Theory, Wilson, & Spirit Animal Rock Sioux City’s Hard Rock

Theory of a Deadman at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Sioux City, Iowa on Thursday, August 2, 2018. Photo by Sara Alexander.

By Sara Alexander

Theory of a Deadman rocked a sold out crowd inside Hard Rock Sioux City’s Anthem Thursday night, August 2, 2018.

Canadian rockers, Theory, began their headline set with front man Tyler Connolly center stage on piano for the tune “Straight Jacket” from last fall’s Wake Up Call, which featured a new sound from the band.

With every hair gelled into place, Connolly remarked that so far this tour they’ve had four couples get engaged during their show, and he urged the audience to make this show the fifth. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen, but all were still able to witness and celebrate the holy union of rock and roll.

Theory was accompanied by interesting visuals throughout the show on large screens backing the stage. The band played fan favorites, like “All or Nothing” and “Lowlife,” as well as their own favorites, like “Echoes” and “Santa Monica.” The set even featured an impressive drum solo from Joey Dandeneau and a cover of Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game.”

The band finished their set with the favorite working class anthem “Hate My Life” before returning for an encore. They then played “Rx (Medicate)” and gave a shout out to Shatterproof, a nonprofit organization helping families affected by the devastation of addiction. Finally, the night ended with Theory’s biggest hit, “Bad Girlfriend.”

Opening for Theory were bands Wilson and Spirit Animal.

Spirit Animal began the show with high energy to accompany their rock meets electronic pop meets funk sound. Think: Walk the Moon or Imagine Dragons meets Royal Blood in the 1970’s. The group, which formed in 2010, played a set consisting largely of tracks from their latest record, Born Yesterday, which was not yet released the date of the show. However, the album was being sold exclusively to fans, who were present, a day before its release date. Packed with quirky ear-catching lyrics, it’s definitely worth checking out, especially for “The Truth” and “Painkiller.”

Detroit band, Wilson, soon followed and proved themselves not so serious with opening song, “Dumptruck.” Think: Powerman 5000 but with post-college frat boys. You’re not going to hear anything revolutionary or emotionally moving, but sometimes that’s just what you want. Green was a theme of the set with everything from the band’s middle-finger logo and stage lights, to their vocalist’s hair glowing bright lime. Accompanying the five-piece band was a character in a white lab coat and green ski mask who, throughout the set, sprayed concertgoers with silly string and placed drops of an unknown liquid into the mouths of band members.

Together, the three bands made for an entertaining and surprisingly cohesive lineup. The musicianship, audience interaction, and clever pop culture referencing lyrics kept concertgoers captivated, well rocked, and even humored throughout the evening.