Photos and review courtesy of Annette Holloway | March 24 2018
Exploding onto the set of Winter Jam Tour Spectacular, Platinum selling rockers Skillet thrilled the audience of thousands at the PNC arena in Raleigh, North Carolina March 24th. In 2018 on one of the biggest annual tours in the world, they took their concert to the next level with aerial antics during Feel Invincible, heart-stopping concussion grenades throughout, hand-held cryo guns blazing during Sick of It, and “chariots” carrying John Cooper and Jen Ledger into the crowd while harmonizing hit song Hero. Even with all of the new elements, the signature screaming guitars of Seth Morrison and Korey Cooper still highlighted the heart of Skillet’s sound, and Jen Ledger’s fearless attack on drums dominated. Most of all, lead singer John Cooper’s endless energy, rockstar performance, bass mastery and brilliant vocals thrilled the audience throughout, but he connected with fans from all walks of life at a deeper level by sharing his faith and pointing troubled souls to a loving God.
GRAMMY®-nominated Building 429, with a history of chart-topping hits and a Billboard Christian song of the year rocked the arena with Impossible and Bonfire, then kept everyone dancing with We Won’t Be Shaken and Wrecking Ball (Press On). The vocal versatility and smooth sound of lead singer Jason Roy was undeniable, as was his ability to connect with the crowd. The heart of the band’s music acknowledges life’s struggles and offers true hope to the brokenhearted. A new song This Place gave us a taste of upcoming album Live the Journey slated to be released this summer.
Internationally-renowned worship leader Kari Jobe (featuring Cody Carnes), took the listener to a higher place and offered healing and hope with her signature majestic tone. Heal Our Land called us to unity in a day when there is so much conflict and division.
Breakout hip-hop artist KB brought his normal high-energy performance to Winter Jam with I Believe that We Will Win and Not Today Satan, and boldly spoke out against racism.
GRAMMY®-nominated Newsong, founders of Winter Jam, were still hosting and performing in the tour after 23 years. With their signature harmonies, the band thrilled gospel-lovers with the songs I Am a Christian and Arise My Love. Russ Lee even busted some moves during Down. However, Rico Thomas’ guitar riffs and Jack Pumphrey’s drum solo infused a rock flavor into their set.
Jordan Feliz truly celebrated on stage with a humility and genuineness like no other. He performed his new song Witness from recently-released album Future, followed by his hit song The River, opening Winter Jam with all the fanfare of one of the biggest annual tours in the world.
Stand-up comedian and viral sensation, John Crist, revealed all Christians’ secret thoughts, and paid homage to Chick-fil-A and Hobby Lobby. At the end, he demonstrated, as only he can, how to spice up a baby dedication Lion King-style. Look out for much more of John Crist in years to come.
Others on Winter Jam included author, speaker and evangelist Nick Hall, along with artists performing in the Pre-Jam Party: Dan Bremnes, Mallary Hope and Westover.
Presented by Holt International, Winter Jam is hosted by the band Newsong. Wanting everyone able to hear good music, Newsong wanted no one to be turned away at the door for lack of money, and asked for an optional donation of $15 at the door. Quality music at such a low price is hard to beat.
Photos and review courtesy of Annette Holloway