Skillet. Another band you may or may not be familiar with. They’re a Christian hard rock band from America (plus a British drummer), but don’t worry, they’re not the preachy type. Whilst they’re big in America they have only been to the UK a couple of times, one to support Nickelback and the other at this year’s Download Festival. But now they did their first headline tour in the UK and I was lucky enough to have them visit Wolverhampton for one of their shows at the Wulfrun Hall. Me and my mate Jack went. How did the event go?

Skillet

To start with were a couple of support acts, Martyr De Mona and Liberty Lies. They were your typical opening bands, nothing too special but did a good enough job getting the crowd warmed up. Me and Jack both bought a Skillet T-Shirt and Jack also went for quite a few beers (surprised he didn’t get drunk). When Skillet started they blasted off with opener Whispers in the Dark, a favourite that they didn’t get to play at Download. From there on out they played a huge setlist featuring a nice mix of songs from their last four albums (although they do show heavy favouritism to Comatose). Some of the songs they played were ones they said they hadn’t played in five years, for that I guess we should feel lucky.

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Some of the early highlights come in the form of Not Gonna Die, Hero and Awake and Alive, songs where drummer Jen Ledger (who by the way is super-hot) gets to do backing vocals. Mixed with John Cooper’s harsher more powerful voice her lighter softer voice makes for a nice contrast. They even did an acoustic duet together for Yours to Hold. Whilst the rest of the band have their moments it’s frontman John Cooper who’s the standout what with his powerful delivery in singing to his banter with the crowd. He was quick to recognise people who had been at previous shows or who he saw eating in KFC (Wow, that’s some photographic memory). He was also apparently into Nintendo during his teen years, Castlevania was his favourite.

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With all the songs played from old to new the gig wouldn’t be complete without Monster, a staple to their live shows which sounds just as rocking and aggressive as it should be. To add to that they also did not only a guitar and a drum solo but also a violin and cello solo (That’s a lot of solo), before finishing off with Rebirthing. There wasn’t really much to complain about as they played loads of songs along with surprise treats. However as Awake is the album I’m most used to next time it would be nice to see maybe a couple more songs from that album (perhaps have It’s Not Me It’s You and Lucy next time?).

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That aside though it was a great gig. As Skillet are getting more popular in the UK it does raise the question, why did it not happen sooner? When they said they’d been around for nearly 20 years I had no idea they’d been going for that long. And it took them until 2013 to come to the UK. But still the crowd really got into it and I’m sure that’s not the last we’ll see of them. Their fanbase is growing and now consider me a loyal Panhead.

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