JAM Magazine Concert Reviews

September 21, 2014
House of Blues - Houston
Houston, TX USA
Review by Annabeth Victorick
Photos by Michael Victorick

Theory of a Deadman - Theory of a Deadman, Shaman's Harvest, 3 Pill Morning

Rock Hits Hard At The Houston House of Blues

Houston is a city known for its work ethic, so you don't really hear much about us Houstonians partying our asses off on the day of the Sabbath. There are a million ways to say it: "No rest for the wicked," "All work and no play...," but it comes down to this: we work hard and we play hard. Sunday night at the House of Blues was no different as Theory of a Deadman and other promising acts rolled into town.

Minneapolis newcomers 3 Pill Morning opened up the show. They are a solid radio rock band that, if guided right, could achieve the same status as the bands who are currently performing at Houston's very own Buzzfest. While they are newcomers to the national stage, their performance was on point. Singer Jeff Stebbins kept the crowd's hands in the air while guitarist Aaron Peterson was constantly inches away from the barricade. The rhythm section was no slouch, either, as bassist Ryan Lee carried backing vocals while throwing his 4-string PRS all over the place while Trent Laugerman made sure that everything was nice, tight and f'ing loud at all times. It was a really good way to open the show, but my only gripe was their inclusion of random electronica "musical breaks." I'm fine with the breaks and I'm fine with electronica in a rock show, but only if it flows with the set.

Swamp rock boys Shaman's Harvest was up next, and although they have been around for a while, I had never heard of them until this night. When you see these boys, you instantly get that Lynyrd-Skynyrd-on-crack feel. We're talking ripped bell bottoms and Clutch-style chugging with a lot of Muddy Waters all over the place, and I say that in the best way possible. While there wasn't a ton of movement on the stage from most of the band, bassist Matt Fisher had no problem going off at any chance he could and singer Nathan Hunt was great at interacting with the crowd after the first 3 songs. I would have to say the show's highlight was their rendition of Michael Jackson's "Dirty Diana," which you can hear on their newest release, "Smokin' Hearts & Broken Guns." It's one of the most solid recreations of an MJ song I've heard and I couldn't help but be awestruck by the precision with which they pulled it off. These guys were a great precursor for what was to come next.

Theory of a Deadman walked out and started the show as they always do: with a f'ing bang. Since they are on their new album's touring cycle, I figured they would bust out with new music right away, but they made the Houston crowd salivate while they kicked off the show with "So Happy." and "Lowlife." The fourth song in the set was the Alice Cooper-tinged "Savages," a definitely heavier take on Theory of a Deadman's sound, but it sounded good and the crowd enjoyed it. Their set continued and singer Tyler Connoly sounded amazing, as usual. The big surprise of the night was a great version of the Stone Temple Pilots hit "Interstate Love Song." that had everyone singing along. They continued to rock Houston that Sunday night with "No Surprise," the Alice in Chains-influenced "Drown," and the sing-along of "Santa Monica." Saving the best for last, the infamous "Bad Girlfriend." closed out the show, as it wouldn't be a complete Theory of a Deadman show without it.

Theory of a Deadman are currently touring the US in support of their newest record, "Savages," and I highly recommend that you check out their show. If not for Theory, then definitely for Shaman's Harvest or 3 Pill Morning, and some dates even have WWE superstar Chris Jericho's Fozzy rocking out the crowds. I would be lying if I said that their absence that night wasn't upsetting, but the show that Houston got this last Sunday was pretty amazing nonetheless!