Live: Skillet Unleashed in Chicago

It’s been five years since Skillet hit the road for a full-on headline tour but with a new record out like Unleashed, now is the perfect time and they’ve enlisted Thousand Foot Krutch, Devour The Day and Sick Puppies as support, making for a tour that’s a definite must-see.

The tour recently hit Chicago’s Concord Music Hall with support from Devour The Day and Thousand Foot Krutch- the latter of the two leaving the tour two days later and Sick Puppies jumping on.

A lot has happened since their last headline tour. Skillet has released two albums since that tour, Thousand Foot Krutch has had a member change at guitar, Sick Puppies have changed their lead singer and Devour The Day wasn’t even a band when Skillet did their last headline tour. Needless to say, numerous dates have sold out on this trek and rightly so. There are so many songs from Unleashed that fans have been dying to hear and see live and they didn’t necessarily have that chance with Rise- the band’s previous record- with Skillet mainly doing arena mega-lineup tours, which cut down the setlist length exponentially.

Devour The Day kicked off the night early and played a short and sweet set that included every fan favorite the band has put out in their two-album career. Bassist Joey Walser is one of the most entertaining bassists to watch and Blake Allison is one of the more underrated frontmen in rock today. If fans were looking for a band to really get them ready for Skillet, they were in luck with Devour The Day.

Not long after they wrapped up, Thousand Foot Krutch took over and cranked the party up even more. With a new album out just three months prior, the band was flying high and you could tell. They’ve always been one of the most dynamic live bands around and they proved it, playing tracks off their three most recent records- including three or four from their latest record- Exhale. They know exactly how to control a crowd and it showed in Chicago, with fans chanting for more music as the band wrapped things up.
Then it was time. The lights went down and the intro music kicked in as members of Skillet took the stage one at a time. Fans were eager to see which songs from the new record would find their way into the set and they were in luck right from the jump when Skillet launched into “Feel Invincible” complete with smoke launching from the middle of the stage.

They played five other tracks from the new record- “Back From The Dead,” “Unleashed,” “Stars,” “Out of Hell” and “The Resistance”- the latter of which was the encore and saw a massive eruption from fans. They also added an extended intro and outro to a few of the songs, which made for an even more dynamic concert experience.

The band sounded better than ever, firing on all cylinders. They did a beautiful job blending the new material with the Skillet hits and favorites we’ve all come to love. At times, you couldn’t even hear the band singing because the crowd was so loud- a crowd mixed with churchgoers, partyers, metalheads and more, making for one hell of a concert experience.

For diehard Skillet fans, this is the album cycle for you to check out and catch the band on. Numerous songs fans have wanted to hear live for years are back in the setlist, the band sounds better than ever, the stage show is exactly what you expect from Skillet and lives up to any and all hopes you could possibly have.

Skillet are back!

-Reggie Edwards