Thursday, August 30, 2012

Carnival of Madness Tour Rocks a Rain Soaked Charlotte, NC

The Carnival of Madness tour rolled into a very stormy Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Charlotte, NC on August 8. A sudden thunderstorm shortly before the gates opened threatened the existence of the show as the sky lit up with an amazing display of lightning accompanied by ground shaking thunder and a downpour of rain. Yet, the show still went on as scheduled.

There was a minor adjustment to the show as New Medicine cancelled their appearance due to lead singer Jake Scherer recovering from an unexpected appendectomy. This meant that the show started an hour later and that would hopefully give some of the people scared away by the massive storm time to rethink their decision to stay home. Cavo was then bumped up to opening band status for the night. I will give them the proverbial “E” for effort, but it was just an ok performance. They sounded good and the crowd seemed to get into a few of their songs.

At this point, the few people in the lawn seats were actually moved in underneath the shelter area because of “concerns with the weather”, but I think the event just didn’t sell very well. The prior year’s event was held in a smaller venue and I have no idea why they moved it to such a bigger place this year. Maybe the planners were in hopes of drawing a larger crowd this year?

Up next was Halestorm and as always, they delivered the goods. Led by the beautiful Lzzy hale, this band is having a banner year. Their set leaned heavy on their newest album The Strange Case Of. The band was solid and tight and they worked the crowd over with one number right after another. Opening with “Love Bites (So Do I)” really hooked the crowd in immediately. “Freak Like Me” got a great response from the crowd as did “I Miss The Misery”. The only songs off of their self-titled debut album that were played were “It’s Not You” and “I Get Off”. Lzzy did a solo performance on piano for the emotional introspective song “Break In”, which was my personal favorite song performed by the band.

Chevelle was up next and introduced their newest, fourth member: a big black bull stood proud on the left side of the stage. The band sounded great and had the best light show of the evening. They cranked off such hits as “Hats Off to the Bull” and “Face to the Floor” and the crowd sang right along. Older songs such as “Send the Pain Below” and “The Red” received great crowd responses. Is it just me or does lead singer Pete Loeffler look like Jimmy Fallon’s lost brother?

Evanescence closed the show and lead singer Amy Lee received a huge pop from the crowd when she made her way to the stage. Amy looked and sounded great. She definitely has an awesome set of pipes on her. Amy is very animated on stage and moves all over it, but her band is another story. Now, don’t get me wrong, they sounded amazing and very tight. The problem was that there was no chemistry between Amy and the band. The guys just kind of stood there like they were bored. All the hits were on the setlist including “What You Want“, “Going Under“, “Bring Me to Life“ and “Call Me When You‘re Sober“.

Overall, it was a really good show and great at times. The venue was too big for this show and it should have been at the smaller amphitheater in town. I’m not sure how much of the bad turn-out had to do with the storm and how much with ticket sales. I have to give it to the bands though. They put on a great show and gave it their all their as if the venue was sold-out.

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