The Body Talks Tour 2018
White Reaper, Spirit Animal
Mon, October 8
Doors: 7:00 pm9:30 Club
The Struts - (Set time: 9:30 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.’”
White Reaper - (Set time: 8:15 PM)
The World’s Best American Band.
The bold statement from Louisville’s White Reaper is not only the title of their new album, but also the band’s credo.
“Because we are the best,” says guitarist/vocalist Tony Esposito. “Just like Muhammad Ali was the greatest, you gotta say it out loud for people to believe it.”
And with that mentality the band hit the studio with close friend and producer Kevin Ratterman (My Morning Jacket, Young Widows) and made a good ol’ fashioned in-your-face rock ’n’ roll record.
“We didn’t make this record or start this band because we wanted to come across in a single, certain way,” says Esposito. “We just make records that we’d want to hear. We started doing this because it’s fun as hell, just as much now as it was when we were 14.”
Boasting textured melodies, layered guitars and more seasoned lyrics, The World’s Best American Band finds the quartet busting out of the basement sound established on their previous full length (2015’s White Reaper Does It Again) and setting their sights on the arena.
Garnished with glimpses of the golden age of rock and roll, TWBAB is loaded with guitars that scream and gigantic drums in lockstep rhythm, each song packing its own massive, but none the less unique, punch. Lead single “Judy French” struts like a runway model raised on Heavy Metal Parking Lot, while midway point “The Stack” pairs a classic rock shimmy with a flair for glam.
The band have been touring their hearts out in support of the record, including a run of dates supporting Spoon.
Armed with a record that celebrates rock in all of its glory, they are known to satisfy crowds whether they are packed shoulder-to-shoulder in the “standing room only” pit or kicking back in the cheap seats.
“Come to the show, have a drink, have fun,” laughs Esposito. “But be nice to everybody, cause you’re gonna get real close.”
Spirit Animal - (Set time: 7:30 PM)
As much as music should outlast the times, it should also speak to them.
On Spirit Animal’s 2018 full-length debut, Born Yesterday, the band not only proves 808s and guitars can coexist in harmony, they also craft airtight songs that would delight in any era. Hailing from Brooklyn, NY, singer Steve Cooper, guitarist Cal Stamp, drummer Ronen Evron, and bassist Paul Michel make music that both bottles and transcends the moment.
“Something special happens when you dump a bunch of genres into a blender and just let it rip,” says Cal. “We want our songs to move in unexpected directions. We’ll take what we love about Arctic Monkeys or Kendrick Lamar or James Blake and pull the pieces together into something cohesive, new and fun. Nobody listens to just one kind of music anymore, so why write that way?”
“Songs come together from every angle,” adds Steve. “Sometimes it’s four guys jamming in a room. Sometimes it’s one person producing on a computer. Sometimes it’s two of us, a co-writer and an acoustic guitar. We lean into not knowing what will come of a session and take every risk we can. If we don’t do it, who the fuck will?”
Spirit Animal as we know it, though, nearly never happened. Introduced by a mutual friend, Cal initially passed on the opportunity to join the group as a guitarist. But after catching the band’s bombastic live show one night at Pianos in downtown Manhattan, he changed his mind. “I wanted to have as much fun as they were having on stage,” he admits with a laugh.
A “poptimist before the word existed,” the guitarist’s sensibilities dovetailed nicely with the other members’ eclectic tastes. Although Paul’s roots were in the D.C. hardcore scene, Ronen studied at Berklee College of Music, and Steve grew up on a strict diet of rap music, the guys bonded over a shared desire to push boundaries. “We’ve changed each other drastically,” Steve says with pride.
The group’s efforts began with the single “The Black Jack White,” which quickly topped a million plays on Spotify. Building a buzz, the band landed looks from Consequence of Sound, Entertainment Weekly, and The Washington Post. 2016’s World War IV EP yielded the staple “Regular World,” which clocked over 2.9 million Spotify streams. They toured relentlessly along the way, developing a diverse and devout audience. Signing to Atlantic Records in 2017, the band wrote and recorded what became Born Yesterday at Steve’s apartment, as well as studios in New York, Los Angeles and Nashville.
815 V St. NW
Washington, DC, 20001
815 V St. NW
Washington, DC, 20001