December 31, 2018
With an explosion of pyro and concussion bombs, multi-platinum selling rockers Skillet started an earthquake on New Year’s Eve in Virginia with my favourite fight song, “Feel Invincible” off of their latest album Unleashed. The energy never lets up as guitarist Seth Morrison shreds while lead singer and bassist, John Cooper finishes a bass guitar spin with ease during hit song, “Whispers in the Dark.”
Just when you think it can’t get any better, John, with “cryo guns” blazing, shoots the arena full of the white stuff during fan favourite “Sick of It” from the 2013 album, Rise.
Catching his breath for a moment and with arms out wide, Cooper declares “Lions” from their latest and very successful album Unleashed; an amazing theme song for 2019.
With another rush of adrenaline, the crowd then chants back to John the familiar words of “Back From the Dead” as Korey Cooper and Seth Morrison shred guitars in tandem. If anyone thinks it’s dead, this song from Skillet’s latest album makes it obvious that rock n roll is back from the dead and here to stay.
Jen Ledger steps down from the drum kit for a moment to sing in the intro, and Tate Olsen works his magic on cello for “Awake and Alive” “…my strength is fading fast, you breathe into me at last.” Korey Cooper and Seth Morrison stand their ground on the risers, with Jen pulling double duty drumming and singing some of the vocals with John Cooper.
However, Seth’s opening guitar riff, then pyro shooting heavenward with the drumbeat to the hit song, “Hero,” sends the crowd into the stratosphere. Jen sprints down the catwalk to get the crowd jumping in unison, then sings with John Cooper throughout. This double-platinum hit with nearly 200 million views on YouTube is a fan favorite and has been used on TV many times since 2009.
To all of the Skillet fans out there, yes, they sang the old favourite, “These Nights.” This is a song no one really listens to at a Skillet concert, because everyone in the arena sings it at the top of their lungs.
All feet are jumping the moment Korey ushers in “Undefeated” with a slick guitar solo and a kiss from John. Also from their latest album, an acoustic version of Stars is sung, declaring “Here I am, lifting up my heart, to the one who holds the stars.”
Did I say this is a fully enclosed indoor venue? At the stroke of midnight, fireworks burst towards the ceiling behind the drum kit lighting up the Vines Center at Liberty University (LU) ushering in 2019. The crowd bursts as Skillet brings in the New Year with an all time favorite song “Monster” from their Awake album, followed by “The Resistance.” Skillet closes the show with the bang of a concussion bomb, and we all went home pumped but exhausted. I can’t wait for the next one.
Skillet not only closed out the year in Virginia at LU Winterfest, but more importantly, ended 2018 with over one billion streams worldwide, a gold record, 2 gold singles and more. Early in 2019, they will be going on tour with Breaking Benjamin, Underoath and Fight the Fury. Afterwards will be a stint in Russia in the spring. "Check them out at the links below."
Full Set List
Whispers in the Dark
Sick of It (Ext. Bridge; Ext. Outro)
Back From the Dead
Awake and Alive
Not Gonna Die
Undefeated (Ext. Intro; Ext. Outro)
(Countdown to 2019, prayer and fireworks)
The Resistance (Ext. Intro; Ext. Outro)