Theory of a Deadman bring a big show to Manchester

Posted on 27 April 2018
By Frank Ralph
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Theory of a Deadman hit the UK for a short 3-date run in support of their latest album – and earned at least one new fan in the process.

There’s a lot to be said for going to a gig with no prior knowledge of a band and then being completely blown away with what you discover. Having heard the name Theory of a Deadman linked with a lot of bands I’ve seen and liked in the past such as Shinedown and Black Stone Cherry, but having never heard them properly it was a nice surprise to finally see them.

Openers Toseland I was much more aware of having seen them support quite a few bands in the last 7 or so years. They are a great solid band fronted by former motorcycle racer James Toseland – who at most parts throughout the show bore more than a passing resemblance to Tom Cruise. Had there been some big pyros on stage it might have looked like a rogue scene from a Mission Impossible movie. With a new record deal on the cards and a new album due at the back end of the year it would be good to see them making more of an impact on their own tour. They certainly made an impact with this show.

Theory of a Deadman are a band that, although they are Canadian, were you to drive across America you would certainly here them or someone very similar to them every 3rd to 5th song on the radio – they have a very big rock sound with hints of acoustic and country vibes throughout – a sound that’s guaranteed to get the fans going, particularly our American cousins, but a sound that translates extremely well over here too.

It’s also a sound that’s more than big enough to fill an arena never mind a venue the size of Academy 2 – which makes for an incredible feeling as Joey Dandeneau’s drums shook every bone in every body. They definitely sounded heavier than I had expected them to.

Bitch Came Back proved to be an early highlight, as did Echoes from last year’s Wake Up Call album.

Tyler Connolly’s presence is as big as his voice is majestic, in particular on their cover of Chris Isaak’s flawless track Wicked Game, a track that when you stick to the essence of it you can’t go wrong with – Theory manage to add more gravitas to it when the band chimed in halfway through.

Sadly a drum solo followed it, which although impressively included a section of Van Halen’s Hot For Teacher probably wasn’t required in the set.

Drown from the Savages album had everything an Alice in Chains fan would ever want – and was the track that has convinced me to go off and listen to more of their stuff, particularly that album.

Closing out the show with Rx (Medicate) and Bad Girlfriend replete with Paradise City intro it seems they ended with the big guns. That song has had over 53 million plays on Spotify. No mean feat.

So, take a chance and go to more gigs of bands you don’t know and you’ll probably discover something you’ve been missing out on. I did.

Click here for a full gallery of photos from the show.