Theory Of A Deadman at The Fillmore in Detroit, MI

Canadian rockers, Theory Of A Deadman make their long-awaited return to the Motor City… and blast the pants off all in attendance.

Black Friday 2021 has brought quite a holiday gala to music lovers of Metro-Detroit. This particular evening, found young and old, braving the Michigan elements as they lined the streets surrounding the historic Fillmore… eager to spend the night with North Delta rock icons, Theory Of A Deadman.

9:30 PM, and the house lights of a packed to capacity venue are lowered and bright red LEDs begin to glow, revealing a mystical smoke creeping across the ginormous stage. A piano/synth interlude begins to play and the LEDs sparkle to epileptic proportions, revealing shadow-like figures gliding across the stage. The audience roars to life as the interlude is dramatically replaced with the booming drum and bass intro to “Lowlife.” Stage lights ignite, and from those mysterious shadows, we now see Theory Of A Deadman’s frontman, Tyler Connolly, standing tall center stage, strapped with a tricked-out Fender Telecaster as he blasts a Johnny Cash like grin to his audience. The night is underway and the anticipatory energy from this crowd is electrical as the band grinds out their first track.
Guitarist Dave Brenner, lays down the slide parts of the tune’s tasty hooks, while drummer Joey Dandeneau and bassist Dean Back hammer out the backbone for the night. “Bitch came back” rolls next and singer Connolly is now strapped into a vintage flying V, as he fires the tune’s notorious lyrics into the audience, (whom immediately respond by singing along with him… “The bitch came back!”). Next up is “Blow,” followed by a track from their latest studio album, “World Keeps Spinning,” (from the band’s seventh album, Say Nothing). Brenner begins the acoustic intro to the Alice In Chains tune “Nutshell” and we see Connolly step centerstage with his beloved Gretsch hollow body. TC proceeds to treat the crowd (and guitar nerds) to a powerful guitar solo that is well-executed, both technical, emotional, and quite moving. He then addresses the crowd and says that being a rockstar is not about private jets or unlimited resources… It’s all about you… The fans! He then explains that this next song is about running away, as the band begins the tune “Santa Monica,” followed by “So Happy.”
Next up we have a piano wheeled into center stage as Connolly takes to the keys for a cover of the Chris Isaak tune “Wicked Game.” We see cell phone lights illuminating the stage area as the audience croons along with TC’s heartfelt delivery. “Straight Jacket,” “Nothing Could Come Between Us,” and the smokin’ hit “Not Meant to Be,” are next in the set. The newer tune “History of Violence,” (a thought-provoking track about domestic abuse) is well-received by the crowd. Tyler breaks out the acoustic for “Angel,” followed up by a crowd-favorite “Hate My Life.”
As the song comes to a close, Connolly abruptly says “Thank you so much, good night!” The band raises their hands high to the crowd as they exit stage right to dimming house lights and a roaring crowd that is still hungry for more. No worries, a ruse is afoot, and our power-quad has returned to the stage for a final performance of “Rx.” Theory Of A Deadman brings the night to a close with a bangin’ version of their monster hit “Bad Girlfriend.” 
Theory of a Deadman comes as a Loud Hailer recommended concert experience, that is fun, engaging, and well worth the price of your admission. Be sure to catch them on tour with many more stops left throughout the month of December 2021. Also, check out their latest studio recording, “Say Nothing,” a bold and powerful piece of musical storytelling that would make a perfect holiday gift. More details, tour dates, and current news can be found on the band’s official website.

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About Jay Dunbar 53 Articles
Jay Dunbar is a professional photographer that enjoys wearing a multitude of hats. He is active in the commercial and stock photography arenas and currently owns and operates a Detroit based investigations firm and photography agency. Despite his many endeavors, Jay can frequently be found in attendance at your favorite concert venues, capturing breathtaking images of live performances of many genres of music. A skilled author and photographer, he could be described as a " Serial Music Journalist." Carrying the photo bug for nearly thirty years, Jay enjoys all styles of photography, testing new gear, and helping aspiring photographers, artists and models to develop their skills and learn their craft.