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Theory of a Deadman at Webster Hall

Theory of a Deadman at Webster Hall
Christine Connallon By

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Theory of a Deadman
Marlin Room at Webster Hall
New York City
July 30, 2014

Even before Tyler Connolly, front man for the Canadian rock band Theory of a Deadman, told the crowd that the band "still loves what they do," that fact was quite evident to those who packed the intimate Marlin Room at Webster Hall on this hot and steamy summer night.

Dark clothing was the uniform for both the band and the audience. Striding across the length of the wide stage, Connolly sported a fitted black t-shirt and black pants, and his dark hair was slicked away from his face, revealing an open, eager demeanor. On this, the day after their fifth CD Savages (Roadrunner Records, 2014) was released, the band was in fine form. In town to do some press as well as this relaxed evening of song, an effort spearheaded by SiriusXM with tickets awarded to subscribers as well as through the band's social media pages, the room held new fans as well as ones who dated back to the band's inception in 2001. Connolly handled lead guitar as well, with Dave Brenner on rhythm guitar, Dean Back on bass and Joey Dandeneau on drums.

Hailing from Delta, British Columbia, Theory of a Deadman was actually the first group to sign to 604 Records, a label owned by Nickelback's Chad Kroeger. Their evolution in the past decade is one that finds the band paying homage to their influences and at times skewing slightly more poppy or sporting a harder edge. Savages fits into the latter category, as was apparent when Connolly and crew treated the fans to a few new songs, including the title track (which features Alice Cooper on the CD) and "Drown."

The set kicked off with a raucous call to action with the hits "So Happy," "Low Life," and "Bitch Came Back." Connolly said he was reminded of the time when the band was just starting out as he introduced the first single they ever released, "Nothing Could Come Between Us," thanking the fans for their longtime support.

Switching gears to a stripped-down vibe, the lead singer explained that they started doing the acoustic thing a few years ago when they stole the concept from someone else, laughing that "it's all good!" First up was a beautiful cover of Stone Temple Pilot's "Interstate," followed by "Angel" off the new CD, and finally "No Surprise."

Connolly shared stories and gave insight into the creation of songs as the night went on. One particular anecdote told the cautionary tale of being honest during break ups. Of the song "The Truth Is (I Lied About Everything)," Connolly explained, "We've all been in relationships that don't work out, but you just don't have the cojones to say what you think. This song is the epitome of all the things you wish you could say when it's over."

"Santa Monica," "Not Meant to Be" and "Hate My Life" drew wild applause. Back to the stage for a one-song encore, Theory of a Deadman wowed the crowd with a powerful cover of Guns N Roses' "Paradise City." A hearty seventeen songs after the night started, the band departed the stage as fans begged roadies for wilting set lists and the doors to the side bar swung open, allowing fresh air to mix with the frosty air conditioned space.

Photo Credit:
Christine Connallon
Additional contribution by Mike Perciaccante

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