Sound: This Live CD/DVD records Skillet in Chattanooga, TN during their headling 2008 Comatose Tour with openers Thousand Foot Krutch and Decyfer Down. The audio CD alone is a must have for any Panhead, as there are several nuggets of old material improved by live strings (a tour violinist and celloist) that gives the Skillet experience a rawer sound. But the live DVD is the real attention grabber. Pyrotechnics and stage antics abound, John Cooper and company astound the sold-out crowd with their ability to bring their A-game even with one significant line-up change (18 year-old Jen Ledger taking over on drums) and the rest of the crew seasoning the sizzling stage chemistry after 8 years together. Considering the band itself is 12 years old (their 1996 self-titled debut was a Christian grunge effort), this band had a long climb to the top, but now that they're brining their unique sound to the mainstream to garner fans and change lives for Christ, the quality of their music has improved dramatically, and this DVD captures the Skillet live show experience.
The sound quality is heavier than the recording, which is a welcome change for most Skillet fans. The concert innovates using live strings (violinist and celloist) to enhance previously lacking keyboard strings on songs like Forsaken and Collide. // 10
Overall Impression: This effort is long overdue, and fans have wanted a home experience of Skillet's excellent live show for years. Now that it's finally happened, fans should be happy with the product. It's flawlessly executing, and no efforts were spared throughout the Comatose tour. Some old fan-favorites were regretably omitted from the setlist (A Little More, You Are My Hope, Energy, etc.) but the absolute greats all appear here, and the DVD is perfect for popping in to anticipate your next Skillet show. Personally, I'd like to see a Fan Favorites DVD sometime in the future, but with a new record coming out this Spring by the hardest working band in Christian rock, Skillet is bound to satiate your palate for in-your-face rock & roll for years to come. // 9