200 N. 11th Street
Fort Smith, AR, 72901
Doors 7:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM
This event is all ages
Watch & Listen
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 a new single “Body Talks.” On the song, The Struts let loose with the sing-along-ready and riff-heavy sound they’ve brought to stadiums and arenas all around the world. The blues-spiked track captures 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.”
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.”
# # #
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.
“We want this album to stick with you, but we also want it to be fun,” Cal says. “It’s
more than just a good time, but it shouldn’t feel like more than a just good time.”
The first single, “YEAH!” pits sparse pop verses against a wild, distorted chorus.
Punctuated by fingersnaps and an oft-repeated chant that lends the song its name,
lyrics veer from plaintive irreverence (“All I wanna hear you say is/You put me on your
love songs playlist”) to disorienting commentary (“Give ‘em all a raise/Give ‘em
Marvin Gaye/Give ‘em Michael Bay”).
“It’s about fame’s relationship to the real and the fake,” says Steve. “This tornado of
pop culture touchstones -- similar to Billy Joel’s ‘We Didn’t Start the Fire’ or the bridge
to Madonna’s ‘Vogue’ -- makes it all mean something, but you’re not sure what.
You’re supposed to question it, the way the modern world makes you question
Elsewhere on Born Yesterday , “Karma” opens with a punchy bass riff before
launching into a gleeful, stadium-sized ode to underachievement (“What do you want
me to say?/I’m the Jordan of making mistakes!”).
For the piano-driven “JFK,” Spirit Animal teamed up with producer Ricky Reed (Jason
Derulo, One Direction) for a more bass-heavy sound. “It’s a little more serious and
contemplative,” Steve says. “ ‘ JFK’ explores the gift-and-curse of having power and
attention, but being a target as a result. You carry that around. You live with both. It’s
not all good and it’s not always predictable.”
Unpredictability is Spirit Animal’s bread and butter.
“We went from losing our indie deal to signing with Atlantic and working with our
favorite producer,” says Steve. “In this game, anything’s possible. Our music shows
$25.50 - $30.50 | DAY OF SHOW: $30.50 - $35.50 | PLUS FEES AND TAXES
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