Epicenter Festival Announces Inaugural Line-up, Internet Loses Their Mind
Epicenter Festival: The Breakdown
By: David Zeck & Dianna Augustine
For those not in the know, the basics are Carolina Rebellion is no more and this beautiful creature was born., meaning 2019 is its debut year. Read up for all the details available, a special presale password, and some bits of band insight by your friendly music photojournalists!
Details: Dates:: May 10th-12th
Venue: Rockingham Festival Grounds
We have some highlight reels of your fave band from all our fun coverage this year. Let’s dig in, shall we?
Day one falls on a Friday, which is always a day people rejoice to get past 5pm to anticipate getting caught in traffic to head home, shower, get dressed, head back into more traffic and PARTY… This of all the days might be the weakest IMO but it does not by any means suck. The heavy hitters are sprinkled in on Saturday and savored for Sunday. I’d still suggest hitting each day for the overall experience of the inaugural festival de-jour, but here is a tiny bit of an insight as to why Day 1 still is a solid experience.
1). First up KORN, sheerly for the fact for the past few decades they have been heavily rotating festivals over broad tours. It’s their scene, their strong point, their crème de la crème so to speak.
What to expect: A whole lot of stage jumping, guitar solo licking, kids with dreads and horns up, and usually a whole lot of moshing. Korn are showmen and know just enough of what makes the heart of a festival beat. One year in a festival-we-must-not-name-but-everyone-knows-what-one-we-are-talking-about… they introduced their original line-up after many years of speculation. They are always sure to pull something cool out of the proverbial hat of wonder. What could it be this year?
2). Evanescence, The Wild Card: Marking them like this now right up front, and let me explain. They have been trekking across America the past two years bringing along a full orchestra and co-headlining tours with the likes of Lindsey Stirling, Some fans were loving the new approach to the classic hits, but there was a disconnect with the crowd sometimes. It’s hard to put on such a spectacle in such large arena’s and keep that intimate feel. Lest we forget while they are known for their alternative-rock they have been touring as a more polished version of themselves. I’m excited to see them get back to the nitty and gritty rock that made them famous.
What to expect: Big lights, big vocals, and a shit ton of hits marked back from the early 90s and undoubtedly a cameo or two from some other bands who might not even be on the bill. They know how to give you a good show and keep you talking on social media well after the shock wears off!
3). MGK – Damn right I wrote that name right there. This off the cuff spitter is something we need to “talk about” or maybe all the drama going down in hip-hop land is something we need to “talk about.” I’m all for diss tracks and beef, and it’s sometimes hard to see him and Eminem hitting heads when I know for fact MGK is a huge stan when it comes to the man that even coined the phrase stan. Some say it’s a gimmick as they are both on the same label. Some say it’s just they are too much alike. I think it sells tickets and albums and it breeds great music so no matter what, keep talking about it, keep making things happen. He’s known to be the bad boy of rap – but I enjoyed him very much in Roadies back when that was a thing and I’ve enjoyed hits in between. I’m sure soon we’ll enjoy more.
What to expect: He will perform “Rap Devil,” some will boo, others will go off and rap it back to him. There might be a pause for him to talk shit to G-Eazy, gussy up about Halsey and of course find a way to talk down to, but also talk up his nemesis Eminem. It will be a riot to see what actually goes down – and do you really want to miss that kind of thing? Also, he’s high energy and talented. Great show to see!
Overall – Big hitters happening today. The second day of a festival is always where you are apt to put on more sunscreen (day one WOOPS), already be dehydrated before you breach the gate and sleep is still alluding you from the night before. But the adrenaline pump is double, things are getting underway more smoothly and the bands are always always more energetic. They know you’re tired, and they want to pump you up!
1). Tool Stick a fork in it, we’re done. Tool anything is a golden goose for a festival. Maynard James Keenan has a rabid fan base, smoosh him together with Carey, Chancellor, and Jones and it’s a remedy for any sore feet, low energy, or question if you should attend more than one day. On September 11, 2018, Keenan announced via Twitter that production on the first record since 2006 was progressing and that vocals had been written before suggesting a 2019 release. Maybe we’ll get a sample during the set.
What to expect: The pit will be packed. This is not the performance to go fill-up on drinks and food. Usually a Tool experience is a cool abeyance of low light, cool vocals, and a setlist equivalent to the coolest fucking playlist on the face of the earth. If you are a Tool fan or not a Tool fan saying you’ve been to a show is up there with saying you’ve met Elvis. Do not expect anything fancy, just hard hitting talent and, well, it’s TOOL what other explanation do you need?
2). Yelawolf (Slumerican/Shady Records/Interscope Records) The Slumerican badass himself Yelawolf is set to perform his epic speed rap and is probably a big highlight as he doesn’t not tour much around these parts. It’s will be a epic battle of rappers for the next two days to see what fans like and will pass on. Maybe to phrase it better I AM excited about this performance but I’m more excited to watch the crowd during this set.
What to expect: Tons of jumping, a lot of face tats, a diss track or two, maybe a Kid Rock cameo (him on tv screen rapping with Yela), a fur coat in the summer sun, and a whole lot of beer. Oh and a crazy good time.
