Sunday night was the third time I’d seen Theory of a Deadman, having previously seen them open for Alter Bridge and Black Stone Cherry, and I’ve always thought they were good but that the short time a support act gets held them back from showing how good they really are. So I was interested to see them headline and see if more time on stage made the difference.
They’re supported on this tour by London based trio Beasts, who were out of their depth in what they said was the biggest show they’d ever played. I’m sure they’re trying hard to make the most of this opportunity but the general consensus from the crowd around me was that a bit less swagger and a bit more work is needed.
After what seemed to be the majority of people not enjoying the support the crowd was more than ready for the main act and the volume levels went through the roof as the band took to the stage. As it turned out playing a headline set really did give them the chance to show off their talents as they made their way through a set that included material from their early days right through to current album Savages. They kicked off with So Happy from 2008’s Scars and Souvenirs and within a couple of tracks had the crowd rocking with Lowlife. They broke halfway through the gig and played a short acoustic set which included an excellent cover of Stone Temple Pilots Interstate Love Song.
Frontman Tyler Connolly is a very relaxed performer, chatting to the crowd throughout about various influences as they were growing up, most importantly from the grunge scene that was huge at the time, and from a little known band named Led Zeppelin. If there’s one thing Theory are famous for it’s a good old break-up song and the best one of them all, Bitch Came Back was a standout. From that point on the show turned into a big singalong as they played Drown, Santa Monica and finished off with probably their best known song, Hate My Life. After an encore of Invisible Man and Bad Girlfriend they left the stage leaving behind a very happy audience. Then they did the thing that really makes me love them. To this day I don’t think I’ve ever seen a band who devote more time to making sure they meet the fans and spend some time with them and the same was true last night as the band spent a full hour after the gig at the merch stand shaking hands, signing autographs and taking photos with every single person who waited behind for the opportunity, and then went around and thanked all the security staff for their patience. It’s the little things like that that make me like Theory of a Deadman, because I like to see a band really working hard for their success, and proving themselves to be thoroughly decent men as well as talented musicians.