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John Cooper, lead singer of Skillet, sings during Wednesday night's concert at the Sanford Center. Pioneer Photo/Ben Karkela

PHOTO GALLERY: Christian group rocks Sanford Center

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news Bemidji, 56619
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

Christian rock group Skillet brought the Awake and Alive Tour to Bemidji on Wednesday, performing at the Sanford Center in front of a loud audience.

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The band consists of husband and wife John and Korey Cooper, Jen Ledger and Seth Morrison.

John provides lead vocals and plays bass, while Korey plays rhythm guitar and keyboards and provides backing vocals. Ledger plays drums and vocals. Morrison plays lead guitar.

Skillet played to its audience members and worked them into a frenzy, causing the packed crowd of 4,057 to leap up and down in unison.

Skillet's heavy sound and image sharply contrasts its inspirational, Christian message. The mixture results in a diverse group of fans.

The show attracted an audience of all ages, some coming as far away as Thief River Falls, Minn.

Fabian Tunberg, 17, said he has been a Skillet fan for five or six years and he looked forward to the band's energy and inspiration on stage.

"It's the opposite of secular music," Tunberg said. "That's what people need to hear throughout this world."

The band has received two Grammy Award nominations for Best Rock Gospel Album, one in 2005 for Collide, and another in 2007 for Comatose.

"I like the music because they relate it to life with their lyrics," Sam Twistol said. "Not only that, they relate it to rock music."

The bands Disciple, We As Human and Manafest opened the show.

Bemidji is the band's 12th stop of the tour, which ends Nov. 6 at the Coronado Performing Arts Center in Rockford, Ill.

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