The Struts headline the 21st year of Avanti’s Nutcracker concert in Peoria Il



Avanti’s Restaurant and WIXO 105.7 X gave Peoria an early Christmas present with a great rock show marking the 21st year of this annual event.  I have been covering concerts for about 4 years in the midwestern section of the country with an occasional trip to each coast. Over the last couple of years I have covered all these bands except Messer at least three times each. Seeing my friends in Autumn Rove on the stage opening for Grammy nominated acts like The Record Company and one of the hottest bands out there at the moment, The Struts, was pretty damn cool.   They always seem to have a new twist on songs I have heard them do before or brand new songs I’ve never heard.  It’s very refreshing seeing a band continuing to evolve. 

Messer, from Dallas Texas had the Christmas theme going for sure with lights on the mic stands and ugly sweaters.  Not being familiar with these guys at all I was pretty impressed.  The crowd was immediately engaged and many were singing along with them.   These guys are worth a further listen, which is what I plan on doing.

The Record Company.  First time I saw these guys was at The Fieldhouse in CampusTown.  Had never heard of them and didn’t know what to expect.   A three piece(for most songs), these guys are solid musicians and great performers.  It wasn’t long after I saw that the Fieldhouse show that they were nominated for a Grammy, which shows the caliber of musicians these guys are.  Very entertaining to watch and great bluesy rock. These guys will be around for a long time.  

Coming off a couple tours with the Foo Fighters, and now on their own headlining tour, The Struts were a fabulous , glittery and a great act to have as the headliner.  My first experience with The Struts was at a show in Libertyville Il with an opening band that I had never heard of, Greta Van Fleet.  That was quite a show.  A year or so later I was able to cover them again when they opened for The Foo Fighters.  Their songs are fresh and catchy, and Luke Spiller’s on stage performance is captivating.  Their new album just came out recently and if you don’t have it, you should buy a copy.  Do I like I did a while back and purchase their other album and ep’s.  It’s good , uplifting stuff.   It won’t be long and you won’t be able to see these guys in a 1200 seat theatre any more, so do it while you can.  

With the hit and miss attendance at a lot of shows in this area, it is very nice to see that the  Monarch Music Hall was almost sold out on a Wednesday night.  Maybe there is hope after all.  Thanks to Avanti’s, 105.7 the X, and of course The Monarch Music Hall for making this happen, and hopefully continuing to do so for years to come.


Photos and review by

Mike McMillen 

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