Skillet, Decyfer Down,
by Susan Lloyd
Comatose Tour 2009, May 21
Decyfer Down rocked their classic sound, Disciple rocked out
with their southern flair, and Skillet pounded the stage with dramatic rock---and
it all came together on the Comatose Tour stop in Charleston, South Carolina,
May 21 2009.
The tour began in April of this year and was billed as the follow up to Skillet’s fall 2008 tour. With over 32 stops, and Charleston’s date being one of the last, one might expect the concert to show the signs of band wear and tear. But that was not the case last Thursday night when any of the three powerhouse bands hit the stage. Fans were treated to close to three hours of hard rocking, fist pumping music, and the energy coming from the stage never seemed to flag.
Decyfer Down opened the night without holding anything back. New front man TJ Harris proved that he is a worthy choice to lead this band, throwing out vocals that were nearly flawless. His soaring high notes reminded me of the powerful vocals that Steve Perry (Journey) used to belt out. Although the band’s set was non-stop rock, Harris took a moment to introduce band mates and ask for prayer, noting that drummer Josh Oliver is off the road taking care of his ailing wife. He also noted that Disciple’s front man, Kevin Young, had joined them on stage taking on the duties of bass player. Young added depth to the stage without upstaging anything Decyfer Down was pumping out for their fans. Their set ended with their hit “Crash” and almost no one in the audience was left sitting.
After a quick change backstage, Young and his band Disciple hit the stage with all amps turned up to “eleven”. Their 45 minute set was punctuated by massive guitar licks, huge drum fills, and lots of rock energy. Disciple had the chance to really highlight the songs from their latest CD Southern Hospitality, and the title track itself was a huge crowd pleaser that Young used to really get the crowd involved with the action on stage. Another song that seemed to create crowd frenzy was “321”. Midway through the song, guitarist Micah Sannan with guitar in hand, climbed up on an amp so that he could launch into an amazing back flip. For many, that may have been the highlight of the set. Young continued to lead his band mates and the roaring audience through the rest of the set, making sure at one point to slow the energy long enough to remind audience members to lay all they had at the feet of Jesus. The warmth and sincerity Young exuded in those moments were the perfect set up for the power ballad “Lay My Burdens”. Disciple left nothing on stage, thrilling their fan base and winning new fans in the process.
With Decyfer Down and Disciple done with their high energy sets, the crowd was more than ready for the unique brand of rock that Skillet consistently brings to the stage. And without too much time taken to reset, Skillet opened their show with a dramatic spot on touring violinist Jonathan Chu with the opening strains of “Comatose”. As Skillet band mates hit the stage, most in the crowd rose to their feet with loud cheers. I’ve been to a lot of shows, and this one stands out in my mind as one where the audience was hugely enthusiastic.
From the front row to the back of the auditorium, fans of all ages rocked out all night as front man John Cooper led them through Skillet’s dramatic rock anthems. No question the enthusiasm was also there for new songs “Monster” and “Hero”, songs that will be featured on the band’s upcoming summer release entitled Awake. Cooper had transparent moments onstage where he spoke of the difficulty growing up and dealing with his mother’s cancer and a strained relationship with his father. He introduced the power ballad “Yours to Hold” while Jen Ledger, drummer, came to the forefront to join him on lead vocals. Ledger had another moment to shine when she thrilled us all with a drum solo that showcased her powerful prowess as a percussionist. Skillet didn’t leave anything out and played crowd favorites like “Whispers in the Dark” and “The Last Night”, saving their huge hit “Rebirthing” for the set closer.
The Comatose Tour has now come to a close but all three bands have multiple appearances at festivals throughout the summer months. Make sure to check their MySpace pages or their official band pages for upcoming shows, ticket links and more.
Skillet: www.skillet.com http://www.myspace.com/skilletmusic
Decyfer Down: http://www.decyferdown.com/ http://www.myspace.com/decyferdown
View more Comatose concert photos at Susan's Flickr page here
All photos copyright Susan Lloyd. All rights reserved. Do not duplicate without permission.
Susan Lloyd is a professional photographer in Charleston, South Carolina who specializes in shooting concerts. She holds a degree in Music Education and has worked as a worship leader and as a youth minister. She is passionate about all types of music and enjoys encouraging and supporting bands who seek to glorify God. She also loves movies, animals, traveling, and making new friends. She and her husband have three kids and have been married for nearly 17 years. More info about Susan's photography can be found at www.susanlloydphotography.com or www.susieq3c.wordpress.com