This was the first time Theory of a Deadman was performing in this portion of California and this was a great opportunity to cover the band’s performance. Over the years the Canadian rock band has played in the surrounding areas but today they are playing at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton, Ca. The amphitheater that the band was playing at was smaller than I expected but that also makes for a more intimate show as well as a more energetic one.

There were no opening acts so it was still daylight with Theory took the stage. With the band’s stage set up, you could tell it was meant for a night time show but like most shows, it’s about the music. Theory’s music ranges from post-grunge/alt rock to commercial hard rock, to even pop because of the diversity of their music over the past two decades.



Vocalist Tyler Connolly hit the stage wearing all black on a scorching hot day where you could fry an egg on the concrete but kept his cool throughout the show. Luckily the Sun only lasted for half the show because Theory had a great stage show that they were able to showcase. Connolly frequently expressed his gratitude to the fans who were enduring the heat with him and the band.

Theory opened the show with the title track of their latest album “Dinosaur”.  They continued to rip through other hit tracks of theirs like “Lowlife” and “Two of Us (Stuck)’ which pulls from the Bill Withers chorus of “Just the Two of Us”. What was also entertaining were snippets of song’s that were played like when they played part of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” as they spoke about being in the Bay Area. They also covered Bay Area’s Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game”.



The show would continue with “Not Meant to Be”, “History of Violence”, & “Better Off”. The band’s musicianship was also on full display, with each member showcasing their skills. Guitarist Dave Brenner’s hid under his cap but had his tone and riff speak for him. Dean Back’s bass work was a solid foundation, and Joey Dandeneau’s drumming was spot on and intense, driving the energy of the performance. Connolly switched between playing guitar and keyboards varying on the song. It was evident that the chemistry between theses band members was strong and made their live sound even more dynamic.



It was great to hear the stories behind some of the songs as we were now in an evening show with the Sun completely gone and light and stage show in full effect. “All of Nothing” was a crowd favorite as then transitioned into “Ambulance” and “Santa Monica”.

With so many well-known songs in their repertoire, it would be difficult to play more of the current music and still cover all the hits. Tyler commanded the stage and is a great front man. He also played a great joke on the crowd as the band played “Friends in Low Places” which was made famous by country star Garth Brooks as Tyler stated welcome our surprise guest “Garth!”. The crowd cheered as no one came out. It took a minute before the fans realized they were suckered.



As the night was coming to the close to the end we were treated to “Angel” and “Hate My Life”. Tyler thanked the crowd as the band left the stage. We hoped Theory would come back out and they did not disappoint. They came out to play “RX (Medicate)” and close out the evening with “Bad Girlfriend”.

Theory of a Deadman’s live show was a testament to their enduring appeal, talent, and catalog of hit songs. Theory connected with their audience through their music and Tyler’s stage presence which made for an unforgettable evening. Whether you’re a long-time fan or a fan of their new music, Theory of a Deadman’s live show is an experience that pleased all who attended.





Tyler Connolly’s Setlist



Theory of a Deadman Setlist



Two of Us (Stuck)

Not Meant To Be

Hurt (Johnny Cash Cover) (Intro Only)

History of Violence

Better Off

Wicked Game (Chris Isaak Cover)

Don’t Stop Believin’ (Journey cover) (Intro Only)

Jump (Van Halen Cover) (Intro Only)

All or Nothing


Nutshell (Alice in Chains) (Instrumental)

Santa Monica

Bitch Came Back

Friends in Low Places (Dewayne Blackwell Cover) (Intro Only)


Hate My Life

RX (Medicate)

Bad Girlfriend


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