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Do you know what’s hotter than Memphis in August?
Photo by: Jeremy Eunson

Do you know what’s hotter than Memphis in August?

Skillet! They woke the sleepy day with their high-intensity presence this past Sunday. Playing Minglewood Hall alongside Sevendust, Pop Evil, and Devour the Day as part of their Victorious War Tour. Sunday is family day, and Memphis natives Skillet brought the good vibes!
We cashed in on some Pop Evil sampling, having not yet seen a full set from them at an indoor venue, I was curious on how they would sound and got into the vibe listening to some of my favorites. For me, the cap on their set, where Leigh sang with his younger son on stage, was incredibly top-notch! The little guy did not miss a beat…future rocker?
Post-Pop Evil were long-time favorites Sevendust! Let me tell you, set after set, year after year since the first time seeing them in 2008, I am never disappointed. Lajon’s vocals, charisma, and overall stage presence inspire the evening! He has power, alongside his band mates, to get the crowd right, to fill the venue, and get your blood pumping for the music. Ideal choice to set the mood for headliner Skillet. His smile, infectious, the vibe, is optimal.
Skillet; we have seen them several times in larger outdoor venues at festivals including Rise Above Fest 2017, but never in an enclosed space. I had my doubts for the space available having seen some of the larger outdoor setups with the risers, but they managed to compact all that energy and showmanship into the venue…effortlessly! I was on my last leg of the evening having had a busy week and weekend at home. I was down to my last breath before I crash and do the ever so sad, sit against the wall (hate doing this at shows.) But the energy in the room piqued the minute Lead Vocalist/ Bassist John Cooper hit the stage. Clad in a breezy muscle tee, he embodied the ‘cool’ I wished it was inside the hall. Guitarist/Keyboardist/and wife Korey Cooper, Lead guitarist Seth Morrison, and Drummer/Backing Vocalist Jen Ledger compose the band. First off, they don’t ease into a set, they slap you with Feel Invincible to wake you up. From there it just continued, many of their tracks including Hero and Legendary are designed to amp you up. My drug of choice in music is high energy, upbeat, and dynamic and Skillet never fails to deliver.
One of the things I take note of when covering a show is the dynamics of the performance. Is it the same set as last time? Same tricks? Same cookie cutter routine? With Skillet, no, and I love them for it. They had arm cannons on lead singer John Cooper, which allowed him to boost the crowd with clouds of CO2 during the set. It was hotter than hell inside with that Memphis humidity, so I am sure the front row was more than thankful, but the band showed no sign of wear. All were animated, the timing was on point, lyrics, vocals, crowd interaction…all the things that make a show worth the entry fee, they hit it hard! One thing I also have to shout out is that absolute respect to Jen, for her ability to drum and provide vocals. Kudos lady! That is no small feat, I know how much cardio and work went into being able to maintain and you do so seamlessly!
Skillet heated the already sweltering venue up and melted our face off! The only problem was it was Sunday and the following Monday had me wishing I could skip the week and return.
Thank you for kicking off the tour in Memphis! So get out there, check them out on the Victorious War Tour and get those merch purchases in. Most of the gear was primo!
Victorious War Tour Dates:

Aug. 20 – Clear Lake, IA – Surf Ballroom & Museum
Aug. 21 – Springfield, MO – The Complex Springfield
Aug. 24 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Complex
Aug. 25 – Boise, ID – Revolution Concert House*
Aug. 27 – Spokane, WA – Knitting Factory*
Aug. 28 – Seattle, WA – Showbox SoDo (Tickets)
Aug. 30 – Reno, NV – Grand Sierra Resort and Casino
Aug. 31 – Las Vegas, NV – House of Blues
Sept. 1 – Los Angeles, CA – The Wiltern
Sept. 2 – Phoenix, AZ – Marquee Theatre
Sept. 4 – Tucson, AZ – The Rialto Theatre
Sept. 6 – Houston, TX – Warehouse Live
Sept. 7 – Tulsa, OK – Brady Theater**
* No Sevendust
** No Pop Evil

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