­     Christian rock band Skillet packed the Rapids Theatre in Niagara Falls this past Saturday night.  The band is currently on the road in support of “Unleashed” which was released in August of 2016. They are riding a wave of great reviews of the latest disc and are now headlining their first tour.

­     Vocalist/bassist John Cooper now has a full beard (as depicted on their latest album cover).  During the second song he attempted to throw his bass around his shoulder and the strap broke with the bass landing on the floor.  Cooper and the band didn’t miss a beat.   They are the same 4 piece outfit since 2011 (this also includes guitarist/keyboardist Korey Cooper, drummer Jen Ledger and lead guitarist Seth Morrison).  After the first song “Feel Invincible” you can tell the band was already clicking on all cylinders from the get go.

­     Ledger who is a hell of a drummer, came out from behind the kit and helped Cooper sing the first verse to “Awake and Alive.”  She also came out to sing “Hero” (this time the entire song) with the drum tech handling kit duties.  Before the song “Those Nights,” J. Cooper talked about growing up and watching Headbangers Ball (A late night show on Saturday nights that ran on MTV from the 80’s through the mid 1990’s.)  He reminisced about watching Iron Maiden’s “Run to the Hills” and that was how he got his hard rock fix.  He started the song by kissing K. Cooper (yes that’s his wife in case I didn’t mention)  and then ended up in the pit singing some of it with the fans in the front of the barricade.

­     I have to say it was a terrific production.  Its the first time that I can remember seeing risers in a club show.  The entire band used it including the extra musician they brought out to play violin on a few tracks.

­     The band makes no apologies for who they are and what they believe in. It’s apparent that the fans are believing in what they are doing as well!


Feel  Invincible

Whispers in the Dark

Sick of It


Back From the Dead

Awake and Alive

Not Gonna Die


Those Nights



The Last Night


Out of Hell




The Resistance


Photo Gallery


We would like to thank Alicia Brown from PFA Media for the credentials to review the show.

About The Author Gus

My first opportunity to write about music was with Kissunderground, featuring just one band (KISS). In 2006, I started working for another outlet that showcased more musicians. It was a great experience for me at the time. I personally nailed down some great interviews during my time at glam-metal.com (Paul Stanley, Jonathan Davis, Slash and Sully Erna to name a few). In early 2009, I decided to venture out on my own with the idea of creating a website that has all the offerings that a reader would want in a music review website. That's when Backstageaxxess.com began. I’m so proud of what was created here and of our staff that brings it to you. Each one offers a diverse opinion and a creative ability to share it in a unique way. We are so lucky to have them here. When discussing making a list of favorite shows with the staff, I also found it hard to narrow that list down to a select handful of shows. Everyone experiences a concert in their own terms, whether it’s the show itself, maybe it’s the people you met there and the new friendships created, or maybe it was meeting the artist at the show. For my criteria, I tried to stick to just the show itself, but again, it was sometimes hard to do. My first concert was Sammy Hagar’s first tour with Van Halen at the Niagara Falls Convention Center, Niagara Falls, NY, on August 30, 1986. My favorites are as follows: 1. Kiss – Tiger Stadium - Detroit, Michigan 6/28/96 2. SARS (Rolling Stones, AC/DC, Rush, and handful of other bands) - Downsview Park – Toronto, Ontario 7/30/03 3. Paul McCartney (every McCartney show I saw was awesome, but Iwent with my first show) Air Canada Centre -Toronto, Ontario 10/10/05 4. Motley Crue – Memorial Auditorium – Buffalo, NY 12/19/89 5. Kid Rock – Tweeter Center - Camden, New Jersey 3/25/06 The honorable mentions would be any McCartney show (The Joint at the Hard Rock, Las Vegas, Nevada, April 2009 or Air Canada Centre Toronto, Ontario 8/10/10), Prince (Club 2112) at the Rio Hotel, Las Vegas 12/30/07, Heart (Pulse Lounge * only 200 people) Hilton Hotel, Anaheim, California, January 21,2008, Monsters of Rock (Van Halen, Scorpions, Metallica, Dokken, and Kingdom Come) Rich Stadium, Orchard Park, NY 6/19/88 and the Rocklahoma Festival (Queensryche, Lita Ford, Triumph, etc.). Also, Cher (with my mom) at the Blue Cross Arena Rochester, NY, November 22, 2004.