Theory of a Deadman has played the New York State Fair three times; this was my second time seeing them here, the first time in 2019.
Theory of a Deadman has mastered the art of the breakup song, often adding a humorous twist to tales of heartache. With undeniable talent and skilled songwriting, Theory crafts albums you can listen to cover-to-cover without skipping a single track. Their consistency and quality echo fellow Canadian rockers Three Days Grace, who also boast albums packed with killer songs and no filler.
I’ve always appreciated Theory of a Deadman’s witty, tongue-in-cheek humor in their lyrics and songs. Their style brings to mind other personal favorite artists like Frank Zappa, Joe Walsh, and Warren Zevon, who also infused their music with a clever sense of humor.
I got to the stage around 6:45 PM, securing my spot early as I’ve learned from past attendance that this smaller seating area fills up quickly. Mostly set up for lawn chair seating.
As the show grew near, the gentleman there to sign the concert appeared and began signing to the soundtrack of songs playing before the show. For some reason, I found this very entertaining. The thought of some of the upcoming song lyrics being signed made me laugh and very inquisitive. Here he is, doing Sweet Caroline.
Theory came out promptly at 8 PM, opening with “Dinosaur”, the title track from their latest album, one of three songs they played from the latest, “Two of Us (Stuck)” and “Ambulance” being the others.
From there on, it was a string of their hits (really what we want for a concert experience), mostly from the Scars and Souveniers, Truth Is…, and Gasoline albums with a stop at the piano for “Wicked Game” (a Chris Isaak cover).
Seeing that most of the crowd was seemingly unfamiliar with the songs or singing along at all was a bit of a surprise to me.
In fact, when they covered Garth Brook’s “Friends in Low Places” and announced that Garth was here to sing it right, the crowd seemed annoyed to find out it was a joke. They did get to watch me sing along however, a treat for sure.
One thing that I have noticed and seen from this and previous shows is the songs are just slightly slower, and Tyler’s voice is more flat than the album’s production so it takes a bit to get used to, but having seen them 4 or 5 times, it obviously hasn’t been a problem for me.