Strong Convictions Precede Great Actions – The Struts

As it always seems to do, the opportunity to see lots of good music has hit me in bunches the past month.

I wish it would be a bit more spread out sometimes because I get an itch when it becomes too long, but I can’t complain about getting to see so many great acts like The Fat Catz, Disco Risqué, Perpetual Groove, Mona, and The Struts.

Every single act was different and amazing in their own way, and I could go on for a while about their individual performances, but I want to focus on just The Struts today.

For the uninitiated, I recommend you watch their music videos for “Could Have Been Me” and “Put Your Money On Me.” If you don’t like The Rolling Stones, Queen, dancing, or fun in general they may not be your speed.

The music was energetic, and the atmosphere was exhilarating, and it really all came down to the performance of Luke Spiller the front-man.

Like a mix between Mick Jagger and Freddie Mercury he exploded on to the stage with ferocity, and only increased his energy level from there!  With the help of a popular tune that got the crowd singing he established the fact we would be singing and clapping or dancing the entire show, or we could leave.

Luke and The Struts recently toured with Foo Fighters, so they were used to some large crowds, but when they released their début album (in Luke’s own words) “nothing happened.”
It wasn’t until they came to America that they met up with managers that linked them to Dave Grohl and company.

So Luke knew what a smaller crowd could feel like, and it somehow played right into his hands.  Being a Sunday night in Lynchburg VA meant our crowd of about one to two hundred was all the venue could muster.

More than enough for Luke apparently.

He engaged us on every tune, and let us know how this was his favorite crowd ever (at first I thought it was pandering, but by the end of the show I started to believe him).  At one point he came down into the crowd after splitting us down the middle, and did a bit of a “Call and Response” competition.  He had us nimble enough to get down on the ground to do so, and that way we could all see and hear him shout “AAAAEEEOOOOooo” and respond in kind when it was our side’s turn to be heard!  After jumping back on stage to pick right back up with the show it felt like we were all individually his best friend.

His vibe was intoxicating.  I couldn’t have had a bad time if I was trying!  It is a miracle I am not hoarse today, as I felt the toll on my throat when leaving the show.

So how does this have anything to do with Games?

I think it provides a bit of inspiration on how to truly represent yourself and your passion.  Whether you are a front-man in a band, a game designer, or couldn’t be happier as a bank teller.  Making every individual you meet feel special that YOU are the one in front of them is only achievable by keeping your passion and energy as high as possible 100% of the time!  People feed off of the “good vibrations” you put out, just as they do negative feelings as well.

Even if your party only had 3 people show up, you can’t let disappointment show. That just soils the experience for the ones who did!  Besides, 4 people is a perfectly appropriate number for a great board game.
If things don’t go your way, you can always treat it as a personal challenge to yourself.  The idea being, you were excited about something all on your own, and it only takes one other person to share that excitement.

Maybe they wont respond the way you would hope, but that’s expected.  Different strokes for different folks and all!  The part that matters is you practiced consistency, and avoided coming across as fake or hypocritical.  Our ability to truly perceive how important your actions are at each individual moment is limited, so make sure you are putting out the best of you all the time!  Who knows whose attention you could be getting.

I know this can sound unrealistic, and I am sure Luke has his bad days too.  That reality shouldn’t get in the way of attempting to follow this plan.   Shoot for the stars and you might get to the moon, but if you have a bad day forgive yourself.  We may not all have the “X” factor that makes The Struts performance so contagiously fun, but even the little things count, so never give up!

-James Schoenster
Co-founder of Cerebral Cellar



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