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  • Carl Beust

Skillet at The Republik in Honolulu, Hawaii

The American Christian rock Band Skillet performed at The Republik in Honolulu, Hawaii on their way to Australia. Husband John (lead vocals/bass) and wife Korey Cooper (rhythm guitar, keyboards, backing vocals), along with Jen Ledger (drums), and Seth Morrison (lead guitar) treated the crowd to an evening of energetic and uplifting music.

The band formed in 1996 from Memphis, Tennessee has released ten albums. The group has received two Grammy nominations for their releases Collide and Comatose in which the later obtained platinum sales status. Their album Awake has even obtained double platinum status. Their widespread popularity has been due to their relentless touring and infectiously passionate performances.

Although it was the band’s first visit to the islands, fans young and old stood shoulder to shoulder in anticipation of the band. At 9:15 P.M. the band burst onto the stage to an instantly captivated crowd. Although the band has released nine albums the sixteen song set consisted of songs from only their four most recent releases; Unleashed, Comatose, Awake, and Rise. Skillet brought a stripped down show on this tour, there were no risers, pyrotechnics, or fog cannons, only a backdrop video screen.

The lack of props took nothing away from this cohesive, energetic band that always turns it up a notch during their live performances. The band opened strong with “Feel Invincible” and went straight into “Whispers In The Dark”. From the start Korey Cooper was in constant motion, essentially swaggering with her guitar across the stage. Seth Morrison’s guitar work displayed a blend of precision and greasy distortion which won the appreciation of the crowd. Jen Ledger effortlessly added backing vocals while bashing the drums. Of course John Cooper’s booming vocals and bludgeoned bass lines were front and center.

About half way through the show cellist Tate Olson joined the band underneath a single spotlight and launched into an extended intro to the smash hit “Awake and Alive”. At one point Ledger also jumped off the drums to center stage and traded vocals with John Cooper. Throughout the show the band interacted and engaged with the crowd. At various times John Cooper jumped off the stage slapping high fives with anyone within reach. The concert ended with as much energy as it began. The band concluded the show with an encore of “The Resistance.”

It was refreshing to see a band which has earned such a legion of fans. The music was filled with inspired fist pumping rock anthems of uplifting messages of hope and unity. Skillet is known for delivering impassioned live shows and that reputation held true for Honolulu. Anyone headed to their future shows expecting a watered down Christian rock concert will leave the venue with quite a different impression of this band. I know this agnostic did!

Feel Invincible / Whispers In The Dark / Sick Of It / Rise / Lions / Back From The Dead / Awake And Alive / Not Gonna Die / Hero / Undefeated / Comatose / Those Nights / Stars / Monster / Rebirthing / E: The Resistance


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