Alien Youth: Unplugged Invasion DVD:
Released November 19, 2002
Label - Ardent
1.) Alien Youth
2.) One Real Thing
3.) Kill Me, Heal Me
4.) You Are My Hope
5.) Best Kept Secret
+ "Best Kept Secret" music video
+ Rare Skillet photo gallery
Alien Youth: The Unplugged Invasion
Review by: Russ Breimeier (from
… a brief semi-unplugged concert by Skillet, surrounded by a few other DVD
extras.At a Glance …
a short but interesting little souvenir for fans of the electronic pop-metal band.
Because Skillet has become the flagship artist for Ardent Records, it's no surprise the label would use the
band as their first foray into the increasingly popular DVD market. The central attraction of Alien Youth: The Unplugged
Invasion is footage of the band performing a 22-minute concert in front of a small group of youth at Ardent Studios in
Memphis. While such a brief concert consisting of five songs doesn't seem like much, bear in mind that the quantity of content
is reflected in the DVD's low retail price of $5.99.
What's more, it would have been easy for Skillet and Ardent to simply compile concert footage of the band
on tour. Instead, Skillet gets somewhat adventurous by performing the set (four songs from their Alien
Youth album, one from Invincible) in a "mostly unplugged" setting. Frontman John Cooper
switches from electric guitars and bass to acoustic, as does lead guitarist Ben Kasica. Drummer Lori Peters trades in her
full drum kit for congas and lighter sticks. The wild card to the band's sound is John's wife, Korey, who still plays synthesizers
and keyboards for this performance. Tracks such as "One Real Thing" and "You Are My Hope" aren't all that surprising sounding
with Korey playing the grand piano to create a simple acoustic worship vibe. The real surprise comes in the synthetic/acoustic
rendition of Skillet's heavy electric rockers such as "Alien Youth," "Kill Me, Heal Me," and "Best Kept Secret." Korey's keyboard
effects are rhythmic and inventive, a sharp contrast to the acoustic sounds of the rest of the band. She probably could have
played the piano on all the tracks, but it wouldn't have been nearly as interesting a combination of sounds. It's Skillet
doing the unplugged style in their own unique way, and in the process showcasing their tight musicianship.
The concert is pretty much the only reason to pick up Alien Youth: The Unplugged Invasion.
As cool as the music is, there isn't much that's interesting in the way of visuals during the concert. The DVD also includes
a large photo gallery of images taken during the concert, but it feels like filler that would be just as much at home on Skillet's
official website. Fans may be mildly interested in the inclusion of the music video for "Best Kept Secret," as well as a ten-minute
Bible study led by John to explain the concept of "alien youth." Skillet tries hard to be a true youth group band, with a
sound that appeals to teens and young adults, both boys and girls. The provided Bible study tools from this disc and their
website (www.alienyouth.com) also may be of use to youth leaders. This is a fairly simplistic souvenir DVD, primarily aimed at the most serious Skillet
fans – but at least you get what you pay for in this case.