Chicago, IL – Co-headlining for the Victorious Sky Tour, Skillet and Alter Bridge rolled into the Chicago Theatre in support of their recent releases. Victorious from Skillet, which was released in August, and for Alter Bridge, Walk the Sky, which is set for release October 18th. Both bands have had L.A. blues rockers Dirty Honey opening up for them throughout the tour, a review of Dirty Honey can be found HERE. The bands have been swapping the headline position, but for the show tonight it was Skillet opening up for Alter Bridge.
While known as a Christian rock band, Skillet has received generous airplay for their singles of their latest release including, “You Ain’t Ready”, “Save Me”, “Anchor” and “Legendary”, which was recently promoted at the theme song for WWE Raw. The band is made up of husband and wife team John Cooper (bass and lead vocals) and Korey Cooper (keyboardist and rhythm guitar), Jen Ledger (drums) and Seth Morrison (lead guitar).
The band opened up with “Feel Invincible” from their 2016 release Unleashed Beyond. A great arena type opener that had the audience raising their fists along with the song. While the Chicago Theatre is a seated venue, seats were definitely not required when Skillet took the stage. Jen Ledger reminds me of another great rock drummer, Hayley Cramer, in that she doesn’t just play the drums – she attacks them with ferocity. Korey Cooper is the perfect complimentary guitarist to Seth Morrison. While Morrison is playing blistering solos, Korey is bouncing and headbanging upon the stage, keeping the rhythm with husband John. Their stage set was also arena quality, as both Korey Cooper and Seth Morrison hopped up onto risers that went up and down as they played.
The band also brought out cellist and touring member Tate Olsen, who joined them on stage for several numbers, including “Not Gonna Die” and “Whispers in the Dark”. For “You Ain’t ready”, John Cooper disposed of the bass and armed himself with smoke cannons, effectively spraying them into the audience, which just added to the frenzy of the fans in attendance.
Overall the band played a dynamic headliner set – nothing was restricted here regardless of who the headlining act was this evening. Skillet was on stage for over an hour running through old favorites as well as new music such as “Legendary” and “Save Me”. It was my first time seeing them live, and they were quite something else. They don’t shy away from their Christian roots and speak openly about their beliefs while on stage. The band puts on one heck of a show and they make sure that those in attendance get their money’s worth.
Once Skillet finished riling up the crowd at the Chicago Theatre, it was Alter Bridge’s turn to churn up the masses into a frenzy. “One Life”, the lead track from the band’s sixth studio album entitled Walk the Sky to be released on October 18th, played in the background over the PA system as the band took to the stage. Alter Bridge kicked the night off with “Wouldn’t You Rather”, also from the same album. The band then soared into “Isolation” from their 2010 release, ABIII. Myles Kennedy sounded as strong as ever, and even showcased his own guitar prowess on stage. They performed several new songs from Walk the Sky, including “In the Deep” and “Pay No Mind”. Mark Tremonti also took over on lead vocals for “Waters Rising” from their album, Fortress. A beautiful piece that starts out with a melodic opening bridge and then turns into something a bit more ferocious – one could say that it follows along the same lines as the forming of a storm. The song also had lasers overhead the audience members, giving the illusion of being underwater. With Brian Marshall on bass and Scott Phillips on drums, the back end of the band was held in solid check throughout the evening.
Alter Bridge made their way through favorites such as “Rise Today”, “Metalingus” and “Blackbird”, fans sang along with just about every single song that was put in front of them. The stage set up was also of arena quality. Lasers, strobes, and a large wall of lights as the background not only provided stage lighting but also carried various images and themes to go along with their songs. As the evening drew to a close, Alter Bridge wrapped up their set with “Open Your Eyes” from One Day Remains, their debut album in 2004. It sounded just as good tonight as it did when it was released 15 years ago.
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Alter Bridge Setlist:
Wouldn’t You Rather
Come to Life
Pay No Mind
Addicted to Pain
In the Deep
Cry of Achilles
Open Your Eyes
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Not Gonna Die
You Ain’t Ready
Whispers in the Dark
Awake and Alive
Back From the Dead
Show Date 10/10/2019