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Skillet Rocks The World

It started six years ago with the owners and crew at Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari planning on putting together the craziest and sickest music festival they possibly could. This year, it all came together when Skillet made their Santa Claus, Indiana debut. That’s right, Santa Claus Is the name of this town in southern Indiana, and they have been put on notice for the best show in the tristate area. Skillet came to headline this show and make sure people were screaming about more than just Fast and Furious rollercoasters. They would be chanting the name of Skillet until they drove home!

A hot and sizzling 95 degrees would set the tone for the fiery music and crazy guitar riffs that would pump into the hillside of Holiday World and fill everyone’s chest with a beating and thunderous slam of Jen Ledger’s drums. The fans set up their chairs early on to save a spot to get a good seat for the night’s festivities. I sat down with John Cooper of Skillet in a meet and greet session to hear fans ask very intimate and interesting questions about life and the band’s origins. One fan asked John Cooper where the band got their name from, to which he replied: “We were all in several different bands at the time of forming and were told that we should all get together, and it would be like all these different ingredients into a giant skillet to make a band, so I said, ‘well how about Skillet.’”

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A few hours later, the first artist took the stage, Hollyn, a 20 year old amazing vocalist along with her insanely talented guitarist Alex Williams, who was in all forms of the word “tenacious.” Hollyn would greet the crowd with “Alone” off her album One Way Conversations. The rocker took the entire Rock The World stage by the horns and traipsing the main stage up and down the catwalk to the edge to greet fans with her authentic style and clean vocals! Full of life and energy, Hollyn earned some new fans with her debut performance on the Rock The World Stage!

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The night would slowly creep up on us as the next act would hit the stage, Ryan Stevenson. Ryan would be one to warm the crowd up with his insatiable acoustic performances and memorable lyrics to keep the crowd smiling and feeling warm.

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Taking us all back to the old school 90’s punk band sound was Hawk Nelson, but with a new age twist. Lead vocalist Jon, along with the rest of Hawk Nelson, would get everyone feeling like they were flying high on the roller coaster behind them while coming to a screeching halt, to only being lifted right back to the top with all the Hawk Nelson favorites from album to album. Drummer David Niacaris would command a lot of the fans attention while frontman Jon took to the catwalk himself and high five all of the adoring and excited fans of the 2017 Rock The World Festival. The guys would play well into the dark hours of the night until it was finally time to rock the world with Skillet!

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The tension was high, the heat never left, and it would be moments before Skillet would begin to take the RTW Stage and live up to the name of the festival! We all began to feel invincible as the stage filled with smoke, and riffs leaked from the monitors as the band crept on stage one by one, “Santa Claus, Indiana do you feel invincible?!” exclaimed frontman John Cooper.

Skillet started to fire on all cylinders and so did the fans, leaping and banging their heads right with every beat, the “pan heads” smiled and threw their fists in the air as they sang every song word for word with Skillet. The atmosphere was intense and exciting as the dominant band of four would continue playing all the hits and everyone’s favorite one after another. Once finishing with their second song, “Whispers In The Dark,” John Cooper acknowledged the RTW crowd and thanked everyone for coming out and introduced themselves to the “World” and asked everyone to release everything they were holding onto. Following along with every note and song, the Holiday World crowd would give all the energy that Skillet would give to them.

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Keyboard, guitarist, and even wife of frontman John, Korey Cooper would be all over the RTW stage and show people that she was here to play, but not games. Korey Cooper relentlessly played her role in the dominant performance of the night by twisting and riding up into the air on risers and reminding people that she isn’t just a guitarist and keyboardist. She was a tidal wave of emotion and fire.

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If you were looking for gut-busting guitar solos, you would only need to look stage right as lead guitarist Seth Morrison was letting the sparks fly, in every way imaginable. This man is a fierce and formidable guitarist, melting the faces of every fan and person working this show. If you have never seen Seth Morrison play you are truly missing out; he’s got talent and passion beyond his own years.

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Moving further into the set we were all treated to some female domination between Korey melting faces of her own to drummer Jen Ledger walking down to light everyone with her piercing vocals and heartfelt performance. Jen left it all on the stage; well, at least the front of the stage as she is a triple threat and got back on the riser and continued to impress as she slammed hard on her drums. This girl has all the talent you can ask for and more from a drummer and a second singer for any band! The fans, also known as “pan heads,” would continue to rock out with their favorite band and keep consuming the energy they were being given. This would be one show the little town of Santa Claus, Indiana would never forget, and as John Cooper would soon go on to promise their return! Skillet would close this show out with everyone’s favorite jam “Rebirthing.” Sparks flew and guitars did too, from ear drum-busting solos and insane vocals from John, Skillet left it all on the stage and rocked the world, shaking it to the very core. If you weren’t at this show, you truly missed out on a stellar and thunderous show!

