The 2nd annual Carolina Rebellion moved its stomping grounds to the Rockingham Speedway in North Carolina this year and the masses showed up to rock. It may have only been May the 5th, but it felt like it was in the middle of July on the day of the show. Over 30,000 people showed up in the blistering heat and humidity and they were treated to a day of rock that they will long remember.
The gates opened at 9:00am and the people started rolling in by the carload to claim their spot in front of the three stages used. The smaller stage which was sponsored by Jagermeister showcased a lot of the newer bands on the bill including Ghosts of August who kicked off the day at 11:00am , New Medicine, Red, Redlight King and P.O.D., who are poised for a big comeback with a new album due out this summer.
The two bigger stages included the Carolina Stage and the Rebellion Stage, bet you would have never guessed that. These stages were sponsored by Monster Energy Drink. The crowds in front of stage went back further than the human eye could see. As the masses rocked out all day, they managed to stir up a small dust storm that slowly covered everyone who was there. Let’s not fail to mention the huge amount of crowd surfing that went on too. Those security guards definitely got a workout that day.
Weaving the Fate kicked off the bigger stages as they performed second on the bill, but it wasn’t until later when Halestorm took the stage that the crowd truly got fired up. Lzzy Hale and her boys kicked off their set with their #1 song “Love Bites (So Do I)”. Their set was heavy on new songs off of their new album The Strange Case Of. The only complaint being heard was that their set was too short.
I would have to say that Five Finger Death Punch got the award for lighting a fire underneath the crowd. The crowd erupted in a fury of energy when they hit the stage and lead singer Ivan Moody fed off of that energy. Their set saw the crowd surfing increase at least 100%. What an energetic and over the top set these guys put on.
Recently inducted Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Slash brought his right hand man Myles Kennedy with him to perform. He performed some of his solo material, but the biggest crowd reactions and sing-along’s came when he broke out the Guns and Roses classics such as “Sweet Child O’ Mine”. Myles has such a powerful voice and sounded amazing. He had many asking “Axl who?” As the sun went down, Evanescence took to the stage. Amy Lee has been somewhat of a stranger to North Carolina since the band’s debut album came out in 2003. Amy sounded great and treated the fans to a hit filled set.
Korn took the stage as the air began to cool, but they turned up the heat on-stage and delivered one of the best sets of the day. The mixed new songs with older classics such as “Falling Away From Me” as well as their cover of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall”. A surprise treat was when Brian “Head” Welch took the stage with the band for the first time in seven years and performed the classic track “Blind”.
The night ended with a stellar set from the band Shinedown. Brent Smith and the band took the stage and delivered in a big way to the crowd. “Sound of Madness”, “If You Only Knew” and “45” were just some songs from their hit heavy set. Newer songs from their latest album included the title track “Amaryllis”, “Unity” and the hit “Bully”. A powerful acoustic version was performed when Smith took center stage with guitarist Zach Myers. They closed with their smash “Second Chance”.
Several bands did meet and greets where the purchase of their CD was required to meet them. FYE had a tent set up to help out with this aspect of the day. Monster Energy Drink also had a tent set up and a few of the bands did a meet and greet where the band signed a promo 8x10 photo for the fans. It was a rare treat for many to get up close to some of the people that they adore and idolize.
Overall, it was a great show! The people who put the show together listened to the complaints from last year’s show and tried to remedy all of them. There was a lot more room for the fans to move around, there were plenty of water and plenty of food vendors. There was even a hint that it may move to a two day show next year, plus the Friday night campground show. This year’s show seems to be regarded as a success and the expansion to another day next year just seems inevitable.