The Struts Bell Stage, Quebec City QC, July 13

The Struts Bell Stage, Quebec City QC, July 13
Photo: Rick Clifford

Since their inception in 2009, the Struts have been pegged as a group that draws on the sounds and aesthetics of legendary rockers from their UK shores: Queen, Zeppelin, T. Rex and the Stones, for example. It wasn't something they sought to downplay during their Festival d'été set either, with their decidedly retro style of dress and getting the crowd to call back their "oohs" and "yeahs" seemingly setting the tone for a set full of rock'n'roll nostalgia.
Though early set starters "Put Your Hands Up" and "These Times Are Changing" got the crowd moving, it was largely at the behest of frontman Luke Spiller, whose commanding stage presence allowed listeners to look past the band's vapid music and lyrics, which felt a little too rehashed from the work of their inspirations.  Glammed up with glitter, eyeliner and a shiny red sequined outfit, Spiller was worth the price of admission alone, pacing across the monstrous stage determined to not waste one bit of energy — the crowd's or his own.
The Struts truly hit their stride in the latter half of their set, with "Everybody Wants" presenting some colourful, challenging key changes between verse and chorus sections, capped by the band's perfectly executed crescendo outro. "Dirty Sexy Money" allowed guitarist Adam Slack some more space to solo beyond quick blues licks, while the soaring chorus of "Could Have Been Me" fit right in with the open-air festival setting.