Carolina Uprising Day One
The Heat Is On
It was not your typical October day in the Carolinas as the inaugural Carolina Uprising music festival made its debut at the Rowan County Fairgrounds. With another record-breaking day of temperatures in the mid-nineties and nothing but sunshine, the heat was definitely on but the music proved to be even hotter. As it is with first-time events, you never know exactly what to expect so upon arrival I walked around to get a quick layout of the land. The fairgrounds offer plenty of wide-open grassy fields and ample room for parking. Carolina Uprising was founded by Nickel & Dime Entertainment along with Arileo Music with the goal of bringing local bands and local music fans together for a kickass, one of a kind experience. The festival was set up with two stages of music with the Nickel & Dime Stage outside and the Rock U Stage set up inside one of the air-conditioned buildings. Brad Brady and John “The Rev” Merry at Nickel & Dime offer a wide range of entertainment services but are best known for by fans for booking top-notch acts at local venues. If you’ve ever attended a show at Amos’ Southend or The Firmament, chances are you have Nickel & Dime to thank for the experience.
Rock U is more than just a music school, it’s a rock school! They offer lessons on a wide variety of instruments for all skill levels and unlike most music schools, Rock U has lessons in performance band where future rockers can learn the ins and outs of being in a band and gain valuable stage experience. Rock U also offers rehearsal space, performance and event space, as well as a retail store. Owners Kevin and Karen Corzine have recently celebrated the tenth anniversary of the school which is responsible for launching the careers of many of our terrific, local musicians.
Along with the two stages, individual band merchandise tables were also set up in the building with the Rock U stage and a variety of food and drink vendors could be found outside across from the outdoor stage. For the first day of a first time festival, things seemed to be running smoothly and bands were pretty much on schedule the entire afternoon and evening. Being that the two stages had acts going on at the same time, it was impossible to check out every band but I did my best. The bands seemed pumped up to be part of the festival and fun was definitely had by all.
Kicking things off on the outdoor stage was a band name well, Nameless. They were young, energetic and seemed to be having the time of their lives which rubbed off on the audience and soon everyone was rocking. With an EP due out soon, this band will be one to keep on your watch list. Winter Soulstice was playing inside and I ran, no small feat in the heat, to catch at least a little of their set. They’ve got a real prog-rock kind of vibe and are also working on their first EP so this is another band to put on that watch list. I spent the rest of the day at the outdoor stage, taking as many breaks in the limited shade as I could. Pushbutton Apocalypse hit the stage hard with a definite metalcore feel. The band is opening for Adelita’s Way this Friday at the Blind Tiger in Greensboro so if you’re headed to the show, be sure and get there early to check them out. Up next was Solarist from Greenville, SC. Led by frontman Tom Carden, the band has a great blend of hard rock and grunge, kind of like what should have come after the grunge era and bands like Nirvana. The group is hot right now with their latest EP release “Illustrate.” You can find it on all streaming services as well as YouTube so make sure to give it a listen. Up and coming Raleigh metal band Noxus was the next band to rage on the stage and rage they did. They will be opening up an evening of rock at The Rabbit Hole in Charlotte in early November as they open for Silvertung and Scars Remain so make it a point to get to the show and as always get there early so you don’t miss out.
The hard-rocking ladies of Charlotte’s very own Reason Define took things to another level with their high energy stage show. Reason Define has been out touring relentlessly since the release of their “In Memory” album back in March and they have never sounded better. If you have never seen this band live, what are you waiting for? Grab a copy of their CD, crank it up, and get your butt to a show stat!
Hold on to your hats, because things were about to get crazier as The Fetish Band hit the stage. Led by vocalist Nick Pouton, the band put on a solid set that had the house ready and rocking. If that wasn’t enough, coming at us all the way from Baltimore, Maryland was Silvertung. The band has steadily grown its fan base with stellar live performances and terrific songwriting abilities. They are headlining the Rabbit Hole in Charlotte in November so go ahead and stream their latest release “(But, at What Cost???)” and get ready to be blown away.
Although Carolina Uprising was always meant to showcase local and regional acts, the powers that be brought in one surprise headliner each night to shake things up and Friday night we had the extreme pleasure of welcoming Crobot to the stage! The band has a great blend of sounds with a super heavy edge accompanied by a seemingly endless groove and their new album “Motherbrain” continues the down and dirty grooves. You can headbang, mosh, and dance all at the same time. Lead vocalist Brandon Yeagley is a dynamic frontman who is in constant motion from the moment he hits the stage. He is jumping, gyrating, and doing tricks with the microphone without missing a beat. This was a perfect way to end a perfect day of rock and roll! I left the fairgrounds hot, sweaty, and tired but super stoked to see what day two would bring.