Winter Jam, one of Christian music’s largest annual tours, kicked off January 7th and rolled through Norfolk, Virginia’s Chartway Arena at Old Dominion University March 18th, the weekend before wrapping up its 40 shows of 2022. Skillet and Tauren Wells headlined the tour with supporting artists KB, Colton Dixon, I Am They, NewSong, and Kevin Quinn. Pre-Jam artists featured hometown favorite Abby Robertson, along with Megan Duke and Bayside Worship. With so many great artists, it would take several pages to write a proper concert review of Winter Jam, so enjoy a summary and two galleries below.
Grammy®-nominated Skillet, one of the best-selling rock bands of the 21st century and a member of Pandora’s Billionaires Club, exploded onto the stage with my personal favorite, “Feel Invincible” complete with massive pyrotechnics, concussion grenades, incredible lighting and some of the hardest-hitting energy of any rock show. Having toured for 25 years, these pros were naturally still going strong on show #33 playing to an audience ready to rock. Relief mixed with excitement filled the air as fans felt free to gather by the thousands, jam with Skillet, and hug their friends.
In the next song “Surviving the Game,” lead singer John Cooper strapped on cryo guns, blasted the crowd, then headbanged with the fans with power rivaling that of Iron Man. He finished the song with guitar spins and pyro, all while Korey and Seth rocked hard on guitar. Jen somehow attacked on drums while simultaneously delivering beautiful background vocals. The band also performed the title song from their new 11th studio album Dominion, which stresses radically defying and overcoming the fear surrounding us during the pandemic. Along with “Monster,” one of the most streamed rock songs of all time, fan favorites “Hero,” and “The Resistance” also graced the setlist.
1.) Feel Invincible
2.) Surviving the Game
4.) Awake and Alive
9.) The Resistance
Co-headliner Tauren Wells had the whole arena dancing to his new hit song “Fake It (ft. Aaron Cole)” with a performance MJ would be proud of. Tauren combines contemporary Christian, pop, hip-hop, and R&B with incredible vocal runs and masterful song lyrics for a style worthy of this massive tour and 10 Grammy® Award nominations so far. With his talent, it’s obvious why he has toured with Lionel Richie and Mariah Carey.
Pre-Jam artist Abby Robertson amazed the hometown fans with her beautiful vocals and raw lyrics, especially in her new song “Without Your Love.” Besides her own set, Abby also sang with NewSong, hyped the crowd before the show, and sang “Sanctuary” during the offering. Her joy proved contagious throughout the night.
Enjoy the gallery of Tauren Wells, Colton Dixon, KB, Newsong, I Am They, Kevin Quinn and Abby Robertson below by Annette Holloway Photography.
Tauren Wells Setlist
1.) Citizen of Heaven
2.) Fake It
4.) Hills and Valleys
5.) Famous For
6.) Undefeated (with KB)
Speaker Shane Pruitt shared a powerful message of hope on this tour, and over 27,000 souls professed faith in Christ. In addition, over 6,000 children in need were sponsored through Compassion International, and their lives will surely be transformed. Winter Jam, founded in 1995 by NewSong, is presented by NewSong Ministries with Premier Productions and is sponsored by Compassion International.
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Annette Holloway is a music, promo, portrait, and event photographer. Live concert photography and band/artist photoshoots occupy much of her time. Her work has been published on numerous media outlets including Billboard, Pollstar, NBC News, Getty Images, Forbes, HM Magazine, ICON Sportswire, Loudwire, CCM Magazine, and many more. Before diving into photography full time, she was a NASA software engineer, webmaster, church youth leader, and robotics mentor. For more information about her photography, visit AnnetteHolloway.com.