The Rock Resurrection Tour has made its way onto the stage of Cleveland’s Agora Theater for a Friday night to remember (March 3, 2023). The face-melting force of Saint Asonia followed by co-headliners Theory of a Deadman and Skillet (in that order) called for a night of horns in the air and bones rattling to the core. Fans from near and far endured the pouring rain to experience a show they won’t soon forget!
Canadians know how to rock. That’s all that needs to be said. After a set from Saint Asonia, who hails from our neighbor to the north, fellow Canucks Theory of a Deadman hit the stage. Over two decades ago Theory set out to deliver tight percussion, catchy guitar riffs, groovy basslines, and earworm-worthy lyrics, and it’s safe to say that is exactly what they’ve been doing ever since.
Entering to a recording of Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline,” Theory kicked off the night with “Ambulance” and immediately followed with their top-15 hit, “Bitch Came Back.” Mixing their set with career-spanning discography including tunes from their upcoming release, ‘Dinousar,’ (due out March 17) and their 2x Platinum record: ‘Scars & Souvenirs,’ every fan in the room was satisfied with their taste of Theory.
Theory has accumulated more hit singles over the past 20+ years than one might realize. Early highlights from the setlist included “Not Meant to Be” (a platinum-selling tune despite lacking in significant radio airplay) and chart-topper “History of Violence.”
Their set ended with a triple-dose of hits, the relatable anthem “Hate My Life,” followed by “RX (Medicate)” and set-closer “Bad Girlfriend” (introduced with a snippet from Guns N’ Roses “Paradise City”). Fans were simultaneously satisfied while still wanting more.
Christian Rock has never been hotter with Skillet in the mix. The two-guy/two-gal outfit fronted by John Cooper, also includes his wife, Korey Cooper (rhythm guitar), English drummer Jen Ledger, and Ohio native Seth Morrison on lead guitar.
Skillet debuted on the Christian Rock circuit in 1996 and has outlasted almost all their peers, including powerhouses such as The OC Supertones, Audio Adrenaline, and DC Talk.
An anthem for many, the roar of the opening chords to “Feel Invincible” (from their 2016 release, ‘Unleashed‘) truly had the fans feeling nothing but! Cooper had every person in the venue, from the diehards in the front row to the ones leaving for a smoke break, in the palm of his hand, and he knew it. The way that drummer, “Smilin’” Jen Ledger’s voice compliments Cooper’s is out of this world and honestly one of a kind. It’s not very often you have a band represent a minority in metal -women- and have them sound as raw and intoxicating as both Ledger and Mrs. Cooper do! The risers that turned the band into floating metal warriors were brought out for the hits like “Psycho in My Head” and “Not Gonna Die.”
Skillet blew the roof off The recently-renovated Agora with “Whispers in the Dark” and the title track from their 2006 release, ‘Comatose.’
Toward the end of the evening, Skillet recalled Saint Asonia’s Adam Gontier to the stage to join them in a performance of “Finish Line.” Gontier served as a nice compliment on this particular number and was met with a warm reception upon resurfacing onstage.
Before saying ‘goodnight,’ Skillet played “Monster,” (the defacto theme song for Cleveland’s minor league hockey team) and closed with back-to-back fan favorites, “Rebirthing” and “The Resistance.“
No matter one’s religion, creed, spiritual views, etc., it is refreshing to watch an act so passionate about their own beliefs.
Saint Asonia, a well-known rock supergroup from Toronto, Canada, was definitely the best opener that could have been booked. It was as if all three bands were headlining the evening once singer, Adam Gontier (founding member and former frontman of Three Days Grace), had begun to bellow out Three Days Grace and Apocalyptica throwback jams as an homage to his roots. The crowd felt the fire and fanned the flames as soon as “I Hate Everything About You” had come screeching through the speakers.