Home » LIVE REVIEW: The Struts Rock the Diamond Ballroom in Oklahoma City on June 29, 2023

LIVE REVIEW: The Struts Rock the Diamond Ballroom in Oklahoma City on June 29, 2023


Photos and Review by: Ally Arens

Lineup: The Struts, Mac Saturn

Venue: Diamond Ballroom, Oklahoma City, OK

Date: June 29, 2023

Many a music fan has likely heard the proclamation that “Rock is Dead”; while it is true that the genre has evolved, as all musical genres do through time, The Struts are out to prove that good old-fashioned rock and roll is still very much alive. The band is in the middle of the U.S. leg of their “Remember the Name…” tour, and Manor 208 had the pleasure of catching their stop at Oklahoma City’s Diamond Ballroom last Thursday evening. 

Entering the Diamond Ballroom is an unique experience all its own – unlike the theaters of many cities, it is instead a large standalone building surrounded by flat fields seemingly in the middle of nowhere. Inside the walls, though, are decades of musical history – the venue has been operating since the 1960s, and the front walls near the stage are full of images of artists who’ve graced the stage over the years. For this show, stepping inside felt somewhat like stepping into a time capsule of sorts, as many attendees were in 70s and early 80s-inspired outfits that fit perfectly with the vintage, flamboyant vibes of both of the evening’s performers.

Opening the show were Detroit-based rockers Mac Saturn, who perfectly set the tone for the evening with their groovy riffs and crooning vocals that felt ripped straight out of the 70s. They warmed the crowd up with a setlist primarily made up of tracks from their EP Until The Money Runs Out, like “Ain’t Like You”, “Mr. Cadillac”, and “Plain Clothes Gentleman”, and they  performed with an energy that proves they are here to make their mark on the scene. They are an absolutely perfect fit to accompany The Struts, so be sure to arrive early if you’re planning to come out to this tour.

Around 9:15, it was time for the stars of the show to take the stage, and they came out firing on all cylinders from the beginning as they kicked things off with “Dirty Sexy Money”, from 2016’s Everybody Wants. It was immediately clear that the audience was in for a night full of electric energy and groovy dancing as frontman Luke Spiller absolutely commanded the stage wearing a sequined top fit for only the grooviest of fashionistas. Their set continued with more high energy tracks as “Body Talks” and recent single “Fallin’ For Me” were next up. After their first three, when it was time for me to leave the photo pit, they decided to insert a new track into the setlist, “Too Good at Raising Hell”, which coincidentally was released out into the world mere minutes after their set finished (a definite perk of Thursday night shows nowadays). 

Their energy never wavered, even during softer moments in the setlist like “Mary Go Round”, at which time they turned the house light off and were illuminated solely by cell phone lights from the crowd, and they put on a phenomenal show that did an excellent job of showcasing their entire discography thus far. The band’s extensive setlist also included a cover of Lorde’s “Royals”, which Luke told the crowd they had initially recorded over 10 years ago, but had never formally released, and the main set concluded with “Put Your Money on Me”, before a piano was brought out for Luke to serenade the audience with “Fire – Part 1” from 2018’s Young & Dangerous. Following the moving track, the rest of the band came back out to end the night with their breakout hit “Could Have Been Me”. 

I will admit that when The Struts first burst onto the scene in the mid-2010s, I actually wasn’t a huge fan. Don’t ask me why because I couldn’t give you a clear answer; this was also around the time that I was just starting to listen to heavier music more regularly as my “emo phase” was taking hold, and I thought I was too cool for most pop music even. As I and my musical tastes grew and evolved, though, and they continued to put out their groovy tunes (having Kesha feature on a version of “Body Talks” in 2018 definitely helped win me over), I began to appreciate their talent and dedication a lot more. While I’d already become more of a fan on my own before this show, seeing The Struts live and witnessing firsthand the pure energy and passion the group has for their art fully won me over. I’ve seen many bands live over the years, and few have had as dynamic a stage presence as the Brits that make up The Struts – Spiller on vocals, Adam Slack on guitar, Jed Elliott on bass, and Gethin Davies on drums. 

If you’re looking for a night of fun, sexy, energetic rock and roll, I highly recommend checking out The Struts when they next come to a city near you. The U.S. leg of the Remember The Name… tour continues through July 23 in Washington, D.C. before the band heads back overseas to the United Kingdom and Europe in August. Tickets for all upcoming shows are available on their website

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