Check out a full gallery here!




Skillet Tour Dates:

Date Venue Location
Sep 01 Las Colonias Amphitheater Grand Junction, CO Tickets & More
Sep 02 Southwest Motors Events Center At Colorado State Fair Pueblo, CO Tickets & More
Sep 03 Unleashed Tour Casper, WY Tickets & More
Sep 06 Unleashed Tour Vancouver, Canada Tickets & More
Sep 08 Union Hall Edmonton, Canada Tickets & More
Sep 09 Unleashed Tour Calgary, Canada Tickets & More
Sep 10 Unleashed Tour Regina, Canada Tickets & More
Sep 11 Unleashed Tour Winnipeg, Canada Tickets & More
Sep 15 Uprise Festival Shippensburg, PA Tickets & More
Sep 16 PointFest 2017 Sandusky, OH Tickets & More
Sep 27 Air1 Positive Hits Tour Huber Heights, OH Tickets & More
Sep 28 Air1 Positive Hits Tour Knoxville, TN Tickets & More
Sep 29 Air1 Positive Hits Tour Lexington, KY Tickets & More
Sep 30 Air1 Positive Hits Tour Indianapolis, IN Tickets & More
Oct 01 Air1 Positive Hits Tour Nashville, TN Tickets & More
Oct 05 Air1 Positive Hits Tour Little Rock, AR Tickets & More
Oct 06 Air1 Positive Hits Tour Baton Rouge, LA Tickets & More
Oct 07 Air1 Positive Hits Tour Houston, TX Tickets & More
Oct 08 Air1 Positive Hits Tour Jackson, MS Tickets & More
Oct 10 Air1 Positive Hits Tour Belton, TX Tickets & More
Oct 12 Air1 Positive Hits Tour Lubbock, TX Tickets & More
Oct 13 Air1 Positive Hits Tour Rio Rancho, NM Tickets & More
Oct 14 Air1 Positive Hits Tour Henderson, NV Tickets & More
Oct 15 Air1 Positive Hits Tour Phoenix, AZ Tickets & More
Oct 19 Air1 Positive Hits Tour San Diego, CA Tickets & More
Oct 22 Air1 Positive Hits Tour Ontario, CA Tickets & More
Oct 26 Air1 Positive Hits Tour Fresno, CA Tickets & More
Oct 27 Air1 Positive Hits Tour Redding, CA Tickets & More
Oct 28 Air1 Positive Hits Tour Portland, OR Tickets & More
Oct 29 Air1 Positive Hits Tour Kent, WA Tickets & More
Nov 02 Air1 Positive Hits Tour San Jose, CA Tickets & More
Nov 03 Air1 Positive Hits Tour Bakersfield, CA Tickets & More
Nov 04 Air1 Positive Hits Tour Reno, NV Tickets & More
Nov 05 Air1 Positive Hits Tour Salt Lake City, UT Tickets & More
Nov 07 Air1 Positive Hits Tour Denver, CO Tickets & More
Nov 09 Air1 Positive Hits Tour Independence, MO Tickets & More
Nov 10 Air1 Positive Hits Tour Tulsa, OK Tickets & More
Nov 11 Air1 Positive Hits Tour San Antonio, TX Tickets & More
Nov 12 Air1 Positive Hits Tour Grand Prairie, TX Tickets & More
Dec 31 WinterFest 2017 Lynchburg, VA Tickets & More

Brandon Hanks is a photojournalist hailing from Owensboro, Kentucky. Brandon started his obsession with photography dating back to 2001. Since getting his first taste of the music industry in 2016 with Nothing More, he has since worked with some of his favorites to some of the biggest names in music: Black Stone Cherry, Highly Suspect, Bush, Skillet, Green Day, and Scott Stapp. "If you were to tell me I'd be doing this (concert photography) with the artists I've worked with in my first year, I'd call you a liar," said Hanks. Brandon's fire and willingness to adapt to any setting and environment while being able to take on any challenge thrown at him makes him a force and a future in this industry looks brighter with every show. "Grateful, Humbled, Unbelievable, Rise Up." All words Brandon lives by.

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