A music-hungry crowd packed the Spokane Knitting Factory anticipating would be “Unleashed” by Skillet at their sold out show. An evening of high-energy, heart-pumping performances not only shook the stage by the powerhouse headliners, but also included their openers, Sick Puppies and Devour the Day.
First to ignite the stage was Devour the Day with the title track of their latest release, “S.O.A.R.” and then they exploded into their first hit single, “Good Man.” Vocalist Blake Allison, guitarist David Hoffman, bassist Joey Chicago, and drummer Ronnie Farris brought with them an authentic power that captured the audience. Allison offered a particular way to engage the fans, as he jumped into the crowd and surfed his way around until being lifted back onto the stage to finish the song. The band played a fantastic mix of tunes, leaving the only drawback as the time passing too quickly. If their set was any indication of what would be coming, the night would certainly continue to intensify!
Out next was the dynamite trio, Sick Puppies, playing songs from their latest album, Fury, as well as old school favorites. Hits like “You’re Going Down”, “All the Same”, and “Stick to your Guns” were performed with all the excitement and passion you would expect from Emma Anzai on vocals and bass, Mark Goodwin on drums, and Bryan Scott as the newest member on vocals and lead guitar. Scott also amped up audience participation, calling out to the crowd in search for the fan that would get a mosh pit started. The group in Spokane did not disappointment and the energy in response to his challenge may have shook the foundation.
It would be one last breather before the headliners would take the stage, as the jam-packed crowd pressed in to fill every gap on the floor. The temperature in the venue had increased to such a degree that pitchers of water were passed around by fans and security alike. Cheers were heard as the stage was prepared for vocalist/bassist John Cooper,guitarist/keyboardist Korey Cooper, drummer/vocalist Jen Leger, and lead guitarist Seth Morrison. It was evident by the diverse crowd that Skillet brings people together regardless of differences and with the purpose to enjoy music. Reflecting on a recent interview I had the opportunity to do with Cooper , the appreciation Skillet has for fans and their stories resonated within me. On this special evening, the Spokane crowd was able to join in on a couple of these stories, as we celebrated a marriage proposal and a youngster’s first concert.
Skillet dominated the stage with a seamless selection from their catalog that crescendo into the likes of an awe-inspiring rally cry. They kicked off the show with “Feel Invincible,” the powerful first single from their latest album Unleashed. Cooper was quick to inform the audience that they were the most rambunctious on the tour so far and this compliment was received with adoring confirmation as witnessed by shouts and applause. Crowd-surfing continued at a near-constant rate throughout the set, with even a few youngsters (carefully and supportive) joining in! The momentum continued with hits like “Rise”, “Awake and Alive”, “Hero”, “Stars”, and “Monster”, while their enthusiastic stage performance included exploding CO2 smoke containers and rising platforms.
The 2017 Unleashed Tour ambitiously combines the talent and vigor of bands that can draw from excellent song catalogs and deliver both an electrifying and unifying experience. There is something to feeling inspired after a concert, and some might say that’s what it’s all about.