Theory of a Deadman / Skillet / Saint Ansonia @ the Factory in Deep Ellum, Dallas, TX

Words and photos by Duane Clawson
Did someone say, “Rock Resurrection”? Hell yes, count me in! First off, my apologies to the opening act Saint Ansonia for not planning my trip around Dallas traffic. This lack of preparation cost the me opportunity to photograph the band’s opening spot on this tour and miss most of their set. But I did catch the last two songs of their abbreviated time on stage and one of their biggest hits, “Let Me Live My Life”.

Rhythm guitarist and former Three Days Grace lead singer, Adam Gontier appears as a perfect frontman working the crowd hard for co-headliners, Skillet and Theory of a Deadman. It’s even rumored there may be a cover or two of Gontier’s work with other bands. I know, if I’d been on time I may have been able to confirm this. Anyways what I’m trying to say is do yourself a solid, go early and see Saint Ansonia!

Throughout the intermission there was a noticeable quickness of how fast audience members were filling in open spots on the Factory floor. After seeing Skillet live, I now understand they didn’t want to miss a note! While waiting outside the venue, at will call for my ticket, I spotted quite a few people wearing Skillet shirts. It wasn’t until after the show I realized just how big their following is. Described as a faith-based band, while cleverly disguised as a hard rock band, Skillet delivers the message loud and clear!

After twenty-seven plus years in the business frontman John Cooper appeared to be loving every minute of his time on stage. Bringing equal energy to the night were his wife Korey Cooper on guitar, Jen Ledger on drums, and Seth Morrison on guitar. Skillet intertwines a slick light show with copious amounts of smoke to rival some of the biggest heavy metal shows I’ve seen. In between the music Cooper delivers messages of togetherness. For some he personalizes the experience by pointing out the significance of the signage they’re holding. So far it appears the name of this tour is accurate, Skillet was most definitely the rock! Let’s see if Theory of a Deadman can bring on the resurrection.

Within fifteen minutes of Theory of a Deadman taking the stage the above statement is defined. Two of their three opening numbers were from their brand-new album, Dinosaur, which contains a resurrected vibe. One of these songs is a stylized version of “Just the Two of Us” with lyrics retooled to fit the band’s style. Moving to the back of the Factory I notice a slightly smaller crowd, I guess I did see a lot of Skillet fans. Unfortunately, they missed an equally impressive rock show! After some loosening up, band leader Tyler Connolly displays an unsuspected sense of humor.

One moment comes after they play a snippet of “Friends In Low Places”. Connolly says, “There’s only one person that can sing that song better than me, Garth Brooks everybody”. He looks to both sides of the stage while attendees cheer wildly. Then the letdown, “I never said he was actually here.” Well played Tyler, well played. Some other highlights included Connolly solo behind a keyboard performing a stellar rendition of Chris Isaak’s, “Wicked Game”. Of course, no Deadman show would be complete without their hits, “Bad Girlfriend, “Lowlife”, and “Hate My Life”.

One hour and three minutes later it’s over, no encore, just over. For a moment I felt a little bit let down over the experience or lack thereof. But then I had a moment of clarity. Everyone did their job, no need for further explanation. And just for a few hours the rock had been resurrected. A big thanks to all the bands for allowing MTC MAG to be in the house and to our gracious host The Factory.
Photos of the show are below:

Theory of a Deadman
Contributed by Duane Clawson
Theory of a Deadman / Skillet / Saint Ansonia @ the Factory in Deep Ellum, Dallas, TX Theory of a Deadman / Skillet / Saint Ansonia @ the Factory in Deep Ellum, Dallas, TX Reviewed by Scott Rowe, Editor on March 17, 2023 Rating: 5
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