Rock 95 and Mankato Civic Center present Braking Benjamin.
Fight the Fury opened the show. The more heavy band from Skillet frontman John Cooper. He made this band out his love for the heavier side of metal. Little more screaming and darker than Skillet. It is him on bass, Seth Morrison on guitar from Skillet, John Panzer III on guitar and his cousin on drums Jared Ward. John had this idea about 5 years ago and start writing songs with Seth while on tour with Skillet about 2 years ago. The songs are more of a darker nature and very heavy. If you dig Skillet but want a little heavier check them out. They had an EP come out last October. Very cool to see them open the show up even with a short 4 song set.
Setlist – I Cannot – My Demons – Soldier – Dominate Me
Underoath was the second band. They are an interesting heavy band from Tampa Florida. They have been around for almost 20 years, with a small break up of two year from 2012-2015. Wow that is amazing. Seems like yesterday I was just hearing about the band. There have been many changes in the band but Arron Gillespie back on lead vocals and most of the band intact since the early 2000’s. There was The crowd was way into them. No moshing or crowd surfing but they were making the pits known. Underoath is a faith based band like Skillet but still rips it up live. I mean they are heavy! They are still in support of their 2018 release Erase Me. Check the new album out.
Skillet is always great to see live. Catchy songs, great musicianship, stage show, energy, they got it all. John and Seth were pulling double duty with Fight the Fury and Skillet. They are pros I’m sure they can handle it. I first learned about Skillet at Rock Fest a few years ago and was blown away. I have seen them several times since. DOn’t let them being a faith band turn you away. These guys rock. Tonight they even had Lacy Strum, ex Flyleaf singer, doing some songs with them. Jen Ledger the drummer was not around tonight. Not sure why, but Jacob Bramlett from Protest was on drums. He filled in just fine. Skillet even brought out the chello player along for a few tunes. One very cool time in the show is when John come out and puts these c02 blowers on his forms while he sings. Got some great shots of it. Check out the photos. Skillet is finishing the touches on the new album that should be out in September.
Breaking Benjamin is the headliner tonight. Saw them back in October opening for their tour mates Five Finger Death Punch at the Target Center in Minneapolis. NIce trat to have them back in the state so quick. They had several midwest dates as I saw lots of social media posts from my friends online.They have been around for 20 years now but did take a break for 4 years in 2010. In 2014 they came back with a new band and new attitude. Benjamin looks and sounds fantastic and the band seems to be loving it on stage. Their latest release Ember came out last May and they are still in tour to support the release. They had an 18 songs set which had everyone jamming until the end. In the middle they did a covers medly which included Cowboys From Hell and Smells Like Teen Spirit. Always fun to hear bands cover their heroes. The setlist covered most of their history but was heaviest on the Ember album. The sold out crowd did not seem to mind cause they were into it from start to finish.
Review and photos by Kyle Hansen