Bulletproof Baby – The Struts Live Review

 

NONANTOLA – ITALY                                                            25th May 2019

I have been thinking for two days about whether or not I should write a piece on this but literally five minutes ago I reminded myself of the third pillar of my blog: life experiences. And people, if what I experienced last Saturday wasn’t worth it, I really don’t know what should be!

I’m not going to annoy you with my travel details, but unlike many other times, I haven’t been able to get to the venue early, have my booklets signed and stalk the band properly. A big “thank you” goes to my dearest friends Elisa and Leonardo who have been so kind as to embrace their Britishness and stand in the queue for me and my friends too. THANK YOU.

But let’s get to the juicy part of this adventure. You may think the glitter and the glamour mixed with incredibly good music have died with David Bowie, but if you happen to see The Struts live, even for 5 minutes, you will have to admit that there really is hope for rock n’ roll.

The show started with “Primadonna Like Me”, an atomic bomb filled with adrenaline which could make anyone dance, even Vladimir Putin. This track, featured in the band’s latest album “Young and Dangerous” is already an iconic mark that the band left. Can’t imagine why? Listen to it and then you will thank me.

An explosive beginning followed by a tornado with the wonderful singles “Body Talks”, “Kiss This” and “In Love with a Camera”. Then it was the turn of “Fire”. Wow, people, I can’t even describe how good this song is, both on record and live. A great musical structure matched with timeless lyrics, so encouraging that you really feel part of something greater than your daily life. It’s a direct invitation to let it go, to abandon the control we force on ourselves and enjoy youth at its fullest.

Let’s not wax too philosophical though, we had plenty of time to dance with “Dirty Sexy Money”. A big shout out goes to Iris, a tiny little girl but already a force of nature who sang the tune on stage with Luke. A song which I personally enjoyed immensely, much more than listening to it on the CD. Seriously, I couldn’t stop shaking my butt after this! Thank God I didn’t because of “The Ol’ Switcheroo”: happy, funny and how the French would say “sans soucis”

Then “One Night Only”. Beautiful. However, I expected a bit more from this one live as I listened to it so much during the 2017 winter, being my soundtrack during some crucial moments of my life. It happens to me all the time: I get more from what I didn’t expect and less from what I expected, but that’s the exciting part of going to concerts: the surprise effect.

Speaking of what I didn’t expect to excite me so much: “I Do it So Well”. This song is a high-speed train crashing through your stomach so suddenly you think you never even had a stomach before. I personally love the lyrics as well, it’s a big, huge “Fuck off” covered in pink glitters. Genius.

Same meaning from “Bulletproof Baby”, definitely more direct and with a spoonful of that challenging rage that any young fierce person has towards all the haters who might get in their way. You know exactly which finger you need to show and The Struts just wanted to make sure we got that message right.

Did someone say ballad? Oh yes, and The Struts are second to no one with regards to slow, simple and emotional songs. “Merry Go Round” has indeed been a nice break from all the dancing, served to many to take a deep breath and maybe shed a tear too before stepping on the rollercoaster again with “Where Did She Go?”.

A well deserved two-minute break before the encore with a piano cover of “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen, very well done with extra applause because we can all agree that it takes big guts to perform Freddie Mercury so fearlessly. The perfect bittersweet mood to go on with “Ashes”, in my opinion, by far the best song of the whole set played like there was no tomorrow. I felt that truly, and like all the other people in the room, I let myself go to the intense words and epic music.

In order to write “The End” on the page of a great show “Could Have Been Me” seems to be the perfect fit. An encouraging tune which tells you to try again and again until you succeed in what you want to do or you will end up upset and with many many regrets. Let’s not, shall we?

The night ended up with lots of rain, my booklets still waiting for signatures and a homecooked meal begun at 1:30 am and finished at 3:30 am. The best part though is that I would do it all over again. I believe this is what the band is trying to say, to live “Young and dangerous”, so bravo The Struts, freakin’ bravo.

 

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