Wednesday, April 17, 2024
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Skillet, Alter Bridge and Dirty Honey rock the Pageant


— Review and photos by Keith Brake

Hello Midwest Rewind family, I trust that you are all healthy and happy! This past Monday (10-14-2019) I found myself settling in for what proved to be a very solid evening of rock and roll entertainment as Skillet and Alter Bridge graced The Pageant with their musical prowess. Along with the two seasoned acts was Dirty Honey, a quickly up and coming act that is doing huge things as an unsigned group.

Dirty Honey at The Pageant. Photo by Keith Brake.

The room was buzzing early on as fans of all ages gathered by the barricade of the general admission area; in fact, it was packed pretty tightly almost as soon as the doors opened. When the lights dropped Dirty Honey took the stage and kicked the show off with the zest and vigor of a world class act. Vocalist Marc Labelle appeared from the shadows wearing a top hat and striped pants; an outfit that was almost reminiscent of a circus caller. From the very first note struck the crowd was hooked and loving every single nuance of this group. Some would compare these guys to the insanely popular Gretta Van Fleet, or perhaps a Led Zeppelin throwback, but from what I saw and heard this group is a masterpiece of their very own making. Dirty Honey has taken the music world by storm with their hit single “When I’m Gone” which ascended to a chart topping #1. In case you are wondering, this is the very first time that has ever been accomplished by an unsigned band. The group is very tight in their live performance, combine this with the stage presence of Labelle and it takes the group to a visually captivating level of entertainment. If you ever see this group on any bill anywhere I highly recommend going, as they are one of the better acts I have seen in some time.

Alter Bridge at The Pageant. Photo by Keith Brake.

Alter Bridge was next to hit the stage. Myles Kennedy and Mark Tremont have been making their rounds through the music world with multiple groups for some time now, you may remember I covered Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators earlier this year when they were in town with Slash. With that said, Alter Bridge is where I feel these two amazing artists really stand out. Tremonti is one of the better guitar slingers you could ever hope to see live and Kennedy’s voice just seems to ascend to another level when performing Alter Bridge material. The show date coincided with the release of the latest Alter Bridge album, “Walk The Sky”. In celebration of this, the group treated the crowd to “In The Deep”, a selection from the latest offering. The near capacity crowd welcomed the new music with an open mind and rousing applause upon completion of the song. Alter Bridge is consistently one of the greatest live acts that I have the pleasure of covering as they produce outstanding performances every time they take the stage. By the time this group had completed their set the evening had already showcased two amazing performances and the headliner was yet to come.

Skillet at The Pageant. Photo by Keith Brake.

Headlining the show was Skillet and when you think of energetic bands with an amazing stage show you should have Skillet on your list; if you do not that probably means that you are yet to see them live. If for some reason you don’t recognize this band by name (I can not imagine how) you most certainly would recognize their music. Touting hit songs such as “Awake and Alive”, “Hero”, “Monster” and “Whispers in The Dark” Skillet has plenty of powerful and well known material to fashion a set that just does not stop. In addition to their hit music the band is extraordinary in their visual performance as well. Guitarist Korey Cooper is one of the most energetic and entertaining musicians you can imagine as she jumps, runs and contorts herself all about the stage with amazing speed and agility. Not to be out done, John Cooper (vocals & Bass guitar) is equally hard to track. Adding to John’s energy, cryo-cannons, two of them. With a cryo-cannon attached to each arm John gives those in attendance plenty to tell all their friends who decided to skip the show just exactly what they missed. The stage presence does not stop there as lead guitarist Seth Morrison and drummer Jen Ledger round out this full throttle act with an all encompassing visual and auditory wonderland with so much happening at once that it is difficult to take it all in. I have and will always have a special appreciation for those special groups who can show up and give 110% every time they take the stage and Skillet, without a doubt, does this in spades.

I can’t find anything that I would have changed or would like to have seen differently, the entire show was on point and entertaining from the very start. It is a rare occasion that you see a lineup this solid without it being on a festival bill and even more captivating when you get to see it in a venue as intimate as The Pageant. I suppose it goes without saying that I highly recommend seeing ANY of these three bands ANY time you have a chance. For my money these three groups are as good of a live performance as you could ever want to see.

As always, thanks for the ongoing support and leave me some comments below the photo gallery.

Peace, Keith.

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