Live: Skillet and Sevendust in Indy

Indianapolis’ rock scene has vastly improved over the last year or so. Last year saw Shinedown & Godsmack, Rob Zombie & Marilyn Manson, Five Finger Death Punch & Breaking Benjamin, Ozzy Osbourne & Stone Sour and many more come through and 2019 has been one hell of a follow up. One of the many tours that has come through Indy is Skillet, Sevendust and Pop Evil, which recently hit the Farm Bureau Insurance Lawn at White River State Park and it was a night that didn’t disappoint. 

After locals American Bombshell warmed things up early, Pop Evil hit the stage and the energy went through the roof. From the start of their set, they demanded every ounce of participation the crowd had and saw frontman Leigh Kakaty climbing the amp stacks on the side of the and standing on top of the crowd- making sure they raised the bar for Sevendust. 

The legendary Sevendust took over not too long later and proved why they’ve been around for over 20 years and why they’ve been one of the top bands for so long.They showed their appreciation for the fans from start to finish and the crowd returned the sentiment in full. They played a quick 11-song set that perfectly balanced their newer material from All I See Is War along with the classic Sevendust tracks “Denial,” “Waffle,” “Praise,” “Black” and “Angel’s Son,” which was opened with an emotional tribute from frontman Lajon Witherspoon to one of their fans that passed away from cancer and during which the lead vocals were shared by Clint Lowery. 

Before too long, the lights went down and the fans erupted as Skillet took the stage. They had their full production with them for the first non-festival or Winter Jam show in some time so the crowd was in for a treat. From the start of “Feel Invincible,” the pyro cO was going strong, adding even more to a show that’s amazing without its presence. 

While they’ve been around for over 23 years and have been a force in the mainstream rock world for over a decade, Skillet was still out to make a statement that they’re one of the top rock bands right now and they did exactly that. With smoke guns to accompany the pyro, their production made it hard to deny their power and the crowd was in love with every minute of the show. 

With a new album out, they threw in a few new tracks- “You Ain’t Ready,” “Legendary” and “Victorious” found their way into the setlist but the surprising setlist subtractions were longtime staples like “Rebirthing” and “Sick of It.” 

The band was more than inspirational on stage, with frontman John Cooper talking about their faith and how there’s hope in the darkness for anyone. He touched on the suicide of numerous rock icons over the last few years- specifically Chester Bennington- discussing how he never knew the Linkin Park singer but he didn’t need to know him for Bennington’s music to make an impact on his life. 

He talked about how “Victorious” (the song) is for the people who battle the same fights Bennington did and how he hopes it can affect even one person and give them hope that so many people need in this world.

In the end, Skillet put on a show that not only rocked and blew you away, but gave people an escape from any problems they have going on and sent them home ready for the next Skillet show. 

-Reggie Edwards