Skillet, Chevelle and Papa Roach

Written by on May 13, 2010 in Cover Story, Live Reviews, May 13, 2010 - 4 Comments

Heat up Richmond Virginia’s Chili Cook Off

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Photography by: Stephen Gibson Photography

They were more than 18,000 strong at the Richmond Raceway Complex (www.richmondracewaycomplex.com). They started lining up at 9am for the gates to open at 11am and the line stretched across and through the parking lot.  They were there to attend “The X Chili Cook Off” (www.wrxl.com) concert featuring Proverbial, Evans Blue, Crash Kings, Skillet, Chevelle, and Papa Roach.  We were there to see Skillet, Chevelle, and Papa Roach.

Skillet (www.Skillet.com).

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From the moment they took the stage, the audience was snapping pictures with their cell phones, jumping in the air and banging their heads like a group of synchronized swimmers.  The members of the band John Cooper, Korey Cooper, Ben Kasica, and Jen Ledger had the audience engaged from the first note they played.  They began with “Hero”, their newly released single from the “Awake” album, following that up with “Whispers in the Dark”, from their “Comatose” album.  It was at this time that John Cooper greets the audience and 2 sections of risers begin to ascend to the ceiling with Korey Cooper and Ben Kasica aboard rising some 20 plus feet up in the air, leaving John Cooper to jam with Cello player Tate Olsen, as they played the title song from the “Awake” album, “Awake and Alive” with the accompaniment of Jonathan Chu masterfully playing on the violin.   The band thanks everyone for showing up and singing their songs and expresses how proud they are to have the privilege of playing in the band together.  They start to wind down with “Believe” and “Savior”.  John asks the crowd “Do you wanna get crazy?” and they play their hit song “Monster”.  At this point, the crowd goes nuts with the jumping and singing that at a few times drowned out the lead singer.  They ended their portion of the concert with “Rebirthing”, and thanked the crowd for coming.

Skillet definitely knows how to put on a show, from Korey and Ben thrashing their guitars so hard it makes you feel every string they play to Jen’s masterful skills on the drums that make your ears pound with excitement to hear more, and to John’s voice belting out the lyrics so well, you can feel the energy they put into the show and it shows that they are very thankful to be playing in front of their fans as they definitely gave the fans a show they would soon not forget.

I had never heard of Skillet before “Monster” hit the radio.  Possibly because they are a Christian Rock band and they may not have made the crossover to mainstream yet but they are definitely on their way to doing so, but I most certainly know who they are now, and I like what I see.  Their music makes me want to bang my head and sing out loud.  I like the sound they have and the fact that they differentiate themselves by including a Cello and Violin in their music and live performances, I think that adds a little something extra to their music.  I don’t normally purchase a CD unless I like at least 3 songs off of it but I will admit that Skillet was added to my collection early, I had a feeling that I would like more of the music once I heard the CD and I was 100 percent correct. I just wasn’t prepared for such an energetic, hard rockin’, live performance like the one they provided.   I look forward to hearing more from them in the future and I am hoping to see them live again very soon.

Next up was Chevelle (www.chevelleinc.com)

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The crowd started chanting their name as if willing them to come out on stage sooner.  Moments later, Pete Loeffler, Sam Leoffler, and Dean Bernardini came on stage and opened with 2 singles from their new album “Sci-Fi Crimes”.  They started with “Sleep Apnea” and followed it up with “Jars”.  They took a minute to greet the crowd and toasted them with a beer.  Next, they went back in time a little and performed “Vitamin R” before they belted out their new single “Letter from a Thief”.  The observation was made by Pete Loeffler that the crowd “likes the heavy shit” and they gave them “Forfeit”, “The Red”, and “Send the Pain Below” from the “Wonder What’s Next” album.

I am ashamed to say it, but, that is about all I can say about their set.  The performance had little to no energy to it, it was lackadaisical at most.  The band members looked like they were practically pushed out of bed to come to the arena and they seemed as though they were tired and were being forced to perform.  I have liked some of their music since the “Wonder What’s Next” album and this was my first time seeing them live.  I don’t know if they were just worn out or what, but I was less than impressed by their live performance.  I will, however, probably give them another shot and see them live again just to make sure it wasn’t a fluke.  But, no matter the performance, I will still like their music.

Last but not least was Papa Roach (www.paparoach.com)

Papa RoachOnce the stage cleared from Chevelle’s gear, stagehands started setting up for Papa Roach and you could feel the energy from the 18,000 plus fans in attendance just get even higher, they started chanting “Papa Roach, Papa Roach” and when Jacoby Shaddix, Jerry Horton, Tobin Esperance and Tony Palermo came rushing the stage you could feel that all the energy that the crowd gave the previous bands before them just heated up even hotter than the chili there at the cook off.

Papa Roach rushed the stage jumping up and down singing “Getting Away with Murder”, with Jerry and Tobin shredding their guitars so hard you could have had fret boards as part of your chili if you had wanted it, they rolled straight into “To be loved” and “Lifeline” where I saw Tony pound on his Pearl drums so hard and fast you would have thought he was debuting for a ride in one of the race cars that travel around the Richmond Raceway complex at 100 plus miles per hour,  after “Lifeline”, Jacoby mentioned the fact that it was great to be back on the road after 3 months off but stated “he must have sort of virus or something because he was hacking up green shit all morning long, but that wasn’t going to interfere with him giving the fans what they came here for, he was going to give them what they wanted and that was one hell of a show”, and from what I understand the stuff that Jacoby had must have really put a damper on some parts of the tour as I heard they had to cancel some of their other shows due to his illness, Man I sure hope it wasn’t anything he may have gotten had he partaken in any of Richmond’s Chili.

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They rolled into Hollywood Whore and he also debuted “Burn” for the fans in attendance, after “Burn”, I unfortunately had to leave early from the concert as I was beginning to feel ill myself, but having seen Papa Roach before when they toured with Nickelback last year I know that they put on one hell of a show with the crowd singing and banging their heads the whole time, and as we were leaving you could still hear the crowd chanting Papa’s name as the concert ended.

All Access Magazine would like to Thank all of the people that made it possible to cover such great bands from the people at Sony Music, Q Management Group and 10th Street Entertainment for their continued support of some of the best bands out there on the tour circuit today and we wish Jacoby and the rest of the bands the best well wishes for a successful 2010 tour success.