BY HENRY MILLER
Two bands with completely different sounds will be part of the first full-fledged concert at H-E-B Park on Friday.
Christian hard rockers Skillet and For King & Country will join forces for the “joy.UNLEASHED Tour” for what will undoubtedly be a theatrical, high-energy and laser/pyro-filled show. This isn’t going to be a just-stand-at-the-mic-and-sing type show, by any means.
“We’re excited,” Skillet lead man John Cooper said in a phone interview. “We have even shared the stage performing songs together. But finally we are joining forces for our own tour. It will be an uplifting, energetic, exciting show where fans will get to see something they have never seen from both acts before.”
Cooper and Skillet have been around for more than
20 years. Most recently, Skillet released “Unleashed Beyond” late last year, a deluxe edition of their chart-topping album which included the RIAA Gold Certified single “Feel Invincible” and coincided with the double platinum certification of Awake.
During those 20 years, Cooper said the band has grown and evolved their music. While there’s still the reckless energy sound of those early days, there’s something more organized about their music — while not missing a driving sound or a monster bass beat.
“We are students of music and just love music — both groups are like that,” Cooper said. “When Korey (John’s wife) and I write songs, we are looking to do different things without going away from who we are. We think that’s important and we study music a lot.”
According to one music website, they called themselves Skillet because they came from such different musical backgrounds that they felt like they were throwing everything into a skillet to see what they could cook up. They’ve cooked up a lot.
“We’ve been fortunate over the years to have been able to perform and travel and write music and develop a following,” Cooper said. “The same can be said for King and Country. We have completely different shows and different styles of music — but it works.”
Grammy award winners For King & Country emerged onto the scene in 2012 with their debut record “Crave,” and Billboard declared them the “New Artists to Watch” for in 2012.
Brothers Joel and Luke Smallbone describe the power of music as something that can “impact our mood, emotions, our day. But when you merge the strength of music with the heart, hope and passion of the Gospel… it has the ultimate power not only to change someone’s day, but to impact them for eternity. This is why we write music and sing songs — we hope that people will be moved, encouraged and stirred to live a life for Someone greater than themselves.”
In 2015, the band won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Christian Music Album with “Run Wild, Life Free, Love Strong” and for Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song as guest artists on “Messengers” by Lecrae.
Twenty years ago, Skillet took Christian music to another level. The bands theatrics and high energy performance on stage along with the fiery sound was new for Christian music. The band garnered fans from the Christian ranks as well as the secular ranks. Same can be said with for King and Country. Still, while they are both Christian rockers, their shows are night and day. Still, the soaring melodies, driving rhythms, personal themes, and theatrical instrumentation make this show work.
“We have so many memories when it comes to our friendship and history with Skillet,” For King & Country said in a press release. “As teenagers we remember watching their sets from side of stage. They headlined the very first tour we were ever on. It’s a real honor and joy for us to have the privilege of touring together.”
Where: H-E-B Park, 1616 S. Raul Lonoria
When: 7 p.m.
Date: April 20
Cost: Tickets start at 20$ at hebparkrgv.com