The Struts, The Glorious Sons, Spirit Animal

Tue May 8 2018

8:00 PM (Doors 7:00 PM)

The Castle Theatre

209 E Washington St Bloomington, IL 61701

$22.50

All Ages

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105.7 The X & Kickstand Productions Present
The Struts
The Glorious Sons, Spirit Animal

  • The Struts

    The Struts

    Indie Pop

    Before even releasing their first album, U.K.-bred four-piece The Struts opened for The Rolling Stones in front of a crowd of 80,000 in Paris, got hand-picked by Mötley Crüe to serve as the supporting act for their four last-ever performances, and toured the U.S. on a string of sold-out shows that demanded the band move up to bigger venues to accommodate their fast-growing fanbase. Now with their full-length debut Everybody Wants, lead vocalist Luke Spiller, guitarist Adam Slack, bassist Jed Elliott, and drummer Gethin Davies reveal the supreme mix of massive riffs and powerfully catchy melodies that’s already slain so many adoring audiences around the globe.

     

    “Every time we go into the studio we just want to channel exactly what we’re all about onstage—something big, fun, unapologetic, rock & roll,” says Spiller. “We love a song that makes everybody sing along, and touring quite extensively over the past few years has given us a lot of inspiration to bring that kind of energy to our album.”

     

    The follow-up to Have You Heard—a 2015 EP whose lead single “Could Have Been Me” hit #1 on Spotify’s viral chart, earned more than 2.5 million Vevo/YouTube views, and shot to the top 5 on Modern Rock radio charts—Everybody Wants unleashes anthem after arena-ready anthem. Pairing up with producers like Gregg Alexander (former frontman for New Radicals) and Marti Frederiksen (Aerosmith, Mick Jagger) and recording in such far-flung locales as a refurbished London church and a studio in the Spanish region of Andalucía, The Struts prove the iconic power that’s prompted Yahoo Music to name them “one of the most exciting and electric performers in rock today” and MTV to proclaim the band “well on their way to bringing rock & roll back to the forefront.”

     

    Throughout Everybody Wants, The Struts offer their own undeniable twist on sweetly sleazy glam-rock, delivering huge hooks and making brilliant use of Spiller’s otherworldly vocal range. Even the album’s breakup songs come on full throttle, with “Mary Go Round” backing its dreamy acoustic balladry with heavy drums, blistering guitar work, and fantastically glam-minded lyrics (“I can’t even pour myself a glass of wine/Because every glass is stained with your lipstick shine”). Also evidence of The Struts’ romantic sensibilities, the sweeping, heart-on-sleeve intensity of “A Call Away” offers a stirring testament to love against the odds. “It’s about when I’d just moved to America and had a girlfriend back home, and everyone was asking how I was going to make it work,” explains Slack. “The song’s saying that we’ll make it work no matter what, no matter how many miles apart we are.”

     

    At the core of Everybody Wants are power-chord-driven tracks like the hard-charging album-opener “Roll Up” (a “larger-than-life caricature of the person I am onstage, very glamorous and very cheeky,” according to Spiller) and the gritty-yet-exhilarating “Kiss This” (a breakup song whose “message is really about standing up for yourself—sort of our version of a ‘Young Hearts Run Free’-type song, but in a rock mentality,” Spiller notes). With its hip-shaking rhythms and euphoric harmonies, “Times Are Changin’” recaps the band’s recent glories (“I’ve been to New York City, I met the Rolling Stones”), while “The Ol’ Switcharoo” blends bubblegum melodies and horn-backed grooves into the world’s most irresistibly fun tribute to girlfriend-swapping.

     

    The Struts also show their skill in merging high-drama storytelling and pop-perfect melody on Everybody Wants, with “Black Swan” spinning a darkly charged tale of warring families and star-crossed lovers. “I’d thought that ‘Black Swan’ would make a good title, so Luke and I started writing it together one night in his room,” recalls Slack. “We finished the melodies, and the next morning he’d come up with this whole tragic love story to put into the lyrics.” And on “Where Did She Go,” The Struts close out Everybody Wants with an infectiously stomping epic that first came to life when Spiller was just 15. “My parents had just moved to this horrible seaside town, which wasn’t a great place to be if you’ve got long hair or you’re just an individual in any way,” he says. “One night I was walking home quite drunk and started singing to myself, as you do, and this melody eventually came to me. I remember thinking, ‘What kind of melody could you get a whole football stadium full of people to sing along to?’, and then kept going from that.”

