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Carolina Rebellion: The Must-Sees

Carolina Rebellion: The Must-Sees

 Jackson Sadinsky

If you’re a Carolinian, there’s a chance you’ve heard of Carolina Rebellion. The now three-day metal festival will be celebrating its seventh anniversary this May, touting names both large and small as it hopes to beat its massive crowd of 80,000 in 2016. This year’s Rebellion, taking place as always at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, has some must-see headliners, as well as some hidden bands on their way to guaranteed stardom.

The festival starts on Friday, May 5th, and promises to start strong. The day advertises huge names, such as Soundgarden, A Perfect Circle, Mastadon, and even Pierce the Veil. But who are the must-sees? As Friday has an astounding twenty-one act lineup (believe it or not, the shortest of the festival), it’d be easy to miss some of the smaller bands. This is not a mistake to be made with both Brooklyn-based trio Highly Suspect and Rise Records heavyweights Of Mice & Men. Highly Suspect burst onto the scene with their 2015 release, Mister Asylum, and snagged two Grammy nominations for Best Rock Song and Best Rock Album, with their first major label debut. Johnny Stevens, Rich Meyer, and Ryan Meyer, the latter two being twin brothers, make up the bluesy-grunge-punk combination band. Highly Suspect’s massive album success didn’t stop with Mister Asylum, as the trio released The Boy Who Died Wolf in 2016, to see lead single “My Name Is Human” propel them to yet another Grammy nomination for, yet again, Best Rock Song.

The trio will no doubt give an energetic set, filled with impromptu solos and jam sessions, as well as avid crowd interaction. On the flip side, post-Hardcore mainstays Of Mice & Men have been on the scene for years, but have had a major change within the past few months. The band saw their (now former) harsh vocalist, Austin Carlile, leave the band due to his struggles with Marfan syndrome. This announcement was made just as 2016 dragged to a close, providing fans of the band with one last reason to hate the year. The band has yet to play a show since the announcement was made, and it’ll be worth seeing their act without Carlile. Aaron Pauly, bassist and vocalist, has been rumored to now be doing screams live, as well as the cleans, but it’s yet to be seen. With the lineup change, the band have announced a handful of shows for 2017, Rebellion being among the first. Regardless, their live show is guaranteed to be filled with circle pits, great crowd singalongs, and intense breakdowns.

On May 6th, the festival has its second day of powerhouse performers, headliners Def Leppard and Korn will take the stage, as other notable acts such as Tesla, Chevelle, Alter Bridge, The Pretty Reckless, and Sum 41, providing a climactic continuation of the festivities that Rebellion is known for. Up-and-comer I Prevail will be taking the stage early on Saturday; the Michigan post-hardcore act has been taking the radio by storm with singles from their 2016 release, Lifelines. I Prevail being the first non-local headliner to play Charlotte’s The Underground, as well as playing with Pierce the Veil on their recent stadium tour, the band knows how to work stages large to small. The band also succeeds at providing a vibrant and interactive show regardless of the venue – allowing each fan to feel a connection with them, which is not an easy feat. Their set is a must-see, as the band continues their upward trajectory.

Also playing on the second day of the festival is female-fronted In This Moment. The band is no stranger to Rebellion, this being their third time playing. In This Moment puts on a live show unlike anything else. From dramatic interludes, to costume changes to brutal harsh vocals, this surely will be a set to remember. Frontwoman Maria Brink gives chillingly melodic choruses, with heavy breakdowns and brutal harsh screams to follow it up, creating a unique must-see.

The final day of the festival, May 7th, is the most eye-catching of the three, with headliners Avenged Sevenfold, The Offspring, Papa Roach, Volbeat, Seether, Three Days Grace, Skillet, and many other incredible acts. The biggest attraction of the three days, Avenged Sevenfold, with their new album, The Stage, will be taking to the stage with a show sure to be filled with energized pits, pyrotechnics, and heavy riffs. A mainstay in metal for the past decade, “A7X” is a live act that can not afford to be missed.

Earlier that day, metalcore act Beartooth will take the stage. Fronted by Caleb Shomo, the quintet provides a heavy, moshable musical catalogue, but also gives the crowd choruses which have no other option but to be sung along to. From the band’s 2014 debut, Disgusting, they’ve made a visible impact, winning Metal Hammer’s Best Breakthrough Band award in 2016. With two full lengths behind them, and countless tours, Beartooth is a must see small act on the third day of the festival.

This years Rebellion lineup is one of the best the festival has seen, pairing a solid combination of genre founders and innovators within metal. From massive pits to major crowd singalongs, regardless of whose set you’re at this Rebellion, you’re guaranteed to have a great time.

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