A weekend at Carolina Rebellion with S16: Day 1 & 2!
By: Jimmy Warsham
May 4th through 6th, Concord, NC welcomed its annual rock music festival back to the Charlotte area; enter the Carolina Rebellion. The Rebellion has become a staple in the area since 2011 with a slight break when the venue moved to Rockingham, NC back in 2012. In 2013, the festival returned back home and has become a permanent fixture and our local rite of passage for rock and heavy metal fans.
Friday brought the heat, literally and figuratively. The temperature was only overshadowed by the classic bands that were on the lineup for the day. Based on the selfies people were posting, the sun left them with a temporary magenta tone and the bands melted their faces off all day long. Classic 90s bands like Stone Temple Pilots and Alice in Chains, both of whom are still playing with that angst and moodiness that led to both of the original iconic frontmen’s ultimate demise, came out and gave the young fans a small taste of what music was like after the hair metal craze of the 80s came to a close.
Those of us who were there with the original lineups reflected back longingly to the days of Layne and Scott out front. All of the bands on Friday gave inspired performances, but Andrew WK and Shinedown really stood out.
The crowd gathered in full force to see Shinedown as the light turned to dark in the evening. I had no idea how rabid the followers of Shinedown are, but if you love them, you love them. It is a full 100% commitment apparently. Brent and the gents gave the fans what they came for, and even a little more, as their lasers and strobes brought you into hypnotic state bobbing your head along with their music.
As Day 1 moved to a close, the crowds worked their way out across the open fields to their cars or camping area to get some rest before they did it all again the next day.
On Saturday, there was not a repeat of the blazing temperatures from the prior day’s happenings. The skies were overcast and the air was a little cooler, but the crowds saw this as an opportunity to get out and see some great music without having to brave the elements.
With bands like Butcher Babies, Hatebreed, Trivium, and Godsmack set to play for the rebels, it is easy to see why the crowds really began to grow throughout the day. As I arrived and wandered around pre-show, I had a chance to take in the layout and make my plans for the day. With the four stages spread out and the bands rotating throughout the day, I could see that it was a good thing I wore some shoes that were going to be comfortable.
Gameplan: start at the media tent, go to the Black Stage, rotate over to the Rebellion Stage, then make the mad dash from there all the way back up to the Carolina Stage. If I was lucky, that dash might even include a quick stop back to the media tent to grab a Monster Energy drink to keep me going and stay hydrated. On one stop I had the pleasure of running into the Butcher Babies doing an interview. I have to say that, as a fan, I was pretty happy to run into them. They always are so nice and media and fan friendly. They are not afraid to get up close and personal with their fans and the Carolina fans had to have set a new world’s record for number of crowd surfers.
I also found that Five Finger Death Punch is so media friendly that they made sure to give us some fun poses and acknowledge we were actually their shooting their show. That was really fun to get that interaction, and I really appreciate them taking the time to do that for us. The special moment of the day for me was the Trivium set. The crowd went nuts for them and the crowd surfing kicked in full force, even though huge banners on both sides of the stage gave the standard warning of how surfing could be hazardous to your health, and the festival advises you to not join in. That warning went unheeded, but I did see a lot of people who could have been poster children for the case against doing riding that wave.
As Godsmack set up t0 close out the evening, you could feel the buzz from the crowd, and I hoped that the brown dust cloud that was hovering over the site all day hadn’t completed coated my 70-200 lens. Luckily the ol’ trusty lens hood did its job and I was clear as a bell. Godsmack brought the pyro – good music, fire and explosion equals rock and roll.
Sights of the Day
(There are quite a few, please give time to load!)