Photo review: Skillet cooks up something special for a sold-out Winter Jam crowd

click to enlarge John Cooper of Skillet - Drunk Camera Guy
Drunk Camera Guy
John Cooper of Skillet


The Winter Jam Tour Spectacular returned to the Amalie Arena last weekend, selling out the 20,000-capacity venue. From dubstep to metal, the event definitely challenged what someone like myself (a fan of secular sounds) expected to hear from “Christian music.”

click to enlarge Family Force 5 - Drunk Camera Guy
Drunk Camera Guy
Family Force 5

The first performers we caught were Family Force 5, the pop-slinging boy band of the tour who came replete with flashy outfits and swooning girls. Their synchronized trampoline dancing to the dubsteppy “BZRK” confirmed this wasn’t one of those church basement bands that used to get dragged to see when I went to private school.

click to enlarge Francesca Battistelli - Drunk Camera Guy
Drunk Camera Guy
Francesca Battistelli

Francesca Battistelli was exactly what I used to get dragged to see when I was in private school. A pretty, happy, quirky singer whose cover of American Authors’ “Best Day of My Life” — accompanied by a giant bubble machine — was was saccharine sweet.


A final prayer break followed, during which a preacher advised occupants of the packed venue that the tour didn’t have enough money to make it to their next stop in Sunrise, and passed around collection buckets while Veridia's Deena Jakoub performed an acoustic set.

click to enlarge Skillet - Drunk Camera Guy
Drunk Camera Guy
Skillet

Finally it was time for the main event. As I mentioned before, I went to a private Christian high school and I've seen my fair share of Christian bands. But I have never seen anyone like Skillet. I'd been told by a friend — whose advice I trusted to the point of going to a Christian concert with her — that they had a great stage show. She wasn’t kidding.

click to enlarge Seth Morrison of Skillet - Drunk Camera Guy
Drunk Camera Guy
Seth Morrison of Skillet

Skillet are definitely a rock band. and not a Christian version of a rock band, either. They’re the real deal, complete with guitar solos, a drummer on a spinning platform, and fire. Lots of fire.

click to enlarge Photo review: Skillet cooks up something special for a sold-out Winter Jam crowd - DRUNK CAMERA GUY
DRUNK CAMERA GUY
Photo review: Skillet cooks up something special for a sold-out Winter Jam crowd

In all, while not my usual thing, I had a great time broadening my Christian music horizons and definitely recommend checking out Skillet, whether you’re into God, no god, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster, whose Noodly Appendages touch us all...