3). Motionless In White will bring some spooky headbanging to day 2, The Pennsylvania goths are by far the outcast of the day and hey there’s nothing wrong with being different. Some new music around the corner also means some new live tunes and we are looking forward to seeing how this bands usually darker themed stage show plays out in a daytime setting.
What to expect: Expect to see lots of makeup and black clothes, being that their performance is during the day most likely lots of fog to try and keep their usual live show aesthetic. Even if you think you won’t be into the music, the bands live show is always top notch and MIW are no strangers to the festival circuit so they’re prepared to put on a worthy show!
Day 3 might be the biggest of the entire weekend. There’s a ton of talent scheduled throughout the day and we can’t think of any better way to close out one of the biggest and best new festivals coming your way this Spring. Here are our top 5 bands to see on Sunday!
1). I don’t know about you but I’m damn excited to see Bring Me The Horizon return to the states on the festival circuit. After the success of 2015’s That’s The Spirit and of course their nature for putting on a high energy and fun live performance, pair that with the fact they will be releasing a brand new album titled AMO on January 25th, 2019. We can’t think of a single reason you’d miss Oli Sykes and company.
What to expect: Crazy high energy, heavy strobes, lots of fog and a great mixture of the band’s catalog. Plus if their recent performance is any indication we might be getting some old school Bring Me The Horizon material, something you metalcore fans might want to see live again.
2). Architects is a really exciting addition to the Epicenter line up, not only are they another UK based band crossing the pond for Danny Wimmer, they are also one of the best live metal bands out there! These guys are pure energy and passion, and let it all out on the stage. Fresh off the release of their latest album Holy Hell, Architects are on top of their game delivering what many are already calling metal album of the year despite it being out only for a month.
What to expect: Passion, huge mosh pits and a vocal range, unlike anything you’ve ever heard before. The guys are all about the music and the performance mimics; these UK lads are a blast and will deliver an unforgettable performance.
3). This should be a given and on your can’t miss list as well, of course, I’m talking about Sunday’s headliner, the legendary Foo Fighters! Foo has been quite the busy bunch in the past year, touring in support of 2017’s Concrete and Gold, vocalist Dave Grohl releasing Play and in his spare time being the stand-up guy that he is Barbecuing for firefighters tackling the California Wildfires… how can’t you love these guys.
What to expect: The truth is you just never know what you’re gonna see at a Foo Fighters show, could be a teenager on stage ripping guitar with Kiss make up, Grohl hopping on the drumset and breaking out some Nirvana tunes, but one thing we do know is it will be one hell of a party when they take the stage to close out Epicenter.
4). Grammy nominated Fever 333 has been the talk of last years festival circuit and we expect nothing different this year, If you’ve ever seen these guys live it’s nearly impossible to not talk about them. The band spent 2018 touring and hitting all the major festival lineups spreading their message to the masses. Now for 2019, we know they have no plans of slowing down as they’ll be out touring in support of Bring Me The Horizon and hitting the stage at Epicenter Festival.
What to expect: Pure and utter chaos, frontman Jason Butler can be seen anywhere from in the pit tearing it up with fans up close and personal, hopping around the stage like a madman or even climbing to the highest points of the stage and diving off. These boys are one of our favorite new bands and the live show is one of the reasons you can’t miss these guys, great music, powerful message, and epic performance is everything you will get from Fever 333.
5). The Massachusetts metalcore legends, duh I’m talking about Killswitch Engage. No band in metalcore has left a more prominent mark on the heavy music scene in the last decade quite like Killswitch Engage. Singer Jesse Leach and company have released albums that have shaped and molded a ton of bands many who are even appearing on Epicenter. With the band promising a follow up to Incarnate in 2019, seeing them on the festival circuit gives me great hope new music is right around the corner, who knows maybe they’ll have a new album out when they hit the stage at Epicenter this Spring.
What to expect: Just like Fever 333, these guy’s are built off their love for the music and their passion for the fans. Expect high energy and extreme shredding, also expect guitarist Adam D to shred most likely wearing some sort of ridiculous outfit while running through the crowd and grabbing some beers. Killswitch is without a doubt a must see and we promise you’ll thank us especially if you’ve been living under a rock and don’t know these metalcore giants.
Want to order your tickets early, 3 DAYS BEFORE they go on sale to the general public on Friday 12/14? AND, be guaranteed to get the tickets and packages at the best price, BEFORE they sell out? The Fan Zone has your special ticket link to presale tickets starting tomorrow Tuesday 12/11 @ 9 am EST, and running through Wed 12/12 ending @ 11:59 pm. TWO DAYS ONLY… ONLY ON FANZONE FB PAGE… Ticket link will be up and running @ 9am, ALL packages and tickets will be available for purchase. LAYAWAY WILL BE AVAILABLE. Use code FANZONE.
For information on tickets, line-up and everything else visit Epicenter’s official website at https://epicenterfestival.com/ and stay tuned for our ongoing coverage!
(photos by Shutter 16 Staffers: Luke Jamroz, Kevin McGee, Diane Woodcheke, David Zeck)