Photography provided by: Stephen Gibson Photography
In the sweltering summer heat in Bristow, Virginia on July 28, 2010, Skillet (www.skillet.com) opened its first night on the Creed 20-10 tour.
Blaring from the loud speakers at Jiffy Lube Live (www.livenation.com) you heard, Ladies and Gentlemen welcome to the show. You are invited to scream. You are invited to stand. You are invited to rock!!!
With that John Cooper, Korey Cooper, Jen Ledger and Ben Kasica came on stage and lit a fire underneath the crowd of about 5,000 by starting the night with “Hero” from their “Awake” album, which was certified gold as of July 2, 2010. The energy from this band just pours from the moment they step on stage and is so infectious that as soon as they get started it’s doesn’t take the crowd more than a minute before everyone was pumping their fists, jumping up and down, and banging their heads. They ended the first song and the stage was lit with green lasers as they flowed into the next song from the “Comatose” album titled “Whispers in the Dark” which included a great guitar solo by Ben Kasica that would have had your ears on fire he played so well.
Next up was the title track from the “Comatose” album, “Comatose” which rounded out their first set, this is where John took a minute to stop and greet the audience and spoke about the war in Iraq as well as the war on humanity which led them straight into an awesome roof smashing, riser lifting, version of “Awake and Alive” one of our personal favorites from the “Awake” album. Jen Ledger is such a talented drummer throughout the show but it seems to me that during this song she really showcases her flair and tenacity on her drums that she wants you to wake up and feel it, I am surprised she doesn’t have or need a personal masseuse after the show as hard as she bangs her head back and forth but this is just her passion to give the fans what they came to see and hear.
I was totally caught by surprise when the next song they played was “Lucy” as this was the first time I had heard it live and I have to tell you that you can really feel the passion and expression from John in this song as his voice just permeates throughout and you can really feel the passion that Skillet has to present their talent and gifts to the people that paid their money to come see them.
After “Lucy”, John mentioned they were excited to join Creed on the tour starting that night. He said he was so excited he was walking around with his video camera all day.
This is where he went into how he came up with the song “The Last Night” and where he expressed the bands beliefs by stating “That no matter who you are or what you look like there is a God that will always love you and all you have to do is believe in him”, then went into “The Last Night”, during which, at least 6 towers of different colored strobe lights flashed in sync with the guitar playing and was an awesome site to sit back and experience.
John stepped forward real close to the crowd and said “Do you want to get loud? Do you want to get crazy? Do you feel like a monster”? Which of course led to the crowd screaming YEA, pumping their fist in the air and clapping their hands as the song “Monster” started? This is where I think Korey really showcases a lot of talent on her Paul Reed Smith white guitar as she tears it up even harder than anytime I watched her as she pounces back and forth on stage, it is a wonder if she has any fingers left as hard as this talented lady can play.
They ended the show with “Rebirthing” where they brought out the talented violinist Jonathan Chu and cellist Tate Olsen rising them up in the air on risers to allow the crowd to see these two talented players from every seat in the arena as well as allow John to showcase his mastery on the bass guitar.
John said “We are Skillet, good night, and get ready for Creed”
We have seen Skillet twice now and I will have to say that this band hardly ever stands still, they are constantly moving and interacting with the crowd, they definitely know when and how to pump up a crowd and get them out of their seats, as this is definitely a band you want to see perform live.
After the show we were privileged enough to meet several members of our Armed Forces as part of USO-Metro (www.usometro.org) which is an organization that supports service members and their families. In particular we spoke to Lt. Bethany Shivers of the Alabama National Guard, currently at Walter Reed, who stated “That even though she hated to admit that this was the first concert she had seen since New Kids on the Block in 1988, it was a great, amazing show and she couldn’t wait to download Skillet.” “She loved them and definitely would see the show again”. Arguably the most energetic thing she has experienced since being at Walter Reed” and that it helped her “Forget about her worries”.
In on our last review we were hoping to be able to see Skillet live again and in a larger venue and we would like to express our deepest thanks to Q Management Group for allowing us this awesome opportunity as we can officially say “We are forever Panheads”.
We would be remiss if we did not say thank you and express our appreciation to the staff at Jiffy Lube Live, particularly Robert Muller and Lindsey Rose as they have always been gracious, professionals and easy to work with.