Review/photos by Mike Suicide
Buffalo, NY - I walked into the Town Ballroom on Saturday night like a smug asshole, hoping that I wouldn't have to suffer through another post grunge, watered down, generic pile of bands. The mere notion of labeling bands like Nickelback and the like, 'post grunge,' eludes that they somehow have roots in grunge. This is absurd, since the grunge movement shares nothing with this genre of music. I've been pretty good at containing my personal feelings about mediocre bands so I figured, "What the hell?" Headliner's Theory of a Deadman is a Canadian band, and in Buffalo, that only means one thing - piles of hot Canadian girls will be in attendance (and I was right). Saturday night's Theory show featured opening bands Pop Evil and Stellar Revival, and it had been sold out for at least a week or two.
As I headed down to the front of the stage, Stellar Revival was already on. Stellar Revival is a band based out of Florida, who were just recently signed to EMI. They have a couple of singles that are tracking well, and vocalist Rino Cerbone has a great stage presence. He really had the crowd wide awake. It was midway through their set that I began to feel my smugness fade. The whole band was well put together, and played off of the energy of the crowd effortlessly. I have been to better than a few hundred shows in my life, and I don't seem to be easily impressed these days, but this night was determined to teach me a lesson.
Bands should really have to submit an application for approval, before their band's name can become permanent. Pop Evil is a case in point, as it's a silly name, yet quite suitable, since this is a band that is essentially pop rock, and they do it quite well. Pop Evil has gained a lot of momentum over the past couple of years, due in part to their numerous singles being catchy as all hell. Singer Leigh Kakaty has an incredible voice, and his band mates are tour hardened. It was midway through Pop Evil's set that I really began to feel like an uppity asshole for making assumptions about these bands. They ran through their hits to the delight of the capacity crowd, cranking out tunes like "Hero" and "Last Man Standing." By the end of Pop Evil's set, the crowd was properly primed for the main act.
Theory of a Deadman is a band hailing from British Columbia. The band formed in 2001 and released their self titled album a year later. They are signed to Chad Kroeger's 604 records. The story is essentially that their demo made it in his hands, and the rest is history. The lead singer, Tyler Connolly, seems to be the apparent star of this show, but the fellow members of his band are no second rate musicians. As far as Canadian rock is concerned, Theory of a Deadman is right on the heels of their fellow countrymen, Nickelback. They won two Juno awards and have attained Platinum status.
I honestly didn't know what to think when Theory first came out on stage. At this point, most of my smugness had faded with the last two band's sets and the enthusiastic crowd. I was told that I was missing the boat on this band, as I previously resisted. After seeing them, any realistic comparison to their friends in Nickelback immediately became unjustified. The band ripped through song after song with 'veteran rocker' ease. I have to admit, Tyler is awesome. Quite frankly, so are Joey, David and Dean. Tyler has a real Rock-a-Billy look, with his white socks and signature pompadour. He is an incredible performer, who is a bit of a comedian as well. Midway through their show, the band did an acoustic set. Tyler made a crack about how it would be fun to do an "MTV Unplugged," had MTV actually played music anymore. This was proceeded by a few shots at Snooki, and the degradation of music via TV. They did a few songs sans electric, and had the entire venue singing along.
Got It Made
All or Nothing
Bitch Came Back
Nothing Could Come Between Us
Not Meant to Be
The Truth Is... (I Lied About Everything)
Out of My Head (acoustic)
Easy to Love You (acoustic)
Better Off (acoustic)
Hate My Life
For more on Theory of a Deadman, please visit www.theoryofadeadman.com