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Grammy-nominated rockers Skillet bringing their high-energy show to eastern Idaho

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East Idaho is still in the grips of winter but things will be heating up when Skillet drops in on the Civic Center for the Performing Arts in Idaho Falls.

The veteran rockers are currently out on their “Victorious” Tour, supporting the album of the same name which dropped back in August. The band has had a long run of success, including Grammy nominations for their albums “Collide” and “Comatose,” millions in album sales and hit singles like “Monster” and “Hero.”

But before all of that success, Skillet built their reputation and an audience on a solid foundation of being a fantastic live show.

“When Skillet got our start, we were not on a major label and we had no radio support,” the band’s frontman John Cooper told EastIdahoNews.com. “So we got our start and built our career on touring, becoming a word-of-mouth band like ‘I haven’t heard that band but I hear they’re great live.’”

Skillet, which also includes Cooper’s wife, Korey, on guitars and keyboards, lead guitarist Seth Morrison and drummer Jen Ledger, continued to build their fanbase through touring.

“Because of that, I just got trained to playing a lot of shows, working really hard, realizing the power of a live concert,” Cooper said. “It was the power of a live show that really drove us to become a successful band before radio picked us up. And then when radio picked us up, it really blew up quickly because we already had a pretty big fanbase.”

The band’s success and popularity as a live act helped them not only sell records, but also tour all across the world. Cooper noted that crowd reactions can vary from place to place.

“America is so big and there’s so many people in this country that it’s true that different places in America tend to be more expressive,” said Cooper. “Like fans in the Midwest where Skillet is really popular are a little more expressive than the coasts.”

“But when I really notice it is when we go overseas,” he continued. “You get a vibe for people’s cultures that are different than ours and I always think that that’s really fun.”

Along with their reputation as a hard-rocking live act, Skillet is also well-known for fusing uplifting spiritual messages into their music. It’s an atypical move for a hard rock or heavy metal band, but Cooper said it’s an element of Skillet’s music that their fans love.

“I think I was always writing songs about what I felt, what I was experiencing in my life, things that I believe,” Cooper said. “Our music has always felt very spiritual. Funny enough, even when we’re not trying to feel spiritual, it tends to be that way. Something about our music is very positive and very uplifting.”

“It’s something that’s a little bit unique about Skillet but I think that’s also what our fans really love,” said Cooper. “I think it’s that unidentifiable thing about Skillet that makes us us.”

Cooper said he’s anticipating getting in front of an Idaho Falls audience and expects Monday’s show to be a blast for both the band and the crowd.

“There’s a lot of rock fans in those places (Idaho Falls) and they’re willing to drive to see shows,” he said. “So I’m looking forward to seeing the fans again.”

“Skillet’s known for our energy on stage,” he added. That’s what they always say in concert reviews and online. “I think it’s all about the energy, the excitement of the music. To me, it’s all about the band experiencing something with the fans.”

Skillet drops in on the Civic Center for the Performing Arts in Idaho Falls with From Ashes to New and Ledger on Monday, Feb. 10 at 7 pm.

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