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Skillet and the Controversial Secular Tour

posted Apr 2, 2011, 9:58 PM by Sarah Brehm   [ updated Apr 17, 2011, 1:10 PM ]

 The Bible teaches us that we are supposed to live in this world, but that we are not of this world. Romans 12:1 tells us not to conform to this world—and Skillet is wholeheartedly choosing not to conform, despite being on a secular tour.


There seemed to be a lot of negative buzz when Skillet announced they were going to be part of the Avalanche Tour with Art of Dying, Halestorm, Theory of a Deadman, and Stone Sour—all secular bands. People complained that Skillet was a sell-out, that they had lost their morals, and that there was no way being on this tour was a good influence to their main demographic—Christian teens. Parents complained they couldn’t take their children to a rock show like this.


I understand the complaints, but at the same time I don’t. Jesus didn’t hang out with the religious, with those who already believed. He went out among the beggars and thieves, to the grit and grime, to find lost souls. Would those people who were angry with Skillet also have been angry with Christ?


I went to Atlanta to support them at the Masquerade Park on April 1. I paid a little extra and got a VIP ticket—this came with merchandise, early entry, and a meet and greet with the band. I eagerly told John and Korey Cooper that this was lucky number 13 for me, and that I went to my first Skillet concert 10 years ago for the Alien Youth tour. “I remember that concert, I think,” said John. “I had blonde hair then.” (Now he has a full beard!) I met the newest member, Jonathan Salas, who replaced Ben Kasica on guitar. And I got a group picture taken.


I am warning you now, though—overall this tour is in no way family friendly. If this is a concern to you, wait till Skillet is doing summer Christian festivals to take children. Copious amounts of alcohol were being consumed around me. Cigarette smoke lingered in the air. Women dressed to overly flaunt their curves. When the first band walked on stage, the lead singer carried a bottle of Jack Daniels and prided himself in using the “F” word every chance he got. (seriously, he knew no other adjective). The lead singer of Halestorm was dressed in lingerie and drank wine on stage.


But then Skillet took the stage with “Sometimes” from Awake (which is about to go platinum). The crowd thunderously roared. Their set was shorter than expected, but it was still ridiculously entertaining with “Hero,” “Monster,” and “Rebirthing,” among others. But the most impressive part of their set was the intro into the current number 1 active rock radio single, “Awake and Alive.” John said, “Do you guys know that every single day, when all of us here wake up in the morning that there is a war going on. And I’m not talking about Iraq. I’m talking about a war for your souls.


“And in this war, some people will try to tell you how to live and how to talk, how to think! They tell you what you can and what you cannot believe if you want to fit in. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of being told what to do.


“So, Atlanta, this is what I believe tonight: I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ. It is the power of God, of salvation for everyone who believes. So, Georgia, who cares what they say? This is your life, and this is your time. Do not be afraid to be who you are, cause you are awake and alive!”


That, right there, is why Skillet is on this tour.


Though they were only the third of five bands to perform that night, I left after Skillet’s set. But it was a wonderful night. God was right there among the alcohol and cigarettes because Skillet is not ashamed of Jesus Christ.  

Words by: Sarah Brehm
Photos by: Sarah Brehm
Video by: youtube user gpjamesmvt
 Me and Skillet
Jonathan Salas
Korey Cooper
Jen Ledger and John Cooper

Skillet "Awake and Alive" in Atlanta