July 21, 2015 Theory of a Deadman Rocks Livewire Scottsdale, AZ 7-17-15
Canadian based Rock band Theory of a Deadman has been on the road to success since their formation back in 2001. The story goes Lead Vocalist/Guitarist Tyler Connolly slipped Nickelback’s Chad Kroeger a demo after a show one night in 2001, and that led to the band signing with Kroger’s imprint label, 604 Records. The rest is history as the four-piece; consisting of Connolly, Guitarist Dave Brenner, Bassist Dean Back, and Drummer since 2009, Joey Dandeneau, has consistently produced songs that have good Hard Rock riffs and catchy lyrics, which has helped them achieve seven Top 10 hits in the US Mainstream Rock. Going platinum with 2002’s self-titled debut, 2005’s Gasoline, 2008’s Scars and Souvenirs, along with 2011’s The Truth Is… went gold, and their latest, 2014’s Savages, peaked at number one on charts.
Now in 2015, they have release their first ever acoustic EP, Angel Acoustic, celebrate the tenth anniversary of Gasoline, and continue their Savage Tour. Spending the earlier part of the year as support for Bush, they continue performing headlining shows throughout August, and on Friday July 17th they came to the state of Arizona to play a gig at Scottsdale’s Livewire. At the heart of the entertainment district of Scottsdale, Livewire is one of the area’s newest venues sprawling over 14,000 sq. ft., boasting a state of the art sound system, lighting, and 25-foot video wall screen, which would come in good use for Theory of a Deadman. Before the doors even opened, fans of all ages lined around the block for an hour, despite the hot and humid weather, in anticipation to see one of their favorite Rock bands.
Following a local support act, Theory of a Deadman took the stage, opening with their hit song “So Happy.” Not the type of band that uses any props, wear costumes, or even have an elaborate set, the quality of their sound, the colorful lighting, and most of all, the songs they played, created enough excitement to get lost in. The cohesion between the band members whom have played with each other as long as they have was razor sharp as they went into songs like “Panic Room,” the catchy “Lowlife,” and “All or Nothing.” With Savages the main focus, fans had the chance to hear songs they heard before live as they went into “Blow,” displaying charisma and incredible musicianship. In fact, there was never any muddiness in the vocals or guitars, and Back’s bass complemented Dandeneau’s drums, adding a dynamic to the rhythm section that amplified the heavy guitar riffs.
Bonding well with the audience, Back continued to be a bright light, having fans singing along through tracks like “Bitch Came Back.” Then there was Brenner’s guitar playing which was essentially flawless as his stage presence matched the energy of his bandmates as they jammed on. Connolly, whose microphone stand was a rifle, sang with such power and clarity that all the lyrics were clearly audible through each and every song. Not to mention, the vocalist’s charm and good looks also seemed to make him very popular with the ladies during the performance.
Midway through the evening, they slowed things down with “Santa Monica,” but, immediately afterwards, they switched things up playing “Hurricane.” While some fans rose their cellphones into the air to snap pictures, others danced about the floor, escaping the stress of the outside world. Dandeneau even surprised the crowd with a drum solo as his bandmates left the stage, giving him the spotlight. The crowd went silent, as they watched Dandeneau’s arms fly over the drum set with such ease that he was able to look out into the audience with an ear to ear grin. Towards the end of his solo, the audience started cheering and the band went on to play “Better Off.”
Having already played for over an hour, it felt like mere minutes. The entire band’s high energy never wavered as they went into Gasoline’s “No Surprise” and the heartbreaking hit “Not Meant to Be.” Continuing to ignite applause, they closed out the set with “Drown,” latest single “Angel,” and crowd-pleaser “Hate My Life.” Having exited the stage, the crowd cried out for more songs, and minutes later the band returned to play a two encore songs of “Savages” along with another favorite, “Bad Girlfriend.” Seventeen songs in total, Theory of a Deadman did a fantastic job of covering their extensive collection of diverse Rock songs.
Even though Theory of a Demand has attained a lot of success, Connolly was friendly and personable, like a friend one would share a beer with after the show. Throughout the night, he shared anecdotes with the audience, such as the time when he discovered his love for Rock music when he was fourteen hearing Led Zeppelin for the first time. Ever since then, he was hooked. Certain songs, he said, got him through difficult times and snippets of some of those were woven into their set, including Alice in Chains’ “Nutshell” and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama.”
As for the audience, the excitement level was through the roof all set, but in a non-chaotic way where everyone was relaxed and enjoying themselves. There was no moshing or body surfing, it was just about a good night with great Rock-n-Roll. It is no surprise that this band has reached popularity with so many radio hits and flawless performances such as these. Theory of a Deadman will be continuing their tour throughout the US and Canada, so be sure to catch them out as they play in select venues now through August 28th.