With Special Guest Dorothy
Sat, August 6
Doors: 8:00 pm9:30 Club
The Struts - (Set time: 10:00 PM)
Luke Spiller (vocals) - Adam Slack (guitar) - Jed Elliott (bass) - Gethin Davies (drums)
In just a few years, The Struts have found themselves massively embraced by some of the greatest icons in rock-and-roll history. Along with opening for The Rolling Stones, The Who, and Guns N’ Roses, the U.K.-bred four-piece was hand-picked by Mötley Crüe to serve as the supporting act for their last-ever performances, while Dave Grohl praised them as the best band to ever open for Foo Fighters. After making their full-length debut with 2016’s Everybody Wants, The Struts now return with YOUNG&DANGEROUS — a sophomore album that cements their status as one of the most unstoppably passionate and endlessly thrilling bands making rock music today.
On YOUNG&DANGEROUS, The Struts let loose with the sing-along-ready and riff-heavy sound they’ve brought to stadiums and arenas all around the world. Working with producers like Butch Walker (Weezer, Panic! At the Disco) and Sam Hollander (Fitz and the Tantrums, Neon Trees), the band adorns that sound with deeper grooves and more inventive textures, dreaming up a majestic glam-rock revamp that’s unabashedly fun but full of pure heart.
The lead single from YOUNG&DANGEROUS, “Body Talks” brings that dynamic to a blues-spiked track capturing what Spiller calls “that moment when you mosey on over to someone on the dancefloor, and the music’s blaring so loud you can’t even talk to each other.” In creating an alternate version of “Body Talks,” The Struts amped up the song’s seductive power by enlisting Kesha to lend her soulful growl to a fiery duet with Spiller. The Struts also infuse some social commentary into YOUNG&DANGEROUS sending up selfie culture on the falsetto-laced epic “In Love With A Camera,” taking on trolls with the swampy and smoldering “Bulletproof Baby,” and pondering identity with the sweetly melodic “Who Am I.” And for the soaring and glorious “Primadonna Like Me,” The Struts brilliantly turn the lens on themselves. “It was written about my stage character, my alter ego,’” notes Spiller. “It’s this completely deluded guy running around his small town, all dressed to the nines—a full-on 21st century dandy going around saying, ‘Don’t you know who I think I am?’”
Formed in Derby, England, in 2012, The Struts almost instantly drew a major following with their outrageous live show, and later made their debut with Have You Heard (a 2015 EP whose lead single “Could Have Been Me” hit #1 on Spotify’s viral chart). Before they’d even put out their first album, the band opened for The Rolling Stones before a crowd of 80,000 in Paris and toured the U.S. on a string of sold-out shows. Known for his lovably swaggering stage presence—the very factor that gave The Struts their name—Spiller soon inspired legendary designers like former Queen costumer Zandra Rhodes to custom-create his lavish and glittering onstage attire. As the frontman points out, that heightened element of spectacle is all a part of the band’s mission of making an unforgettable impact on the crowd. “We believe in giving our absolute all every night, because that’s what our fans deserve,” he says. “The goal is always to get everyone dancing and screaming and shouting, and to make sure they leave dripping in sweat with huge smiles on their faces.”
With the release of YOUNG&DANGEROUS, The Struts have undoubtedly met another of their main ambitions as a band. “One of the things we most want to do with our music is inspire young people to pick up a guitar again,” says Spiller. “We live in a time that’s very much dominated by hip-hop and dance music, and that’s a great thing, but we want to give the world a big reminder that there’s something else going on out there. This album is our way of saying, ‘If you feel a little out of place, there’s always an electric guitar—and just look at what you can do with it.’”
With Special Guest Dorothy - (Set time: 9:00 PM)
“This guy was telling me all this stuff that no one else could possibly know,” says Dorothy Martin, the singer and namesake of Los Angeles rock quartet Dorothy. “The theme from The Twilight Zone was playing in my head. It was a ritual cleaning, where this medicine man from Guadalajara spit all over me and blew smoke in my face. It was crazy. Then, we went and climbed a pyramid. When we got to the top there were all these butterflies everywhere. It felt like a dream. But, the weirdest part is that I had written the song before this happened.” As Dorothy Martin talks about her favorite song (“Medicine Man”) from her band’sforthcoming debut on Jay-Z’s Roc Nation label, you begin to realize the precise reason why her music is so bewitching.
No, it’s not because she might be more of a shaman than that mystic she
met in Mexico City. It’s because despite drawing from a familiar musical tradition—they are a rock band after all—Dorothy’s music is rendered anew by this front-woman’s singular vision. All of it is channeled through her. There is no one quite like her. So it follows, there has been nothing quite like this band before now.
“We're not trying to fit into a box. We're not trying to write songs we think should be on the radio,” Martin says. “We just want to write good music. For me, the challenge is to be as honest as possible. I cannot live my life as a lie, at all. Every day, I wake up and think, 'What can I learn today and how can I give something back?' This is not selfishly motivated. The picture is bigger than me. It has nothing to do with me. It has to do with everybody. How is this going to make me better, other people better, the world better? If you don't have that, then why even do it?”
Even her contradictions make sense. She is filled with humility, yet wants to change the world. She has managed to tame any trace of an ego, yet knows instinctively she has something. In conversation, she pauses thoughtfully and expresses gratitude. On stage, she’s intimidating and maybe a little scary, but the possibility of danger that lurks inside of her music is what makes you move a little closer. It’s curiosity. You can’t take your eyes off her. But, she is the first to remind you that Dorothy might be her name, but Dorothy is a band. It is both her and not her.
“It’s like having three older brothers,” she says. “I had to magically bump into these people and it's almost like it was predetermined, or predestined. It really feels that way.”
815 V St. NW
Washington, DC, 20001
815 V St. NW
Washington, DC, 20001