Saturday, February 13, 2010

Theory of a Deadman - January 29, 2010

Last week I reviewed the opening acts of Halestorm and Adelitas Way. This week I dive into Theory of a Deadman’s performance.

Theory of a Deadman was about to take the stage and Bobby and Joe still hadn’t arrived. They missed two opening acts and were in danger of missing the whole concert. I texted Bobby again to let him know that Theory was coming up next and that he’d better move his ass if he wanted to see them.

He texted me back that they had just arrived and were standing near the soundboard. After some shuffling through the crowd, I found them both and we settled in to watch Theory. The lights went out, the crowd roared, and the opening theme to the 80’s TV show, The A-Team, filled the club. I grinned, as that was one of my favorite shows when I was a kid.

After the closing notes of the intro, Theory walked out on stage and the crowd got louder. Theory is developing quite a following and the fan appreciation is growing in strength. They kicked into the opening notes of So Happy and their portion of the night was underway.

As soon as Tyler Connelly started singing, we knew something was wrong. His vocals were almost impossible to hear, and we couldn’t determine if he was sick or if the vocals on the microphone were turned down too low. This turned into a constant struggle for the rest of the night. His voice sounded like crap and he strained to sing every song, especially the ballads that required high notes.

Bobby was disappointed about this, and I wasn’t too happy either. Connelly’s voice has always been one of Theory of a Deadman’s strengths, and this was hurting the band drastically. Little Smirk and By The Way sounded like they were being sung in a phone booth. When they got to one of my all time favorite Theory songs, All Or Nothing, it was obvious that Tyler was having throat problems. His normally dominating voice was weak and hard to hear, being drowned out by the guitars. What a letdown.

The music sounded great, as always. The majority of Theory’s setlist came from their latest album, Scars & Souvenirs, which delighted most of the crowd that had discovered the band recently on the strength of singles Bad Girlfriend and Hate My Life. I personally would have liked to hear more from their self-titled debut album and the follow up, Gasoline, but I knew I was in the minority and that Theory had to appeal to the majority. Not that there is anything wrong with the new songs, it’s just that I love the older ones a little more.

After No Surprise, the band broke out the acoustic guitars for a one-two shot of Got Me Wrong (a cover of the Alice In Chains smash) and Make Up Your Mind one of my all time favorite Theory songs. Their cover of Got Me Wrong was spot on and I was impressed. The acoustic Make Up Your Mind sounded incredible, and I was so glad they played it.

Connelly spoke to the crowd next, commenting that at every show fans always wanted to hear different songs. He mentioned how some fans wanted to hear the earlier songs (which got my applause) and other fans wanted to hear the new stuff (which got a big crowd reaction). “But there’s always one song that fans seem to always want to hear,” he said. That song is Santa Monica, which the band went right into. One of their greatest songs and possibly their greatest ballad (although All Or Nothing does battle for that spot), Santa Monica is an amazing song that never gets old. Even though Connelly struggled with the vocals, the song still sounded amazing, which was helped with the crowd sing along.

The sing along continued with the next song, the main set closer Hate My Life. This song had gained in popularity since its initial release, and the entire crowd sang the first verse back to the band before they jumped in and took the rest of it. The intensity of the song was a little less this time around, but it was still a solid show closer.

After a two minute disappearance, Theory came back for their encore. Not Meant To Be was followed by the opening notes of the Guns N Roses classic, Paradise City. The band played the riff, the crowd sang the song through the end of the first verse and then the band kicked into their last song of the night, Bad Girlfriend. This, of course, brought the house down. Everyone was jumping up and down and having a great time. The club was packed and this was the final song of the night, so the crowd made the most of it.

Theory thanked everyone after that and promptly left the stage. The lights came up and it was over. Bobby and I were disappointed about the vocals, but not enough to say that it was a bad show. Joe was upset that he had missed the opening acts and when I filled him in on how great they were, he said he was going to have to pick up their CDs.

While not as good as the first time Bobby and I saw them, Theory did put on a good show. Had the vocal issue been fixed, it would have been another amazing performance by this group. I would see them again, but I would be a tad skeptical, wanting to see them after they’ve had some time off of the road.

Intro – Theme from the A-Team
So Happy
Better Off
Little Smirk
By The Way
All Or Nothing
Got It Made
Nothing Could Come Between Us
No Surprise
Got Me Wrong
Make Up Your Mind
Santa Monica
Hate My Life
Not Meant To Be
Paradise City (Tease)
Bad Girlfriend

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