10th December 2019
Review and Photography by David McKnight
Devour the Day started to a venue that was already almost full. Skillet fans get out to gigs early! They kicked the show off to a very enthusiastic start, belting out a somewhat generic rock sound, but doing it with a lot of enthusiasm and energy.
They had warmed up the crowd after just a few songs. Then they went big with a cover of “Smells Like Teen Spirit”. With a lot of encouragement they got a half-hearted sing along from the crowd. Apart from a dozen or so down the front – they were happily moshing their souls out.
For most gigs they would have been a great warm-up, but the audience were here to see Skillet and just not interested in whatever band might have been on before them.
Skillet hit the stage at speed, kicking off with the anthemic “Feel Invincible”. Sometimes I find myself watching a band and thinking how easy it would be to spend the whole gig just staring at one particular musician because they are so dynamic, engaging and awesome. Well Skillet have three of those. Korey Cooper flings herself around the stage with her guitar, spending plenty of it lying on the floor playing. John is the consummate front man and Jen on drums has a style of her own. It is as if she if playing the drums with her entire body.
Just a few songs in John comes to the front of the stage with smoke cannons strapped to his arms for “You Ain’t Ready”. With a a bit of instruction he had the whole place singing along – when they weren’t screaming with enthusiasm that is.
“Awake and Alive” was a change of pace, a slower ballad with a more orchestral feel showcasing the cello. Korey switched to playing the piano and Jen came forward from the drums to sing through the intro. Between verses we were treated to the lead guitar and cello duelling it out. Everyone in the venue seemed to be singing along.
As well as playing the drums, Jen was also doing backing vocals whilst playing and Skillet do showcase their drumming much more than many other bands. We got a drum solo after “Back From The Dead” and in the very next song (“Hero”) she came forward to be the second vocalist.
The title track of new album, Victorious, was dedicated it to both Chester Bennington and anyone going through hard times. The song drifted from slow through the verses and in the chorus everyone sang along to powerful and touching lyrics. Anyone touched by the themes it was dedicated to couldn’t help but be moved.
It was a brilliant night – so many great songs delivered flawlessly, with the audience being pulled along with the the onstage energy. During the set they promised to be back in the UK next year. I for one can’t wait.
Not Gonna Die
You Ain’t Ready
Whispers in the Dark
Awake and Alive
Back From the Dead