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Unread 01-25-2002, 09:19 PM   #1
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Skillet Announces 35-City Alien Youth Headline Spring Tour

(NASHVILLE, TN.) January 17, 2002 - Ardent Records’ top rock band Skillet launches the spring leg of its highly successful Alien Youth Tour beginning March 1 in LaGrange, GA. Touring in support of its critically acclaimed and most successful recording to date, Alien Youth, the tour follows last fall’s 44-city headline tour and brings Skillet’s most significant production to date into an additional 35 markets across the county.

Joining Skillet on the spring leg of the tour are ForeFront’s modern-rock band The Benjamin Gate and newly signed Squint rock band, 38th Parallel. Running through the first of May, the tour will hit strategic markets nationwide including Chicago, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Nashville, Indianapolis and Grand Rapids, among others.

“Skillet has created a highly sought-after tour,” says Skillet’s booking agent, Jeff Roberts of Jeff Roberts and Associates. “The ministry and reputation of this band is incredible among youth pastors, not to mention the youth themselves.”

Amidst a string of major Pop, Country and Christian tours that were cancelled following September 11, Skillet maintained its momentum last fall, filling venues and performing for thousands of fans across the country.

“The Alien Youth tour rocked!” says Skillet lead man, John Cooper. “There were tons of decisions made for Christ, more than we’ve ever seen, and that’s always the best. There were so many great shows and cool people that communicated with us even after the tour. We love to hear how God is changing lives and are privileged to have the opportunity to share in that!”

One such account of Skillet’s influence through its ministry was recently e-mailed to the band. A 16-year-old girl, who had tried drugs and alcohol by the eighth grade and had given birth by the age of 15, had planned to end her own life after the night of Skillet’s performance at a local church. “I never knew raising a child could be so hard,” says the girl in her thank-you letter.

“My life changed completely on September 16th, 2001...When I was at that concert and John Cooper began ‘preaching’ to us, his words hit me like a lightning bolt, and suddenly I wanted to live, and to live for only God. That night I prayed with someone at the church and became a child of God, a Christian.”

Another youth that attended a November 11th performance writes to Skillet, “Some powerful stuff happened at your concert. I really enjoyed your music on a spiritual level. The message was intense and so spirit-led, very in your face, which I think was something God needed to say just at that moment. The glory was all God’s and thank you for allowing Him to use you in such an amazing way.”

Prior to its own tour, Skillet will perform for more than 80,000 fans during nine scheduled Acquire the Fire tour dates beginning January 26. The band is also scheduled to perform at more than 10 festivals throughout the year, including Creation East & West, AtlantaFest, Alive, Spirit Fest Midwest, and Sonshine, among others. More information on the band’s performances and Acquire the Fire tour cities/dates can be found at www.alienyouth.com or www.acquirethefire.com.

Released August 28, Alien Youth has almost doubled the amount of sales than its previous fastest selling project sold in the same amount of time. The project’s title cut, holding the No. 1 position on the Rock chart for six consecutive weeks, placed Skillet at No. 2 behind P.O.D. on The CCM Update’s “Rock Top 25” 2001 Year-End Airplay Chart. And its second single, “You Are My Hope,” became the group’s first ever No. 1 on the Christian Hit Radio chart, positioning Skillet at No. 4 on the “CHR Top 25” among leading artists Steven Curtis Chapman, Rebecca St. James and Newsboys. Skillet’s fourth single from Alien Youth, “One Real Thing,” is currently being serviced to CHR radio for adds on January 18.

Port Elizabeth, South Africa modern-rock band The Benjamin Gate, as one of ForeFront Records’ newest acts, released its debut project, Untitled, in 2001. The band kicked off 2002 with a performance on New Year’s Eve at California’s Knotts Berry Farm and is currently in the studio recording its sophomore project due out later this year.

Squint Entertainment’s 38th Parallel, with musical influences by well-established acts like Project 86, Linkin Park and Incubus, is currently finishing up its debut project slated to release from Squint Entertainment April 30.

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