I’ve been a fan of Skillet from the time I got into Christian music back in 2002. Skillet has been a band that I’ve followed from a small club band opening for Flyleaf to headlining Winterjam, and touring alongside secular bands like Slipknot, Shinedown and more. What impressed me about Skillet their ability to write music about what they believe in and not be preachy. Having spoken with singer John Cooper several times in the past, John will be the first to admit he wants Skillets music to connect with everyone and not just the Christian community. So when Skillet announced they were bring their Victorious Tour to Charlotte North Carolina, I had to be there.
Kicking off the show was Skillet drummer Jen Ledger’s project Ledger. Jen has stepped out from behind the kit to be in your face with her incredible vocal range and dueling guitar riffs. Though Jen and her band only played a quick 7 song set of both new and old tracks it’s safe to say the crowd wanted more. One fan even yelled out “We’d rather see you!” during a break between songs and Jen thanked the crowd for being their and asked if they were ready for “From Ashes To New”. Ledger wrapped up the set with the single “Not Dead Yet” which had fans singing at the top of their lungs with fists pumping through out! It’s safe to say Ledger has quite the following here in Charlotte North Carolina.
From Ashes To New kept things going following Ledger. These guys are another band I love just watching perform. I’ve watched these guys go from playing Warped Tour, to playing some of the biggest Spring and Summer festivals. This 4 piece nu Metal from Lancaster PA, brought their high energy performance and left it all on the stage and the crowd gave it right back. Vocalist Matt Brandyberry even made a comment to the crowd right after performing a new single, “you guys have never heard that song before, but you guys sung it and felt it.” Though the band has had some member changes over the recent years, you would not know it watching them perform live. These 4 guys came out, perform some new music, and fan favorites like My Fight and Through it All and the crowd ate it up. From Ashes to New kept the energy going, bring their set to a close with Through it all. Hearing the crowd sing the “Whoas” overtop of the band was enough to refuel your energy if your gas tank was getting low by the end of their set.
Then the moment came! The lights dimmed, the crowd cheered! The guitar riffs for the bands first single off the band’s 2016 release Unleashed, “Feel Invincible” rung through The Fillmore. There’s just something special about a Skillet crowd. I honestly didn’t think the energy of the crowd could get any higher, but these fans proved me wrong. Being right in front of the stage during the first 3 songs and being able to hear not only John Cooper and Jen Ledger coming through the speakers but the crowd singing it right back to the band was incredible. That energy kept up through out the band’s 17 Song set. Skillet gave fans a treat though through-out their set and performing tracks from all across their catalogue and even taking fans back to 2003 performing “Savior” from their release Collide. It’s safe to say the driving force behind Skillet, their fans, their energy will drive the band for years to come.