Theory of a Deadman
A SiriusXM Exclusive Subscriber Event
A LocalBozo.com Concert Review
The Marlin Room at Webster Hall, New York, NY
July 30, 2014
Concert Review: Theory of a Deadman at Webster Hall
The Marlin Room at Webster Hall was transformed into a mini-arena of sorts on Wednesday night in an exclusive performance for subscribers of SiriusXM and listeners to their “Octane” channel. Canadian rock quartet Theory of a Deadman would helm the headlining stage in their final local appearance until the fall, celebrating the release of their fifth studio album “Savages” released just a day earlier. But long time fans were sure to be appeased by a rocking ninety minute set that chronicled the group’s cavalcade of hit songs, from pop-fueled rock anthems to acoustically driven break-up tracks.
The band’s ability to continually reinvent itself is perhaps what’s most striking in witnessing Theory’s live show. Each track plucked from their different albums reveal just how drastically their music has been altered with each album cycle. From their early days in 2002 as a viable comparison to Nickelback on their self-titled debut to the slower, darker “Gasoline” (2005) to a more pop-friendly sound on 2008′s “Scars & Souvenirs” and even more so on 2011′s “The Truth Is…,” Theory of a Deadman has proved that their versatility continues to keep them relevant- despite a preponderance of catchy, recently released singles that most critics would likely dub as corny. That said, the band’s latest album appears to be a middle ground of rock music that they’ve forged over the last decade as the band has honed a tight stage show, fluidly mixing in acoustic and electric numbers and catering to a fanbase that can be best described as both hungry and appreciative.
In a pleasant surprise, the band leaned on a bulk of older tracks to carry the set rather than showcasing their entire new album. Staples like raucous show opener “So Happy” and the anthemic “Nothing Can Come Between Us” joined the likes of “All Or Nothing” and “Not Meant To Be,” two utterly relatable relationship tracks that naturally belong in any Theory set. Frontman Tyler Connelly spent some meaningful moments chatting with the live crowd in the small but boisterous setting, but the 16 song set didn’t give the frontman much time to waste.
2008′s “Bad Girlfriend” is perhaps the band’s most familiar track for casual listeners- the success from which likely spawned “Lowlife” and “Bitch Came Back,” two similarly upbeat if not entirely lyrically insignificant, feel good tracks. But Theory’s three song foray into acoustic numbers showcased a talented musical outfit far more skilled than lyrics like “My girlfriend’s a dick magnet” might imply. Their cover of Stone Temple Pilots’ “Interstate Love Song” was downright stirring, followed by new track “Angel” and the surprise inclusion of “No Surprise,” seemingly performed down a key were each performed exceptionally.
The first band to be discovered by Nickelback, lets face it, will probably never be critical darlings. But that’s never mattered for Theory of a Deadman, a band that’s made a career out of utilizing their charismatic appeal and musical talents to find commercial success time and time again. And with a brand new album on which to tour and a slew of new dates heading into the fall, this Canadian quartet might just be poised for their biggest year yet, especially if Wednesday night’s show closing standing ovation is any indication.
- Dave Gendelson