Columbus, OH, Newport Music Hall, March 19, 2005

When someone brings up Roadrunner Records, the images of speed metal in the 80s and 90s and more recently, the masked men of Slipknot and pseudo-gothic mayhems Cradle of Filth. So when straight-up rock and roll bands like Theory of a Deadman are put on the label, there must be something special.

 

Sure, the name fits in with what the label is know for, but aside from label mates Nickelback, there really isn't much else in the Roadrunner family for Theory to pal up with, but that is just fine with them.

"It is actually a blessing being one of a handful of straight rock bands on the label. We get some more attention than maybe some of the others because, believe it or not, we are different. It is weird to say we are different, because we play rock and roll, but at Roadrunner, that is the way it is and we like it like that. The label is great to us," says singer Tyler Connolly a few hours before show time.

 

And when show time came, Theory proved why Roadrunner thinks so highly of the band. With course riffs overtop of relatable lyrics, Theory had the sold-out crowd screaming with almost every movement. And there is a lot of movement with this young band. But maybe the most surprising aspect to the young musicians is their maturity level in writing.

 

Gasoline, the newest CD from the Canadian quartet, features some youthful lyrics with some adult music behind them. "No Surprise," the first single, is a prime example of the maturation of the band. It is a song of loss, heartache and anger, and rather than take the typical ballad route or super heavy avenue, Theory took a note from Everclear's lecture and added some fun, upbeat harmonies and toe-tapping drum beats to keep the listener a bit off balance and fresh. It also helps to add to the lyrics, allowing the listener to feel good even with a bad situation on their hands. This is a big step forward for Theory in making their path away from former producer and still friend, Chad Kroeger of Nickelback.

 

Theory took their new maturity and new record to the masses at the Newport with their opening slot for Breaking Benjamin and used their time wisely. Rather than a lot of banter and crowd interaction, Theory ripped through their set like hot metal through thin paper, leaving only charred remains in their wake.

 

Theory is working their way to being a band in the mold of Three Doors Down. Relevant lyrics with a harsh undertone of rock allow the band to be heard by the just-out-of-her-pop-stage secretary and the more metalhead she is dating. Theory is able to cross boundaries by playing their straight up rock music and that is not just a theory for dead men, it's a theory for musical success.

Tyler Connolly
Dave Brenner
Tyler Connolly
Tyler Connolly
Tyler Connolly
Brent Fitz