Appalachian Wireless Arena in Pikeville, Kentucky has hosted many great shows over the years. From ZZ Top to Chris Stapleton and everywhere in-between. The folks in charge are delightful people and the venue is a tremendous asset to Pikeville, and all of Eastern Kentucky.
Having said that, we are thrilled to be able to bring you coverage of the massive rock show that featured Saint Astonia, Skillet, and Theory Of A Deadman.
Saint Astonia was up first. They’ve had some band member changes over the years, but the core of Adam Gontier (Ex-Three Days Grace) and guitarist Mike Mushok (Staind) has remained. That combination has been the glue of Saint Astonia and their cohesiveness was on full-display in Pikeville. Saint Astonia performed many fan favorites including: “Better Place,” “Above It All,” “The Hunted,” “Never Too Late” (Three Days Grace cover), “I Hate Everything About You” (Three Days Grace cover), “I Don’t Care” (Apocalyptica cover), “Devastate,” and “Let Me Live My Life. While their set could have been a bit longer for my own greedy pleasure, they made the most of their time in Pikeville and delivered an absolutely electric performance.
Skillet rose to fame as a juggernaut on Christian radio, but their sound was just too good to not crossover into secular radio. Their album ‘Comatose’ was the breakthrough that cemented the band as a musical juggernaut. Touring with some of the biggest modern rock artists helped lift their profile, as night after night, they wowed audiences and made thousands of new fans with every show. Their continued success has been of no surprise to anyone who has witnessed Skillet live.
They’ve always been an incredible live band, so on Wednesday night, the band took the stage with nothing left to prove. Their energy was contagious, and their performance was the perfect example of how to put on a show. Seriously, it could be used as a teaching aid at an institution like Berklee. That’s easily contributed to the fact that this lineup has been together for many years, and their musicianship was simply second nature.
Highlights for me included the second band Skillet performing: “Feel Invincible,” “Rise,” “Surviving the Game,” “Legendary,” “Awake and Alive,” “Hero,” “Not Gonna Die,” “Whispers in the Dark,” “Psycho In My Head,” “Comatose,” “Finish Line” (with Adam Gontier), “Monster,” and finishing up the show with, “Rebirthing and The Resistance.”
Theory of A Deadman closed out the night, as the 2nd Canadian band on the bill. Theory Of A Deadman have been a staple on rock radio, since around 2003. Needless to say, their set list was LOADED with some of their biggest hits. The intro for the band was “Sweet Caroline.” They followed up with: “Dinosaur,” “Bitch Came Back,” “Two of Us” (Stuck), “Not Meant to Be,” “Lowlife,” “History ofViolence,” “Wicked Game” (Chris Isaak cover), “Ambulance,” “Friends in Low Places” (Garth Brooks cover-first verse only), “Angel,” “Hate My Life,” “RX” (Medicate), “Bad Girlfriend” (With snippets of “Paradise City” and “Walk”).
An act with that much success, that’s been sustained over such a long period can show up, play the hits and hit the bus. Thankfully, Theory isn’t one of those bands. We were definitely showered with the hits, but we were treated to songs that spanned their entire careers. They also included a couple of unexpected covers. None more surprising than Garth Brooks’ “Friends In Low Places.” I love it when a band has fun onstage, when they have fun, we have fun. It’s really that simple. Theory Of A Deadman are made up by the band members: Tyler Connolly, Dave Brenner, Dean Back and Joey Dandeneau.