SKILLET & FOR KING AND COUNTRY: THE JOY.UNLEASHED TOUR LIVE AT THE DAILY’S PLACE (CONCERT REVIEW)

LAST FRIDAY, I WENT TO SEE SKILLET AND FOR KING AND COUNTRY PLAY LIVE AT THE DAILY’S PLACE. MY SEATS WERE DEAD CENTER IN THE 205 SECTION OF THE VENUE, JUST LIKE WITH THE SWITCHFOOT CONCERT I WENT TO LAST YEAR. HERE WAS MY VIEW:

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I’LL BE REVIEWING THE SHOW BY PERFORMANCES, STARTING WITH THE OPENING ACT, LEDGER.

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LEDGER REVIEW:

THE OPENING ACT WAS LEDGER, THE DRUMMER OF SKILLET’S NEW SIDE PROJECT, FEATURING A BAND MADE UP OF 2/4 OF SKILLET + JOHN COOPER ON THE SONG “WARRIOR”. THE BAND WAS A GREAT OPENING ACT. JEN LEDGER AND KOREY COOPER (OF COURSE), HAD GREAT STAGE PRESENCE, WITH THE GUITARIST (DON’T KNOW HIS NAME), STEALING THE SHOW BY DANCING AND JUMPING AND HAVING A BLAST WHILE PERFORMING THE SETLIST. THE DRUMMER WAS ALSO GOOD AS WELL. I FILMED THEIR WHOLE THREE SONG SETLIST WHICH YOU CAN SEE BELOW.

LEDGER VIDEOS (PLAYLIST)//

SETLIST//

  1. ICONIC
  2. WARRIOR (FEATURING JOHN COOPER OF SKILLET)
  3. NOT DEAD YET

LEDGER PHOTOS//

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PERFORMANCE RATING: 3.9/5.0

I ACTUALLY REVIEWED LEDGER’S DEBUT SELF-TITLED EP. YOU CAN SEE THE REVIEW BY CLICKING HERE.

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for KING & COUNTRY REVIEW:

AFTER LEDGER PERFORMED FOR 15 MINUTES, for KING & COUNTRY IMMEDIATELY STARTED SETTING UP, WHILE VERY DRAMATIC MUSIC PLAYED THROUGH THE SPEAKERS, AND EVENTUALLY HE MUSIC STARTS TO BUILD AS THE PIANO PLAYER PLAYS FOR A LONG TIME AND STOPS WHEN THE MUSIC STOPS, AND LEAVES WHEN IT STARTS AGAIN. THE MUSIC CREEPILY GOT LOUDER AND MORE DRAMATIC AS TIME WENT ON WENT THE STARTED 15 MINUTES LATER. I WAS ALREADY INTRIGUED BY THE BAND.

WHEN for KING & COUNTRY STARTED PLAYING, I WAS IMMEDIATELY IMPRESSED. THE BAND CONSISTS OF TWO AUSTRALIAN BROTHERS AND THEIR BACKING BAND, CONSISTING OF 8 PEOPLE ALTOGETHER, EVERY MEMBER PLAYED EVERY INSTRUMENT AND SWAPPED INSTRUMENTS EACH SONG, AND MORE IMPRESSIVELY SANG, TOO.

THEY OPENED UP WITH THEIR RADIO HIT “FIX MY EYES”, BEFORE RAPIDLY GOING TO THE SONG FINE FINE LIFE, LEADING INTO THE CHORUS OF LECRAE SONG “MESSENGERS”, WHICH THEY SANG ON IN THE RECORDING.  THEY THEN PERFORMED THE A SONG I WASN’T FAMILIAR WITH CALLED “TO THE DREAMERS”, THE FIRST SONG THEY USED A HUGE LIGHTING DISPLAY ON (SEE THE PICTURE ABOVE). THE ENTIRE BAND HAD GREAT STAGE PRESENCE, WITH LUKE SMALLBONE OF THE BAND STATING THAT HE WAS “SHOCKED” WHEN HE SAW HOW CLOSE THE VENUE WAS TO EVERBANK FIELD (NOW TIAA BANK FIELD). BOTH JOEL AND LUKE SMALLBONE THEN WANDERED THEIR WAY THROUGH THE CROWD DURING “IT’S NOT OVER YET”, WITH LUKE COMING WITHIN 30 FEET OF ME. THE BAND THEN PERFORMED TWO NEW UNRELEASED SONGS FROM THEIR UPCOMING THIRD ALBUM, TITLED “JOY”, AND “GOD ONLY KNOWS”. I FILMED “JOY”, WHICH YOU CAN SEE BELOW.

