Theory of a Deadman Live Review

By: Brooklyn Bailey


Canadian rock group Theory of a Deadman proudly celebrates nineteen years as a band this year. Throughout their career, Theory has predominantly focused on creating music suited for the rock genre. However, their two most recent releases have adopted a more upbeat, pop-like sound. With the ever-growing music industry and technologically driven climate of current times, attracting a more diverse audience has become important to Theory. Their fanbase has always consisted of more of a mature crowd — but with the more peppy sound found on their newest albums, they hope to attract a younger fanbase.


More important than developing their fan base, Theory has become passionate about giving back to their fans. Throughout their show on Feb. 17, they excitedly spoke about their charity work, announcing that one dollar from every ticket purchase will go toward a charity of their choice and also proposed the idea that perhaps fans could help decide the charity in the future. At their merch booth, pins were sold that promote awareness about domestic violence. The pins’ packaging provided a domestic violence assistance website as well as a hotline number for those in need of resources. A minimum of a five dollar donation was required to purchase a pin, but an additional donation was welcomed too. 

Click the pin below to get one and help end domestic violence

Taking place at the humble Imperial Theatre in Sarnia, Ontario, a venue with a mere 600 seats, the evening made for an intimate concert experience. The show begins with “Low Life,” a song off of their record The Truth Is… that was released in 2011. “Low Life” is an upbeat song written about a person content with being a low life. The following song, “Blow,” has a similar attitude, but buried beneath humour and a catchy melody. “Blow” addresses deep topics relevant in modern society, such as oversexualization and fame. Theory doesn’t shy away from stating “the world has gone officially insane,” referencing promiscuous behaviour and the idolization of reality stars. Next up on the set list, a series of fan favourites: “Bitch Came Back,” “Not Meant To Be,” and “Angel.” While “Bitch Came Back” is an angry (yet humourous) take on the children’s nursery rhyme “Cat Came Back” — “Not Meant To Be” and “Angel” are more sincere and heartfelt. 


Theory of a Deadman then plays “History of Violence” and “World Keeps Spinning” off of their most recent record Say Nothing. Chart topper, “History of Violence,” is a song about a woman enduring domestic abuse. The band feels it’s necessary to discuss such a topic due to the relevance of awareness in current times. “World Keeps Spinning” highlights mental health struggles with the use of lyrics that accurately depict the experience of a person struggling with anxiety.


Between performing songs off of their first few records Theory of a Deadman and Gasoline, lead singer Tyler Connolly takes a few moments to recognize their fans’ continuous support. He speaks about the band’s long career, even joking that drummer Joey Dandeneau must’ve been only eleven when they recorded their first record. Connolly also becomes nostalgic when recalling their first show where they were just a couple of kids playing an opening gig for the Headstones.


Unlike their previous technique of combining messages with humour, Theory has instead maintained a more serious attitude on Say Nothing. Still remaining their usual goofy selves, their new focus for this record is mainly to raise awareness of various relevant societal issues. Despite the pressures of the industry, Theory continues to make music they are passionate about and also explore new topics relevant to current times. In their nearly two-decade-long career, the members of Theory of a Deadman have grown as musicians, yet they still remain as humble and goofy as ever.

Check out their newest record, Say Nothing, below.

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