I’ve got to be completely honest; I’m not a huge Theory of a Deadman fan. I find they are one of those bands that I can listen to but don’t go out of my way to search out. I enjoy the odd occasion they pop up on the music channels, or that song that comes on at your friends party but, you won’t find them on my I-pod. So when I got asked to review tonight’s show, I had no idea how I was going to feel about them (or any of the bands on the bill for that matter).
The first band to grace the stage (and the act I was mainly there to see) were Forever Never, a melodic rock five piece hailing from Essex, UK and it was clear from the get go that these boys meant business.
Playing to a mostly full room, Forever Never kicked the party off in style, motivating the crowd with an intense energy that grew with each song. Not one member of the band was stood still as they hammered through their set, soaring through a whirlwind of heavy riffs and fuzzy bass tones accompanied by a very on point vocal.
I’ll admit, when I first checked out some of Forever Never’s tracks before this gig, I wasn’t overly sold. I liked the music but again, like Theory of a Deadman, I doubt you’d ever find it in my playlist. However the story on stage was very different. The energy, the buzz, it was all there thriving for your attention. The song’s seemed heavier live than they did on the record and I liked it. It’s obvious to see that these lads are very good at what they do and what’s more, they enjoy doing it.
Next up was Swedish rock band Royal Republic. Now, if you’re looking for a catchy tune, believe me these guys have got you covered. You can’t help but dance or bob your head or at least tap your foot along to their energetic dance/rock style of music.
With catchy lyrics and a confident energy, these guys were a real crowd pleaser. Every member of the band had a microphone and contributed to the perfect harmonies that make up a massive part of their sound. Their music is lyrically entertaining and musically brilliant. The combination on stage makes for a great performance.
Lead singer, Adam, charmed the crowd in between songs, taking to the stage like a duck to water and the whole band put on a very comfortable and natural performance – they know they belong there and they want you to know it.
Last but certainly not least, Theory of a Deadman entered the stage to South Park’s Blame Canada, which sets the tone for the band immediately. These guys are here to have a laugh and entertain.
They really let the crowd have it, slamming them with tune after tune after tune. There wasn’t much time for talking as between certain songs there were little interludes or soundscapes, making sure to keep the attention of their audience. When lead singer, Tyler, did talk to the crowd, they hung on his every word. It didn’t matter if he was cracking jokes or telling serious stories, every ear in that room was listening to him.
Just before they played Santa Monica (the bands self-proclaimed favourite song to play live), Tyler gave a gripping speech about the power of music and how much music had changed and shaped the band’s lives. This really resonated with me and looking around the room it was plain to see that I wasn’t alone. The crowd practically lifted the roof off the building singing every word to Santa Monica and, as the last chord rang out, clapped and cheered the band.
Other than a drum solo roughly half way through the performance, the rest of the set carried on in the same fashion, with the crowd getting more and more hyped up for the most popular songs. Savages and I Hate My Life in particular really got the audience moving and it was great to see such an energetic atmosphere.
Of course the band came back on stage to perform two final songs. The first was a short mash up of Sweet Home Alabama and Sweet Child O’ Mine, which they gave a personal touch by changing the lyrics to be about Birmingham – an absolute way of making sure their audience would remember them and this night for a long time to come. The second was obviously Bad Girlfriend, a massive hit for the Canadian rock group and arguably their biggest track in the UK to date.
All in all I was pleasantly surprised by each band on the bill tonight. It makes sense that they should tour together as the similarities are evident on record. Don’t let those similarities fool you though as these bands all have very different (in a good way of course!) approaches to their live shows that prise them apart from each other and prove that they are in fact extremely individual acts.
You can listen to all the bands right here:
Forever Never: http://forevernever.com
Royal Republic: http://www.royalrepublic.net
Theory Of A Deadman: http://www.theoryofadeadman.com
(All photography appears courtesy of Amy Wyatt)
Amy Wyatt studied Sound Engineering and Production at Birmingham City before going to work at Univibe Studios as a sound engineer. Amy also fronts Heavy Rock/Metal band Secrets Of Mariana.