AFTER THEY PERFORMED THE NEW SONGS, THE BAND DID SOMETHING STRANGE. INSTEAD GOING OUT WITH A BANG AND ENDING WITH THEIR LOUDEST SONGS, THEY PERFORMED THEIR SLOWEST AND MELLOW SONGS LAST, STARTING WITH THEIR FIRST EVER SONG, “BUSTED HEART”. THEY PERFORMED A REMIXED VERSION, STAYING IN A PLATFORM IN THE MIDDLE OF THE PIT AREA. THEY PLAYED “SHOULDERS” BEFORE JOEL SMALLBONE MAKES A SPEECH ABOUT HUMAN TRAFFICKING AWARENESS, LEADING INTO THE NEXT SONG “PRICELESS”, WHICH THE SONG IS ABOUT. THEY ENDED THE PROOF OF YOUR LOVE WITH A BANG, WITH WHITE CURTAINS APPEARING FOR “RUN WILD”. DURING “RUN WILD” THEY FEATURED PROJECTIONS ON THE CURTAINS, WHICH THE BAND WAS STANDING BEHIND BEFORE ENDING THE SHOW WITH “O GOD FORGIVE US”.

for KING & COUNTRY VIDEOS//

SETLIST//

  1.  FIX MY EYES (PRELUDE)
  2. FIX MY EYES
  3. FINE FINE LIFE
  4. MESSENGERS
  5. TO THE DREAMERS
  6. IT’S NOT OVER YET
  7. JOY. (UNRELEASED)
  8. GOD ONLY KNOWS (UNRELEASED)
  9. BUSTED HEART (HOLD ONTO ME)
  10. SHOULDERS
  11. PRICELESS
  12. THE PROOF OF YOUR LOVE (REMIX)
  13. RUN WILD
  14. O GOD FORGIVE US

for KING & COUNTRY PHOTOS//

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PERFORMANCE RATING: 4.5/5.0

AFTER THE BAND PERFORMED, LUKE SMALLBONE SAT IN A CHAIR IN FRONT OF A BLACK CURTAIN (WHILE SKILLET WAS VERY OBVIOUSLY SETTING UP), TALKING ABOUT HIS UPBRINGING, WHICH HE THEN TURNED INTO AN AD FOR COMPASSION INTERNATIONAL, SURE IT’S A WORTHY CAUSE, BUT MOST SKILLET DIDN’T SEEM TO BE REALLY PAYING ATTENTION WHEN SKILLET’S LOGO IS APPEARING ON SCREEN THROUGH THE CURTAIN AND SETH MORRISON’S GUITAR’S ARE BEING SOUNDCHECKED. 

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SKILLET REVIEW:

SKILLET CAME OUT ONCE ALL OF FOR KING & COUNTRY’S DRUMS WERE OFF STAGE. THE OPENED STRONG WITH “FEEL INVINCIBLE”, THEN GOING INTO “WHISPERS IN THE DARK”. AS GREAT AS THOSE SONGS WERE, THE CROWD WENT NUTS DURING SICK OF IT, WITH JOHN AND KOREY COOPER GOING ABSOLUTELY NUTS. SEE BELOW:

