Guitarists Korey Cooper, left, and Ben Kascia get the party started Friday night at the Paramount Theatre. Photos by Eliza Marie Somers
Skillet continued its assault on “Panheads” at the sold-out Paramount Theatre on Saturday night. It should be illegal the way the band elicits whiplash and laryngitis. Something frontman John Cooper truly enjoys — even more reason for all-points bulletin.
The hard rock Christian band went over the top during its Denver stop of its latest “Awake and Alive” tour that also featured Canadian pop band Hawk Nelson, metal rockers Decyper Down and newcomers The Letter Black.
Opening their set on hydraulic lifts, guitarists Ben Kasica and Korey Cooper got the crowd roiled up while being raised to the rafters and belting out their hit “Comatose.”
Korey, who is married to John, is a bundle of adrenaline — driving, twirling, jumping all over the stage — with complete control. John Cooper is intense as ever as his energy overflows to his hard-edge vocals even at our mile-high altitude. I was pleased to hear the band play “It’s Not Me It’s You,” which is John’s favorite on the latest CD “Awake.” But oddly it’s a song that I didn’t see on any other city’s set list, so Denver we got a nice bonus.
The blur known as Korey Cooper.
Lead guitarist Ben Kasica and drummer Jen Ledger were tight and both got a chance to showcase their skills with solos. Support string players — violinist Jonathan Chu and cellist Tate Olsen — put a nice twist on the hard rock with head-banging duels (yeah I just wrote that) while donned in traditional black slacks and vests and white button-down shirts. I’m a big fan of classical music and always enjoyed the use of strings in rock music.
Guitarist Ben Kasica
John took his intensity from a full boil to a simmer with stories about growing up in the 1980s and how buying music was an important occurence — saving for weeks to afford the latest tape while having to borrow the family car to drive to the local mall and then… the driving around town with all the windows down in rain, sleet, snow blasting your latest purchase to the neighborhood. A nice lead into his rendition of Bon Jovi’s power ballad, “I’ll Be There for You.”
Jen Ledger comes out from behind the skins.
Also on the menu for Denver were “Hero,” “Whispers in the Dark,” “Savior,” “The Older I Get,” “Obsession,” “Rebirthing” and of course “Monster.” An appropriate way to bring a monster concert to a close.
Now where’s the Advil and honey for this whiplash and laryngitis?
John Cooper is intense as ever.
Violinist Jonathan Chu is a nice addition to the hard, rockin’ Skillet.
Capturing Korey is a shot in the dark.