Rock Resurrection Tour -Theory of a Deadman -Chartway Arena – Norfolk, VA (USA)

    Photos by Michael Spencer Photography Review by Michael Spencer


    Rock Resurrection Tour

    There are times that a pairing of bands for a tour makes no sense and times that they make perfect sense.  Picture this:  Skillet is a self-proclaimed, practicing Christian Rock band and Theary of a Deadman, also referred to Theory or TOAD, writes songs about life that often are not safe for work.  How is this going to play out…

    First up for the night was Canada’s Saint Asonia.  Never heard of them, that’s okay, a lot of people haven’t.  They are somewhat of a “supergroup” in that lead singer Adam Gontier is the former lead singer of Three Days Grace and guitarist Mike Mushok is the former guitarist of Staind.  Bass and drum duties have changed a few times over the years, and currently ,Cody Watkins is on the skins and Adam’s cousin, Cale Gontier on bass.  The band formed in 2015 and has released two full length albums and two EP’s over the years.  They opened the show with Better Place off their self-titled debut album and followed this with Above it All off of their 2022 Eps Introverted/Extroverted. The crowd was really into the sound, but the crowd was relatively light for the show.  I’ve seen all of these bands in this area before and have always seen packed houses.  This show was two days before the US holiday of Thanksgiving, so I am assuming that a lot of people were out of town with family get-togethers.  Next up was another song from their recent EP, Devastate.  Then, it was time for a trip down memory lane.  With the former lead vocalist of powerhouse Three Days Grace, there had to be some 3DG songs and they didn’t disappoint.  They performed Never Too Late, and I Hate Everything About You, and followed with a cover of Apocalyptica’s I Don’t Care.  All in all, a great start to the evening with their 8-song set.  Their setlist was:

    1. Better Place
    2. Above It All
    3. Devastate
    4. Never Too Late – Three Days Grace song
    5. I Hate Everything About You – Three Days Grace song
    6. I Don’t Care – Apocalyptica cover
    7. Wolf
    8. Let Me Live My Life

    Next up was Skillet.  Skillet is one of those bands that you know, but their history is an interesting read.  Having started as a project in 1996 at a church as a Christian Rock band with vocalist/bass player John Cooper and various members over the years, and in 2011, the lineup consists of it’s current lineup of John Cooper, his wife, Korey Cooper on rhythm guitar, Seth Morrison on lead guitar and Jen Ledger on drums/vocals.  Their musical style has been called everything from Christian Rock, Christian Metal, alternative rock, hard rock, nu-metal post grunge, etc.  They have a strong faith, but they also have a “in your face, take no prisoners” style that will get any crowd involved and singing along. My first time seeing them was in 2007 when they toured with Breaking Benjamin, Three Days Grace and Seether.  They’ve toured with most of the arena acts you know of and there is a good reason for this.  I’ve seen them headline in front of 1,400 fans and I’ve seen them at numerous festivals.  No matter the venue, no matter the size of the crowd, they put on a great show. There are cryo cannons on the stage, as well as a portable rig that John straps on his arms for added effect. There are rising platforms that Korey and Seth use so there isn’t a bad seat in the house.  It is also used by Tate Olsen when his cello is needed in a song. Yes, a cello.  Skillet hit the stage, opening their set with Feel Invincible off their 2015 LP Unleashed.  They followed with Rise and then Surviving the Game.  They have a very deep catalog to choose songs from and they covered a lot of their 11 albums in their show. They performed a 14-song set that included most of their hits and were joined on stage by Adam Gontier on Finish Line.

    .  A Skillet show will leave you happy you came to the show and wanting more.  Skillets set at this show was:

    1. Feel Invincible
    2. Rise
    3. Surviving The Game
    4. Legendary
    5. Awake And Alive
    6. Hero
    7. Not Gonna Die
    8. Whispers In The Dark
    9. Psycho In My Head
    10. Be Thou My Vision – Eleanor Hill cover
    11. Finish Line (With Adam Gontier)
    12. Monster
    13. Rebirthing
    14. The Resistance

    After what I thought would be a very long set change (it wasn’t) due to complexity of Skillets stage setup, it was time for Theory of a Deadman. TOAD formed in 1999 and three of the four members have been in the band since the beginning.  They were initially signed after a meeting with Chad Kroeger (Nickelback) and were signed to his new label.  They have released 8 studio albums over the years and settled on their current lineup, Tyler Connoly on lead vocals/guitar, Dave Brenner on guitar/vocals, Dean Back on bass/vocals and Joey Dandeneau on drums/vocals.  A Theory show is a mix of songs you have heard over the years. Interspersed with snippets of covers of songs you also know, including Journeys Don’t Stop Believing, Garth Brooks Friends in Low Places, GnRs Paradise City and Panteras Walk.  They started off with Dinosaur, the title track off their Dinosaur LP released earlier this year.  They followed with Bitch Came Back and Two of Us (Stuck).

    They had a 12 song set that consisted of:

    1. Dinosaur
    2. Bitch Came Back
    3. Two Of Us (Stuck)
    4. Not Meant To Be
    5. Lowlife
    6. Santa Monica
    7. All Or Nothing
    8. Ambulance
    9. Angel
    10. Hate My Life
    11. Rx (Medicate)
    12. Bad Girlfriend

    All in all, it was good show from beginning to end.  The tour will continue through the USA through mid-December, and it is great show to witness.


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