The Carnival of Madness made a stop at the Kentucky State Fair last Friday night. This concert featured new comers Emphatic, Adelitas Way, Black Stone Cherry, Alter Bridge and Theory of a Deadman. Unlike the east coast that was getting hammered with high speed winds and torrential rainfall from Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene, it was a perfect night for a rock show in Louisville, Ky. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky. The show started like clock work and every band pretty much started at their scheduled time.
Emphatic took the stage at promptly at 6:30, and the first thing I noticed is they had a different singer. I saw Emphatic earlier this year at the Phoenix Hill Tavern in Louisville, KY, and met their singer Patrick Wilson after the show. I wondered all night what had happened to Patrick. Thanks to HRH reader Shaylee, I found out that Emphatic’s singer Patrick Wilson was unable to tour with the Emphatic due to an injury to his vocal chords. Grant Kendrick from the Omaha, NE band, The Wreckage is filling in for Patrick while he heals. To my ears, Kendrick is doing a fine job. Emphatic played several songs off of their newly released self titled CD including: “Do I”, “Get Paid”, “Beg”, “Put Down The Drink”, “Original Sin” and my personal favorite, “Bounce”.
Las Vegas, Nevada’s Adelitas Way was the second act on the Carnival of Madness bill. This was the first time I have seen Adelitas Way perform live. I didn’t have any expectations for this band, and I liked their tunes quite a bit. They played songs from their self titled CD, as well as their new disc Home School Valedictorian. Judging from the tunes they played Friday night, I am going to have to break their CD’s out and give them another listen. They performed a tight set, and were pretty good, however neither Emphatic or Adelitas Way could even come close to the performance put on by Kentucky’s Black Stone Cherry.
The Kentucky State Fair was a home coming performance for Black Stone Cherry. They were the headliner at the Kentucky State Fair one year ago, and quite honestly, I thought they should have been again in 2011. Black Stone Cherry put on a high energy set which included their songs,”Maybe Someday”, “Blame in on the Boom Boom”, “White Trash Millionaire”, “Blind Man”, and “Lonely Train”. They were excellent, and a whole lot of fun to watch. I wish they could have played longer. I have seen BSC perform several times over the years, and they never disappoint. They were easily the highlight of this Carnival of Madness concert.
The last time I saw Alter Bridge perform was in 2008, so I they were the second band that I was looking forward to most on this night. Myles Kennedy and company did not disappoint. Their set included the songs: “Slip to the Void”, “Find the Real”, “White Knuckles”, “Ghost of Days Gone By”, “Ties That Bind”, “Blackbird”, “Come To Life”, “Isolation” and “Rise Today”. The last time I saw Alter Bridge, I remember them being good, but they left a much bigger impression on me this time. Mark Tremonti was excellent on lead guitar all night. Myles Kennedy got to show off his guitar playing prowess, when he traded off guitar solos with Tremonti. I had no idea that Myles Kennedy was THIS good of a guitar player. Who Knew? I hope I can see Alter Bridge again, when they can play a longer set. Their performance was second only to Black Stone Cherry on this evening.
I must admit that I haven’t had a lot of love for Theory of a Deadman over the years. Every time I have seen them live, they have been disappointing at best. On Friday night, they surprised me. They sounded and performed better than any other time I have seen them. Singer Tyler Connolly did his best to interact with the crowd (and not look at his shoes). While I still didn’t think Theory of a A Deadman had a lot of energy, I thought their were much better than I have seen them previously. I don’t know if having Black Stone Cherry and Alter Bridge open up for them puts more pressure on T.O.A.D., but they definitely brought their “A” game to the old Cardinal Stadium. Theory of a Deadman performed their songs “Gentlemen”, “Got it Made”, “All or Nothing”, “So Happy”, “Bitch Came Back”,”Not Meant To Be”, “Lowlife”, their cover of the J.J. Cale classic “Cocaine”, “Bad Girlfriend” and more.
If you take one thing from this review, take this, go see the Carnival of Madness on one of the remaining dates. It is well worth your hard earned cash, and is fun night of rock and roll.
The following dates remain in the 2011 Carnival of Madness:
Thursday, September 1 Allentown, PA The Great Allentown Fair
Saturday, September 3 Hampton Beach, NH Hampton Beach Casino
Wednesday, September 7 Baltimore, MD Pier Six Concert Pavilion
Friday, September 9 Big Flats, NY Tag’s Summer Stage
Saturday, September 10 Atlantic City, NJ House of Blues
Sunday, September 11 Huntington, WV Harris Riverfront Park
Tuesday, September 13 Charlotte, NC Time Warner Cable Uptown Amp.
Wednesday, September 14 Fayetteville, NC Crown Coliseum
Friday, September 16 Tulsa, OK Osage Million Dollar Elm Casino
Saturday, September 17 Poplar Bluff, MO Black River Coliseum
Sunday, September 18 Dayton, Oh Montgomery County Fairgrounds
Bored. This is how I felt after listening to Theory of a Deadman’s latest CD, The Truth is…
You see, I really wanted to like this CD. I did enjoy the band’s previous effort Scars & Souvenirs, but no matter how may times I spin The Truth is…, I just can’t get into it.
There are two problems that I hear that makes this CD not as enjoyable as their past efforts. One is the song writing, the other is the music in general. Let me explain….
There are a few songs on The Truth is… where Tyler Connolly sounds like a card-carrying
member of the “He-man Woman Haters Club”. In between are tunes like “Out of Head” (Tyler can’t get that girl out of his head) that me scratching my head. Maybe it is the bi-polar style of writing that I didn’t get into. I just thought it was odd. One of the catchiest songs on the CD is “The Bitch is Back”, but it is NOT a song I would recommend singing along to (especially in mixed company).
The second problem is the music, and that is a whole different story. If you were to hear any songs from The Truth is… on the radio, unless you actually owned this CD, I doubt you could figure out which band was playing the song. It is the same reformulated, overproduced (by Howard Benson) stuff that I have heard 100 times before. The over all experience left me a little bored, and had me looking forward to hitting the eject button, so I could put something else in the CD player.
The Truth is that The Truth is… is not that good. There are a few decent songs, but overall, this CD is tame and unmemorable. I wouldn’t recommend it.
Rating: Out of 10
02. Bitch Came Back
03. Hurricane – (featuring Dan Chase)
04. Out Of My Head
06. Love Is Hell
07. The Truth Is…(I Lied About Everything)
08. Head Above Water
09. Drag Me To Hell
10. What Was I Thinking – (featuring Arik Leavitt)
11. Easy To Love You
12. We Were Men
14. Does It Really Matter – (featuring Robin Diaz)
15. Villain – (featuring Robin Diaz)
16. Better or Worse – (featuring Robin Diaz)
17. Out of My Head [Acoustic]
18. Easy to Love You [Acoustic]
Theory of a Deadman is:
Tyler Connolly – vocals, guitar
Dave Brenner – guitar
Dean Back – bass guitar, backing vocals
Joe Dandeneau – drums