THEY THEN TOOK A BREATHER WITH “LIONS”, WHICH WAS SURPRISINGLY GOOD LIVE, DESPITE BEING ONE OF THE BANDS WEAKER TRACKS FROM UNLEASHED. JOHN COOPER STATED “THAT I KNOW SOME OF YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW THIS NEXT SONG, BUT I FORGIVE YOU”, AS THE CONCERT WAS MOSTLY PROMOTED THROUGH CHRISTIAN RADIO AND THE SONG WAS “BACK FROM THE DEAD”, A SECULAR SINGLE. SURE ENOUGH, THE FANS KNEW THE SONG AND SEEMINGLY SURPRISED COOPER. THET THEN PERFORMED “AWAKE AND ALIVE” WITH A STRANGE BACKDROP ON THE VIDEO SCREEN AND MOVING PLATFORMS IN WHICH GUITARISTS KOREY COOPER AND SETH MORRISON STAYED BEFORE EVENTUALLY GETTING OFF AND CELLIST TATE OLSEN COMING ON. JEN LEDGER CAME OFF HER DRUMS AND SANG FOR THE BEGINNING PART OF THE SONG WHICH WAS SLOWED DOWN TO JUST A CELLO.

                 THE BAND HAD GREAT STAGE PRESENCE, WITH KOREY COOPER EVEN GOING ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE GROUND AT SEVERAL POINTS IN THE SHOW. JOHN COOPER TOOK HEADBANGING TO A WHOLE NEW LEVEL, AGGRESSIVELY DOING SO IN A STRANGE FASHION. THE ONLY DOWNSIDE TO THE SHOW WAS THAT THERE WAS NONE OF SKILLET’S TRADEMARK FIRE, AS for KING & COUNTRY’S HAZE SET OFF THE FIRE ALARMS, PROMPTLY ENDING THE CHANCE OF FIRE FOR SAFETY REASONS, IT MIGHT ALSO BE A RULE THE DAILY’S PLACE HAS, AS IT’S SO CLOSE TO TIAA BANK FIELD AND CONSTRUCTION. NEVERTHELESS, IT WAS A GREAT SHOW. THEY CONTINUED ON WITH NOT GONNA DIE WITH ABSOLUTELY INSANE LIGHTS EVERYWHERE, MOVING INTO THE RESISTANCE, AND COMATOSE BEFORE TAKING A BREATHER WITH A CANDLELIT ACOUSTIC PERFORMANCE OF “STARS” IN A PLATFORM IN THE MIDDLE OF THE PIT AREA. JOHN COOPER ALSO SHARED HIS TESTIMONY RIGHT BEFORE THE SONG AND SEEMED TO BE GENUINELY WORSHIPPING GOD DURING THE PERFORMANCE.

               ONCE THE BAND GOT BACK ON STAGE, THE BAND STARTED OFF “UNDEFEATED”, WITH DUELING GUITARS AND SOLOS BEING ADDED EVERYWHERE IN THE DURATION OF THE SONG. THEY THEN PERFORMED WHAT IS PERHAPS THEIR BIGGEST HIT: “MONSTER” WITH BEEFIER SOUNDING GUITARS AND A BIG LIGHT SHOW. THE BAND CLOSED OUT THE NIGHT WITH “REBIRTHING” THE OLDEST SONG THEY PERFORMED, WITH A JOHN COOPER BASS GUITAR FLIP AND SOME SETH MORRISON GUITAR SOLOS.

SKILLET VIDEOS//

SETLIST//

  1. FEEL INVINCIBLE
  2. WHISPERS IN THE DARK
  3. SICK OF IT
  4. LIONS
  5. BACK FROM THE DEAD
  6. AWAKE AND ALIVE
  7. NOT GONNA DIE
  8. HERO
  9. THE RESISTANCE
  10. COMATOSE
  11. STARS (THE SHACK VERSION)
  12. UNDEFEATED
  13. MONSTER
  14. REBIRTHING

SKILLET PHOTOS//

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PERFORMANCE RATING: 4.8/5.0

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