     

    Forming The Struts in Derby, England, in 2012, all four members began making music as teenagers, initially finding inspiration in groups like Oasis and the Libertines and then tracking their idols’ influences to discover the glam bands that would one day shape their own sound. “When we first started, we both just wanted to make fun, happy rock songs with big choruses—the kind of thing that bands like Slade and T. Rex used to do,” says Slack of his collaboration with Spiller. The trademark tongue-in-cheek swagger of classic glam also played a key part in the naming of the band, Spiller points out. “We were in rehearsals and someone saw me strutting around as we were playing, and made the suggestion that we call ourselves The Struts,” he says. “We loved that from day one—it absolutely represents what we’re about.”

     

    Largely on the strength of their dynamic live performance, the Struts fast built up a major following and started selling out shows all across Europe. Along with landing the Stade de France gig with the Rolling Stones, the band took the stage at the 2014 Isle of Wight Festival, with Spiller decked out in a shimmering-blue cape custom-made for him by Zandra Rhodes (the legendary designer who formerly created costumes for Queen’s Freddie Mercury and Brian May). Over the past few years Spiller’s role as a style idol has prevailed, with the New York Times recently spotlighting the singer in a fashion-centric feature and Ray Brown (an Australian designer who’s also dreamed up outfits for AC/DC, Ozzy Osbourne, and Lady Gaga) coming up with costumes for The Struts’ run of dates with Mötley Crüe.

     

    In their lavish stage presence and magnetic appeal, The Struts have more than demonstrated a preternatural command of monumental crowds. But while all that glitz and flash never fail to thrill, the band’s impassioned music and high-powered spirit also fulfill a far greater purpose. “The main mission of the band is to bring back that feeling of fun and rock & roll, especially to all those people who are bored by what’s going on these days,” says Spiller. “We really believe that music, when it’s done right, can help you escape the present moment, and then just send you somewhere else entirely.”

  • The Glorious Sons

    The Glorious Sons

    Rock & Roll

    The Glorious Sons' second full-length album, Young Beauties & Fools, is all about honesty.

    More specifically, it's about exploring the adventures (and frequent misadventures) of main songwriter Brett Emmons in the truest way. It's also an album where The Glorious Sons — rounded out by Brett’s older brother Jay Emmons (guitar), Chris Koster (guitar), Adam Paquette (drums) and Chris Huot (bass) — capture all the listlessness and confusion of young adulthood in 10 doses of modern rock.

    "It's basically the story of a 24-year-old kid,” says Brett. “They’re simple songs about alcoholism and the mostly autobiographical story of my life. The whole thing is derived from the thoughts, actions and feelings of a kid who doesn't really know himself and the consequences of those actions."

    Glorious Sons’ hardscrabble tales come naturally. A high-spirited rock band with blue collar roots, they truly found themselves when Brett quit school in 2013 to join them as lead singer. Subsequent years of hard touring and hard partying — sometimes in places so sketchy, as Brett puts it, “There was no electricity in the building” — provided fuel for the songs on Young Beauties & Fools.

    “It’s me writing about the things I’ve done, the things that have happened to me and my family, and the things that I think about,” says Brett.

    Whether it’s the rock 'n' roll bender “My Pour Heart,” the not-so-classic boy-meets-girl story of “Josie,” or the deeply embarrassing punch-up at a wedding tale “Everything Is Alright,” Brett’s songwriting deftly explores the imperfect humanity of both himself and the many characters he introduces over the course of the album.

    It wasn’t easy to capture that realness. The band wanted to range further, to grow and evolve from the successes of 2014’s The Union album. That record was an immediate hit on the Canadian radio rock landscape. Glorious Sons scored seven consecutive Top 10 rock radio tracks, won two SiriusXM Indie Awards (Group of the Year and Rock Group of the Year) and received a Juno Award nomination in 2015 for Rock Album of the Year.

    Eighteen months of recording fits and starts led the band to Los Angeles to work with production team Fast Friends (Frederik Thaae, Ryan Spraker, Tom Peyton). It wasn’t until they started exploring a collection of old voice memos on Brett’s phone that they had their eureka moment. The subsequent creative outburst resulted in an album written in 12 days and recorded in 14.

    “It was our first time working with these guys in the studio and we were still kinda feeling each other out,” says Brett. “There were times when it almost felt like a blind date. And we had been in the studio with a couple of other producers prior to that and went home empty handed. So after a few lukewarm conversations about ideas, I said to them, ‘Boys, can I show you something?’ I took out my iPhone and played ‘Josie’ and they just went fucking nuts. They wanted us to challenge ourselves as players and songwriters and pushed me to write from personal experience. After that, the hardest part of recording was choosing which songs to keep for the album. I’m forever grateful to them for teaching me to trust myself as a writer and help find that voice.”

    There should be lots of opportunities to see Glorious Sons play the songs from Young Beauties & Fools. By their count the band has driven across Canada "at least 10 times" and played upwards of 300 shows to support their last album.

    "You don't know what you’re going to get night to night from us," says Jay. "It's something you have to see and it's interesting and powerful."

