Review + Photography by Kate Snape

On the back of their recently released sixth studio album ‘Wake up Tour’ Theory of a Deadman (TOAD) have finally landed in Manchester for the last show of their UK leg of the tour. Tonight they are playing the Manchester Academy 2, a venue that they are well familiar with having played it several times previously. The audience tonight is a great mix of young, old, rockers and regulars but all with one thing in common, their love for TOAD, the room is buzzing with excitement and absolutely packed out to the rafters.

Theory of a Deadman

As the lights dim, and the dry ice fills the stage a roar from the welcoming crowd erupts. The opening track tonight is the upbeat ‘Lowlife’ from 2011’s ‘The Truth Is…’ album, followed by ‘Blow’ and then the ever popular ‘The Bitch Came Back’.  Tonight really has been kicked off in style and the crowd are already whipped up into a frenzy.

Theory of a Deadman

Next up is ‘Echoes’ followed by my personal favourite ‘All or Nothing’ taken from 2008’s ‘Scars & Souvenirs’ album, it’s clear tonight is all about the classic TOAD tracks and the crowd are absolutely loving it. Frontman Tyler Connolly takes some time to address the crowd, explaining how music has such a big influence on us all and can pick us up from low times in our life. He then introduces the next track as the band’s favourite, taken from 2005’s ‘Gasoline’ album, it’s ‘Santa Monica’. Half way through the gig and the band are only just getting round to playing one of their new tracks. Tyler takes to the keyboard centre stage for their own rendition of Chris Issak’s classic ‘Wicked Game’ which features as the last track on their new album. A sea of mobile phones light up the venue as everyone wants to record this beautiful cover version. The band then leave the stage to a massive applause, with drummer, Joey Dandeneau soon returning to play an impressive drum solo.

Theory of a Deadman

Theory of a Deadman

The other band members join him to play ‘Drown’ and then eventually get round to playing one of their new singles ‘Straight Jacket’, although the new album has a slightly more “pop” vibe, it’s evident that this song is set to become another TOAD favourite, with most of the crowd already singing the lyrics back at the band. Tyler takes some time to speak to the audience about his UK heritage and the fact he grew up with his mother watching Coronation Street, I remember him having this same conversation the last time the band were in town but it’s nice for him to acknowledge where they are and the links they have to our city. The tempo slows for ‘Not Meant To Be’ and then the beautiful ‘Angel’ before finishing up with ‘Hate my life’.

Theory of a Deadman

Of course it’s not a gig without an encore and they quickly return, making the promise to the crowd that they will come back and visit the UK later in the year. They play their second single from the new album ‘RX (Medicate)’ which challenges the current prescription drug addiction epidemic in the USA.

Theory of a Deadman

The night finishes with an instrumental of Guns ‘n’ Roses classic ‘Paradise City’ which the crowd vocals filling the room, before they delve into their final track of the night and absolute fan favourite ‘Bad Girlfriend’.

As the band exit the stage for the last time, the lights come up and everyone leaves with massive smiles on their faces. A fantastic night, filled with loads of crowd pleasing TOAD classics.

Theory of a Deadman

Theory of a Deadman

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