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Skillet // Live @ Brady Music Center // 3.5.23

Article & photos by: Linda Carlson

Cincinnati, OH – What to do on a sleepy Sunday night in March?  In Cincinnati, a near-capacity crowd gathered at the Andrew J Brady Music Center for an evening of rock and positivity with Skillet’s Rock Resurrection Tour.  The tour features headliner Skillet with Theory of a Deadman, and Saint Asonia as opener.

From Canada, Saint Asonia started the evening’s fare, performing a mix of original music and covers.  The band launched their set with “Better Place” from 2015’s Saint Asonia, and then moved to more recent songs, including “Above It All” from Introvert, and their newest release “Devastate” from Extrovert.  Adam Gontier (vocals, rhythm guitar), Tavis Stanley (lead guitar), Cale Gontier (bass), and Cody Watkins (drums) delivered strong performances on these original tracks, as well as on Three Days Grace covers “Never Too Late” and “I Hate Everything About You,” and Apocalyptica’s “I Don’t Care.”

Saint Asonia

Theory of a Deadman, also from Canada, put on a terrific show, with lead singer Tyler Connolly giving a commanding performance.  Strongly spotlit to accentuate his rather iconic power stance, he delivered song after song to the great delight of the audience.  Dave Brenner (guitar), Dean Back (bass) and Joey Dandeneau (drums) filled out the roster.

Theory of a Deadman

The band’s set reflected their broad range of music styles, intermingling rock with emo and country influences.  It made for a terrifically varied set for the crowd to enjoy.  Fan favorites like “Bitch Came Back, “Hate My Life,” “Bad Girlfriend” and “Lowlife” were received with incredible enthusiasm, rounded out by covers “Wicked Game” (Chris Isaak) and “Friends in Low Places” (Garth Brooks).  All in all, terrific.

Theory of a Deadman

Needless to say, the crowd was absolutely primed for Skillet, and the band did not disappoint.  Front man John Cooper is a showman at heart, complemented by equally masterful performances by wife Korey Cooper (guitar, keyboard), Seth Morrison (guitar) and Jen Ledger (drums, vocals).  The band also featured Tate Olsen (cello) for the tour, who added a punk cello element, if you can imagine it, spinning the cello on its stand for extra panache.


Skillet came out of the shoot with powerhouse singles “Feel Invincible” and “Rise.”  Amazing energy.  At one point, John Cooper was outfitted with a smoke gun on each upper arm that shot smoke high in the air as he fiercely sang.

Skillet, John Cooper

Korey Cooper was an equal force of performance energy, Ledger was a delight on the drums and on vocals, and Morrison shredded guitar with intensity.  A southern Ohio native, and described by Cooper as a bit shy to speak on stage, Morrison was encouraged to offer the Cincinnati crowd a “Who Dey!” Bengals cheer, which received emphatic “Who Dey’s” in return.


Visuals rivaled the music.  Multiple LED screens in the backdrop flashed high-impact imagery and words throughout the performance in a dramatic fashion that complemented the band’s onstage energy.  Two platforms raised performers high in the air, and then brought down and then up again in a rhythm that mirrored the beat.

Skillet, Korey Cooper

Cooper often spoke directly to the audience, with incredible positivity and encouragement.  He was funny, passionate and sincere – a refreshing honesty and genuine connection with fans.  The crowd included fans of all ages, and a good number of families out for an entertaining evening.  Not a bad “first concert” for the young ones!


The only downside was that the set lasted only about 65 minutes, with no encore.  The crowd would have certainly welcomed more Skillet!

The tour continues.  Check for upcoming tour dates.

Remember to check out the more photos from the show in the carousel below.

Linda Carlson
Linda has been photographing people since she was ten. Forever intrigued by the complex beauty of the human form, she brings the eye of a portraitist to the unpredictability and spectacle of the concert scene.