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Skillet Headlines Winter Jam at McKenzie Arena

posted Feb 21, 2012, 8:51 PM by Sarah Brehm   [ updated Feb 21, 2012, 9:26 PM ]

This year’s Winter Jam Tour, held in a nearly sold-out McKenzie Arena ended with the wildly popular Christian rock band Skillet. Opening acts included We As Human, Group 1 Crew (I ran into them during lunch at The Terminal), Kari Jobe, Peter Furler, Sanctus Real, and Building 429. I don’t typically listened to the Contemporary genre, but it was fun listening to these groups, singing along to the praise songs I knew, and watching fans joyously dance around. However, it was abundantly clear that the majority of the young crowd was there for Skillet.


Cellist Tate Olsen and violinist Jonathan Chu walked onto the stage in white tuxes and masks. They stood in front of a black curtain hiding the rest of the stage For a minute their stringed instruments tickled the ears of the audience, increasing the excitement. As Jen Ledger hit her drums, flames shot into the air behind her. (From my seat, which was almost completely behind the stage, I could feel the heat of the pyro!) The crowd roared! The black curtain fell, and frontman John Cooper, along with his wife Korey, and guitarist Seth Morrison, danced around the extremely large stage. Skillet opened with “Whispers in the Dark” followed by “Comatose,” both from Comatose (2006).


“Did you know that when all of us here wake up in the morning,” said John Cooper during the intro of “Awake and Alive” from Awake (2009), “that there is a war going on. I’m not talking about Iraq. I’m not talking about Afghanistan. Tonight, I am talking about a war for your souls.” As he spoke, the music joined him.  “And in this war, some people will try to tell you how to live and how to think. They’ll tell you what you can and what you cannot believe if you want to fit in. I don’t know about you, but I am tired of being told what to do. I am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the power of God to salvation. So here’s my question for all of you: Who cares what they say? Because you are awake and alive!”


This speech gives me chills every time.


At the beginning of the song “Hero” Jen’s drum riser rolled forward onto a wide catwalk, much to the amusement of the audience. During the song, her drum platform rose high into the air and began to spin! Korey and Seth also stood on rising platforms at the end of the catwalk.


During the song “Monster” John stood on a giant monster head that had glowing eyes. The crowd loved every minute of it.


Skillet ended the night with the smash hit “Rebirthing.” Pyrotechnics, moving platforms, and rock music with a message are what Skillet is all about, and their shows are never a disappointment.


Supposedly Skillet is taking a break from touring this summer (except for summer festivals) to work on their highly anticipated new album.

Words by: Sarah Brehm
Photos and Video by: Sarah Brehm
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Skillet "Comatose" live at Winter Jam