This past weekend, the 6th annual Carolina Rebellion took place at Rock City Campground at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, NC. With more than 90,000 in attendance, this newly-expanded three day festival set another record as a part of World’s Loudest Month.
When the gates opened early Friday morning, the line of “Rebels” stretched as far as the eye could see. Upon entering, fans took note that this year’s setup saw four stages once again, with both the smaller stages running at competing times. Fans could choose their favorites to watch, and in the event of an overlap of performers, a quick sprint was needed, running from one stage to another. The Monster Energy main stages were in separate directions atop small hills, with what seemed like a hike between them. This allowed for the VIP areas, food villages, experiences to be placed between them for optimal exposure.
Friday, May 6th
Friday’s lineup spanned generations, and brought a mixture of people from all age groups into the festival. The day began with newer bands like The Glorious Sons, and Stitched Up Heart battling it out on the smaller stages as the crowd shuffled its way in. Performances by newer rock acts, like the newly fronted Sick Puppies, country rockers Black Stone Cherry, Pop Evil, Avatar and Aranda kept things going.
The crowd surfers came out in full force for Sixx:A.M., and Hellyeah, while older rock groups like Filter, Candlebox and Collective Soul played a greatest hits album that made everyone stop and sing along. Heavier groups Escape The Fate and Between The Buried & Me stepped it up on the smaller stages causing total chaos for security before the night simmered down completely for some throwback hits. The country feeling was alive and kicking with Lynyrd Skynyrd, while the Scorpions brought out the old rocker in all of us.
Saturday, May 7th
What seemed like a lot of people on Friday, was easily trumped by the crowds on day two. Saturday was the first day to bring both the metal and rock lovers and the heat from the North Carolina sun out in full force. Starting with Canadian rockers Monster Truck and escalating heavier from there, the smaller stages saw performances by Wilson, Texas Hippie Coalition, Clutch, and Ghost. Parkway Drive and Lamb of God took to the larger of the two small stages, and what ensued can only be described as a judgement error in placement. The crowds for both groups were too large for the area to contain, and by the time they were done, it looked like a category five hurricane touched down.
The main stages saw heavier groups like Trivium, Bullet For My Valentine, A Day To Remember, as well as thrash metalers Anthrax and Megadeth. Five Finger Death Punch did what they do best, and laid it all out for the crowd. Singer Ivan Moody touched on the trash talk in the media about the group, before breaking into “Never Enough.” Keeping true to their style, they took time to pull the “younger generation” of metal heads on stage before letting the adults show them how its done, and go completely wild with “Burn MF.” As Five Finger Death Punch finished up, Shinedown took the stage. They played through what could have easily been confused with a greatest hits album, that included newer hits like “Cut The Cord” as well as covers of “Simple Man” and “Purple Rain.”
Sunday May 8th
With two days down, one mainly rock, and one metal, Sunday was a mix of everything, with some definite head scratching moments. The ’68 opened the day, and right from the start had everyone questioning what we were watching. Flailing around the stage in circles, guitar tossing, high screams, heavy reverb, and auto-tuning all came out of the lead singer/guitarist of this two piece ensemble. Unlocking the Truth hit the stage to a good sized crowd and played a great set, even though technical difficulties plagued their set. As the day progressed, concertgoers would see a wide array of acts, including rappers Cypress Hill, and Yelawolf, who’s bass was so loud the ground shook.
Working past the hip hop, August Burns Red brought one of the biggest crowds to the smallest stage, working the crowd into a circle pit frenzy. Bring Me The Horizon gave security a run for its money as frontman Oli Sykes challenged the crowd to surf their way to the stage throughout the entire set. As usual, Japanese group Babymetal had people looking on in amazement, and questioning the validity of their place in the world of metal with their heavy sound and J-Pop song style. Veterans Alice Cooper and Rob Zombie put on good sets, working the crowd, and playing over an hour each of hits from their entire catalogs. Disturbed, back on tour from their hiatus, brought a phenomenal show to close out the weekend. Performing as though their 4 year break was merely a couple weeks off, they lit up the night with an amazing stage setup, that included LED light boards, and fire… lots of fire!
The Carolina Rebellion has become a staple for festival goers in the south, with the 6th annual festival coming to a close. Even though the festival choices for World’s Loudest Month are vast, Carolina shows yearly that it knows how to rock with the best!