The Roadshow Tour – featuring Skillet & Third Day live at SAP Center San Jose, CA 1-16-14

The Roadshow Tour – featuring Skillet & Third Day live at SAP Center San Jose, CA 1-16-14

Bringing in 2014 on a positive note The Roadshow tour began its 22-city tour on January 9th. Being the sixth annual tour, this year’s line-up is another diverse mix of hip-hop, rock, and vocalists consisting of Skillet, Third Day, Jamie Grace, Andy Mineo, Royal Tailor, Soulfire Revolution, We as Human, The Neverclaim, and Vertical Church Band.  On Thursday January 16th The Roadshow Tour made a stop at the SAP Center in San Jose, CA ready to rock out.

From Nashville, TN Royal Tailor was one of the earlier acts in the evening.  With a Grammy nomination for their debut album Black & White (2011), two years later this 4-piece group received rave reviews for their sophomore self-titled album Royal Tailor (2013).  Mixing hip-hop elements with rock these guys seemed extremely comfortable on stage.  Lead vocalist, Tauren Wells showed great stage presence moving around at will, providing great entertainment to the audience. Throughout their performance the band meshed well as a unit and took advantage of the stage setup, which included a catwalk and small island at the end.  These guys proved to be a great fit for The Roadshow tour line-up.

Keeping the hip hop flavor going, from Washington Heights, NYC was Andy Mineo.  Originally from Syracuse, NY, Mineo struggled early in life with lack of family structure, but found purpose at an early age bringing his talents and positive message to light. Mineo took the stage as cool as one could imagine making SAP Center his own.  Adding to the spectacle, Mineo broke out a skateboard on stage riding around making for a fun atmosphere. Mineo definitely brought the audience to their feet and is well worth seeing live.  His new album entitled Heroes For Sale (2013) is out now.

Sprinkling in an international act was Soulfire Revolution, originally from Bogata Columbia.  Now based out of Miami, FL this worship inspired 5-piece band mix a message of god with a metallic pop-rock sound.  Inspired and electrified the band poured out a full sound of bass, drums, and guitar fronted by the beautiful voice of Lorena Castellanos.  While not as animated as the prior performances, Soulfire Revolution had all the energy in the world behind their gospel like words where were sure to lift anyone’s spirits.  Their debut album Revival (2013)  is out now.

Third Day was up next and you could feel the excitement amongst the fans in the audience.  From Atlanta, GA, Third Day has been together now over 2 decades and accomplished a great deal in that time.  With 11 studio albums to their credit, they have accumulated a massive fan base, won Grammys, and sold over 10 million albums in the USA.

When lead singer Mac Powell and the rest of Third Day took the stage the crowd erupted.  Opening with the southern rock song “Otherside” and leading into other groovy tracks such as “Make Your Move”.  Powell sang  with soul and purpose as the guitar work of Mark Lee, bass playing of Tai Anderson, and drumming of David Carr rounded out each tune perfectly.  The crowd was moving the entire 8 song set and the energy was at it’s maximum level during “I Need a Miracle”.    There is no doubt that Third Day is one of the biggest bands of the genre and for good reason.

Directly following was the young talented vocalist, Jamie Grace.  Grace at the age of 21 has already accomplished so much while-balancing school, music, and life.  Clearly not intimated by the limelight she took the stage singing soothingly, sweet, and powerfully, showing she is one of the brightest young stars out there.  Although she only had a 15 minute set directly before Skillet, she made the most of her time and very simply amazed all in attendance.

The time had come for the main and final act.  Crossing all genre boundaries Skillet has reached mainstream audiences over the years with powerful, spiritual, and heavy rock n roll.  After the massive success of their eighth studio album Rise (2013), Skillet has fortified themselves amongst leading hard rock acts.  John Cooper (vocals/bass) and Korey Cooper (rhythm guitar/keyboards/vocals) are running on all cylinders with the additions of Jen Ledger (drums) and Seth Morrison (lead guitars) over the last few years.  Now a full blown rock orchestral live show, with Jonathan Chu (violin) and Tate Olsen (Cello), those who know Skillet were more than ready for what was to come

Bursting out onto the stage they opened with an electronic intro that was followed by a video on a massive LCD screen of John Cooper and Ledger singing “Hero”.  Directly following, Ledger approached her drum kit in the shadows with the crowd applauding following her silhouette.  This resulted in the full blown performance of “Hero”, raising your pulse from a calm level to pure exhilaration.  Keeping the sparks flying was the anthem hit “Sick” with John Cooper’s voice spreading with an unmatchable force.   Korey Cooper’s stage presence was like a lightning bolt of energy bouncing from each corner of the room.  Fans sang each and every word of the song as the floor moved beneath them. This led into the introduction of Chu on violin and Olsen on cello with lights shining solely on them.  With a short tranquil interlude they immediately bowed into the song “Not Gonna Die”.   As if the emotion levels weren’t already elevated the ante was upped even higher with this theatrical interjection of orchestral elements and Chuo and Olsen lifted on risers to either of Ledgers drum kit on “Awake and Alive”.  The back and forth singing of John Cooper and Ledger mixed with the thrashing guitars was nothing less than blissful.  Morrison’s lead guitar work was astounding and there is no doubt he mixes naturally with the band.

Showing a range of different emotions John Cooper took a moment to speak to the audience explaining the meaning behind the song “Last Night”.  Immediately following the introduction Korey Cooper stroked a sorrowful melody on piano accompanied by John Cooper singing the heartfelt  lyrics.  Keeping things mellow with “American Noise”, Korey Cooper’s piano playing resonated in the hearts of the audience as John Cooper sang the track with  hope and clarity.

Bringing the energy level directly back up in no time, “Monster” exploded with crunching guitars and razor sharp vocals.  Being their most commercially successful single there wasn’t a fan in the SAP Center without their hands in the air screaming along with each word.  Closing out the adrenaline rush filled set was the epic song “Rebirth”.  Hearing the song live not only makes the listener want to shed their skin and start a new, but to be the best possible person you can be.  Undeniably a majestic closing to a unforgettable performance, Skillet is a band which continues to push the envelope of success, and why not with such a strong, enlightening message to go along with their massive sound.

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