour called “Remember the Name…” across the US, it was an honor for them to kick things off in Detroit at The Fillmore. I’ve been fortunate enough to witness their ascent since their initial US tour supporting “Everybody Wants” back in 2017, alongside Greta Van Fleet at The Machine Shop in Flint.
Their progression has been consistent and globally acknowledged. With three albums out and a new single due for release on June 30th titled “Too Good at Raising Hell,” they were raring to go. Their latest release, “EP Unplugged at Eastwest,” came out in February this year, featuring two original acoustic tunes and covers of Michael Jackson’s “Stranger in Moscow” and Oasis’ “Supersonic.”
With the stage set and lights in place, the lads from Derby were ready to illuminate the venue. Their stage setup was minimal, as most of the glitz came from the band itself, primarily Luke Spiller. As the lights dimmed, Geth Davies ascended the drum riser, unveiling The Struts’ sign to an uproar from the crowd. Joined by Jed Elliott on bass and Adam Slack on guitar, they initiated the set, followed by a beaming Luke Spiller. Dressed in a gleaming silver jacket and a dazzling sequined shirt, he swept across the stage in an ethereal fashion.
Their performance included a solid 16 tracks from all their albums, starting with “Dirty Sexy Money” from “Everybody Wants.” The atmosphere was electrifying, with everyone in sync. From their second album “Young and Dangerous,” they played their lead single “Body Talks,” which didn’t hold back. I was eager to hear “Fallin with Me” from their upcoming album, which they also performed acoustically on their latest EP. That night, it was electric and unrestrained.
As for new releases, they performed “Too Good at Raising Hell,” which would be available on all platforms on June 30th. Luke engaged the audience, encouraging them to join in the singing and clapping. The track had a profound and gritty feel, with Adam delivering an amazing solo. I was eagerly awaiting the studio version. From that point on, the crowd was in the palm of their hands. Classics like “Kiss This” had the audience singing along and losing themselves. “Primadonna Like Me” evoked a fusion of Stones, Bowie, and Primal Scream, with a Struts twist. They boasted a repertoire of outstanding anthems.
Luke Spiller, a quintessential old-school frontman, exuded the charisma of Mick Jagger and the style and soul of Freddie Mercury. He captivated the audience like no other. Before their next song, he expressed his love for starting the tour in Detroit. Stuck in LA during COVID, they recorded their third album aptly titled “Strange Days” in Hollywood. The next track, “All Dressed Up (With Nowhere to Go),” was from that album. It was a fitting soundtrack to everyone getting dressed up to rock the Fillmore. They also performed “One Night Only,” a one-off single from 2017 that seemed to have been left out from their first album. Luke played a stripped-down version on the piano.
He continued on the piano with a subdued version of “Fire (Part 1).” When the band rejoined him, they performed a medley of “In Love with a Camera / Cool / Matter of Time / Wild Child / Can’t Sleep / and Somebody New.” The following track, “Pretty Vicious,” seemed destined to be their next big hit, with its seductive lyrics and melody. The acoustic rendition on their EP was also impressive. Concluding their set were classics like “Black Swan” and “Kiss This,” which had the crowd going wild and singing along. The entire audience joined in the final verse of “Kiss This.”
They wrapped up the set with the immensely popular “Put Your Money on Me,” which transformed the venue into a dance floor. Everyone was dancing, shaking, and dripping with sweat, creating a grand celebration. They could have ended there, but they returned for an encore, performing “Mary Go Round” and closing with their debut hit “Could Have Been Me.” It was an ideal ending to a spectacular show by two phenomenal bands. Both these bands, thirsty for success, are on the rise. It has been a delight to watch them grow.
The evening began with Mac Saturn, a 6-member ensemble from Detroit, including vocalist Carson Macc, childhood chum Nick Barone on rhythm guitar, Mike Moody on lead, Jive Moses on bass, Evan Mercer on the piano, and Mr. Angelo Coppola providing the soulful rhythm. These lads had been tirelessly hustling over the past year, opening for Dirty Honey across the US and Canada, releasing their debut EP “Until the Money Runs Out,” and embarking on their first headlining tour, selling out iconic venues like The Troubadour in West Hollywood.
During breaks from touring, they penned new songs at Detroit’s Rustbelt Studios, where their mates from Greta Van Fleet recorded their debut album. With a wealth of songs ready to go, they were ready to make their mark on the global stage. Their musical style, while fundamentally rock ‘n’ roll, was an amalgamation of Motown, funk, and pop hooks, infused with a swagger that would impress Keith Richards and Mick Jagger. Their music exuded soul, tenacity, and purpose. The vibe they emanated was vintage, fun, approachable, and undeniably authentic.
They kicked off their 8-song lineup with the crowd-favorite, “Mint Julep.” This rhythmic anthem packed a punch with great synth, a sprinkle of disco, and a dash of tambourine. The audience required no warming up; they were raring to go. The following song, “Persian Rugs,” a personal favorite with its distinctive Stones-like aura, elevated the energy. “Paradiso” transported the sensation of ordering a drink at a poolside bar in paradise. Although the new track “Good to You” may not have been well-known to the crowd, they were thoroughly engaged. Then, Mike Moody enchanted us with a mellifluous guitar waltz, gradually introducing the primary riff for “Ain’t Like You.” It felt as though everyone was in chorus, making the room appear grander—a truly exhilarating sensation.
Next up was a tribute to their Detroit roots, the leading hit single from their EP “Until the Money Runs Out” – “Mr. Cadillac.” Jive introduced a robust groove as the rest of the band jumped in, engaging in call-and-response with the audience, with each member enjoying their moment in the spotlight. This band was fully equipped to open the show. With two songs remaining, they coaxed us into whipping out our phones for the sensual “Get on the Phone.”
The final number was a powerful piece called “Plain Clothes Gentleman.” It opened with a serene introduction by Evan, followed by Carson dispensing his wisdom, and the audience gently joining in. Angelo cued everyone in, and the song exploded in a fashion reminiscent of vintage live Joe Cocker performances—raw, energetic, and in the moment. Mike delivered a breathtaking solo, elevating the experience. The camaraderie of the band on stage was palpable, depicting a brotherhood ready to battle for one another. As they bid adieu, the band sprang back into action, providing another astonishing solo by Mike, a fantastic conclusion to an impressive set. Being their hometown, they certainly set off The Struts’ tour with a bang.
The Struts with Mac Saturn
June 16, 2023
All photos by Maximus Reid
The Struts Setlist:
- Dirty Sexy Money
- Body Talks
- Fallin’ With Me
- Too Good at Raising Hell
- Kiss This
- Primadonna Like Me
- All Dressed Up (With Nowhere to Go)
- One Night Only
- Fire (Part 1)
- In Love With a Camera / Cool / Matter of Time / Wild Child / Can’t Sleep / Somebody New
- Where Did She Go
- Pretty Vicious
- Mary Go Round
- Black Swan
- Put Your Money on Me
- Could Have Been Me