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Skillet Rocks Sanford Center

Alex Berg | Sports Editor | 11-10-2011

The Christian-rock band Skillet made the 12th stop of its Awake and Alive Tour at the Sanford Center last Wednesday, and did not disappoint the crowd of 4,057.

The band originally formed in Memphis, Tennessee in 1996. The band currently consists of husband and wife John and Korey Cooper, Jen Ledger, and Seth Morrison.

In the VIP Q&A session John told the story of how the band was originally formed. He was singing in the church choir and his pastor suggested he work with Korey, a singer at a different choir, on a “separate project”. The rest is history.

That is also how the band got its name. The members were picked out of other random groups and thrown together—like in a “Skillet.”

John Cooper is the lead singer and plays bass, Korey Cooper plays the keyboard and provides backup vocals, Ledger plays the drums and occasionally has been heard singing, and Morrison plays lead guitar.

Although it was a rock concert, all four bands that performed made sure that everyone in attendance knew that they were all Christian bands.

We as Human opened the show with its energy to get the packed crowd on its feet.

Manafest followed with a mixture between rap and rock and its lead singer Chris Greenwood mixed in a somber story about his faith.

The last band to play before the headlining Skillet was Disciple, who recently released their new album: Horseshoes and Handgrenades. The album won the GMA Dove award for Rock Album of the Year award in 2011.

The most memorable part of Disciple’s performance was their guitar smash.

Finally, Skillet took the stage just around 8 p.m. as they opened with their song, “Whispers in the Dark” in front of the excited crowd.

Along with the heavier songs like “Awake and Alive” and “Monster,” they mixed in a softer duet that featured John Cooper and Ledger singing together. That song is called “Yours to Hold” and John referred to it as their “power ballad.”

In the VIP Q&A, John Cooper shared the inspiration for two of the songs that were played.
The song “Hero” was inspired by his five-year old daughter who is growing up in a world where her Hollywood “heroes” are often not exactly what we perceive them to be.

A softer song titled, “Lucy,” is about a high school couple that becomes pregnant and they feel like they cannot handle having the child so they go through with having an abortion.  After years of depression and misery, the couple is advised to name their “child” and celebrate her birthday and act as if they truly lost a child.  The song is written from the perspective of the parents, speaking to their deceased daughter.

Skillet mixed in songs such as “Comatose,” “Those Nights,” “The Last Night,” and closed the night with “Rebirthing.”

Most of the 4,057 in attendance would agree that Skillet put on a great performance, but also did an admiralable job of being able to stay connected with their faith while on stage.
The Awake and Alive tour began on October 13 and will conclude on November 6.