    "It's also an inch from either side of falling off the tracks every single night," adds Brett.

    Which is perfectly fitting for a band living young and foolish.

  • Spirit Animal

    Spirit Animal

    Pop

    It started with a homemade computer. Filled with dust and dirty beats, the machine hadn't connected to the Internet since Silicon Valley was a private practice in Beverly Hills. Yet from it emerged Spirit Animal: a chaotic combination of rock and pop, fueled by the unruly aesthetics of psych and funk.
    Explosive singer Steve Cooper, drummer Ronen Evron, bassist Paul Michel, and guitarist Cal Stamp created a stir with their debut EP, 'This Is A Test,' and a pair of tracks -- “The Black Jack White” (which surpassed 1 million spins on Spotify) and “BST FRNDS” -- that appeared on mtvU. While hype rolls in from Interview, Entertainment Weekly, Earmilk, and Consequence of Sound, the band returns with 'World War IV' via Wind-up Records, set for 2016 release.
    “It’s like…much bigger,” Cooper says of the forthcoming release. Spirit Animal has re-imagined its sound with body-rocking riffs and contagious choruses that burst at the seams. “Everything that was wild is more wild. Everything that was heavy is heavier.” The ultimate message, however, still serves the same purpose: to bring the party to the people. “It’s always supposed to feel good," Cooper adds. "It’s always moving towards euphoria."
    Drawing on a range of early rap and trip-hop influences -- think Tricky, Outkast, El-P -- and the songwriting of greats like the Talking Heads and Tom Petty, Spirit Animal tears apart what you know and love about your favorite style and rearranges the pieces. Their new track, “Regular World,” kicks off with soaring "ooh’s" and a poignant funk verse before crashing into a climactic chorus that celebrates our insatiable thirst for the not-so-regular. “It’s the plotting and scheming for the next thing -- and doing everything in your power to get it -- that inspires us,” says Cooper.
    Spirit Animal is a dish best served live, with the boys flashing moves like Jagger that demand audience participation. The arena-ready antics of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the personality of James Brown, and the modern pop charm of The 1975 combine to make your inhibitions disappear quicker than ten tequilas.
    “Big Bad Road Dog,” another 'World War IV' standout, sums up Spirit Animal to a tee, painting the picture of a nebulous force that leaves a fun-fest of destruction in its wake. You don’t know whether to run for your life or try to hitch a ride. We suggest you do the latter.

    Explosive singer Steve Cooper, drummer Ronen Evron, bassist Paul Michel, and guitarist Cal Stamp created a stir with their debut EP, 'This Is A Test,' and a pair of tracks -- “The Black Jack White” (which surpassed 1 million spins on Spotify) and “BST FRNDS” -- that appeared on mtvU. While hype rolls in from NYLON, Bullett, USA Today, Prefix, and Consequence of Sound, the band returns with 'World War IV' via Wind-up Records, set for October release.

    “It’s like…much bigger,” Cooper says of the forthcoming release. Spirit Animal has re-imagined its sound with body-rocking riffs and contagious choruses that burst at the seams. “Everything that was wild is more wild. Everything that was heavy is heavier.” The ultimate message, however, still serves the same purpose: to bring the party to the people. “It’s always supposed to feel good," Cooper adds. "It’s always moving towards euphoria."

    Drawing on a range of early rap and trip-hop influences -- think Tricky, Outkast, El-P -- and the songwriting of greats like the Talking Heads and Tom Petty, Spirit Animal tears apart what you know and love about your favorite style and rearranges the pieces. Their new track, “Regular World,” kicks off with soaring "ooh’s" and a poignant funk verse before crashing into a climactic chorus that celebrates our insatiable thirst for the not-so-regular. “It’s the plotting and scheming for the next thing -- and doing everything in your power to get it -- that inspires us,” says Cooper.

    Spirit Animal is a dish best served live, with the boys flashing moves like Jagger that demand audience participation. The arena-ready antics of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the personality of James Brown, and the modern pop charm of The 1975 combine to make your inhibitions disappear quicker than ten tequilas.

    “Big Bad Road Dog,” another 'World War IV' standout, sums up Spirit Animal to a tee, painting the picture of a nebulous force that leaves a fun-fest of destruction in its wake. You don’t know whether to run for your life or try to hitch a ride. We suggest you do the latter.

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105.7 The X & Kickstand Productions Present

The Struts
The Glorious Sons, Spirit Animal

Tue May 8 2018 8:00 PM

(Doors 7:00 PM)

The Castle Theatre Bloomington IL
The Struts, The Glorious Sons, Spirit Animal

$22.50 All Ages

Please correct the information below.

Select ticket quantity.

Complete the security check.

Select Ticket(s)

All Ages
limit 10 per person
General Admission
$22.50

Delivery Method

Will Call