June 9, 2014 Monster Energy’s Carolina Rebellion 2014 Erupts Day One 5-3-14
The first weekend in May is always the highlight of the spring season for the state of North Carolina. Not only is it the time of the year when the weather is perfect with sunny skies and cool weather, but it also happens to be the time concert festival season begins. One of the first major music festivals to kick off this year in Concord, NC is the fourth annual Carolina Rebellion. What was once a single day event quickly turned into a two day festival where the hard rock music community would come together as one, leaving behind the stress and grind of everyday life to rock out with some the top bands today. Slated for May 3rd and 4th, 2014’s edition of the festival was able to bring in an estimated combined total of over 100,000 energetic, enthusiastic, and eager music fans to experience a concert like no other. Day one of the chaos featured Avenged Sevenfold, Rob Zombie, Seether, Anthrax, Volbeat, Black Label Society, Killswitch Engage, Black Stone Cherry, Fozzy, Adelitas Way, Thousand Foot Krutch, Kyng, Devour The Day, and Truckfighters. So let the rocking and rolling begin!
Kicking off the day at exactly noon on the Jagermeister stage was the band known as Truckfighters. The three-piece Swedish rock band was all smiles when they took to the stage to the early arrived concert goers. Lead vocalist Dango was full of joy the entire set, and it was evident that he and the rest of the band were happy as they could be to perform at one of the biggest music festival in North America. Despite the unforeseen crazy heat, Truckfighters provided some amazing, energetic vocals and guitar tones that certainly woke up the music fans; preparing them for what was sure to be a fun filled weekend of music and fun. Their new album Universe was released in February and is a worthy listen for classic rock fans.
Next on the itinerary was the accomplished heavy metal band known as Trivium. It has been sometime since the band had performed in North Carolina and the fans in attendance could not be more excited for them to take to the stage. Vocalist Matt Heafy did an astounding job keeping up with the pace of the previous band to ignite and excite the crowd. Enthusiastic about being part of this year’s Carolina Rebellion, the band performed two tracks off their newest album Vengeance Falls (2013) as well as their well known hits and fan-favorites. Trivium fed energy into the crowd, and in exchange, fed off the crowd energy for an amazing set. Be sure to check the band out on this summer’s Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival.
Following was Las Vegas, NV band Adelitas Way. No strangers to Carolina Rebellion, the band performed at the festival back in 2012. After a year absence from touring, the crowd could not have been more excited to see this band back on stage. Stocked with a new line-up, this band came out like a house on fire opening with “The Collapse”. Frontman Rick DeJesus provided inspirational passion as he sang and moved about the stage as he clearly is a rocker through and through. Mixing in two new songs titled “Dog of a Leash” and “Stuck” from their forthcoming album Stuck, everyone in attendance could not have been more excited to see this band back in action. Adelitas Way brought the heat of guitar tones, massive drumming, killer bass lines, and energy of a great stage presence. The sky is the limit for this band as their new album is released July 29th and they hit the road with The Pretty Reckless in September.
Staying with the same motion of energy and enthusiasm, up next was the band known as Devour The Day. Lead by former Egypt Central band members Blake Allison and Joey Chicago, Devour The Day are one of the hottest bands in hard rock right now. Possessing an energy that made one feel as if they were at Woodstock, Devour The Day lit up the stage, performing such songs as “You and Not Me”, “Respect”, “Good Man”, and surprisingly enough, the band also mixed in Egypt Central hit track “White Rabbit”. Delivering hard hitting guitar riffs, heavy bass line, matched by flawless drumming and vocals that were loud and in charge, Devour The Day dominated Carolina Rebellion. The band will be on tour all summer so do not miss them.
Following Devour The Day was the Kentucky rockers known as Black Stone Cherry. Vocalist Chris Robertson and the rest of the band brought the southern rock to the stage with style. Elated with excitement and energy of some massive guitars and vocals, this band was monstrous. Robertson affectionately sang the southern rock tunes such as “Lonely Train” and “White Trash Millionaire” that everyone has come to know and expressed praise to the audience for their support. Their brand new album Magic Mountain is out now and could be the band’s breakthrough release.
Next up was the massively popular Black Label Society. In the midst of the Revolver 2014 Golden Gods Tour, the band took the time to make a stop at Carolina Rebellion. Anxious for Black Label Society to take the stage, the crowd noise was loud and rambunctious, yearning to see legendary and infamous guitarist Zakk Wylde shred. With crowd surfing and mosh pits continuous through the set, Black Label Society brought a thunderous performance of some of their most well known hits and new songs from Catacombs of the Black Vatican. Taking little time to rest, the band heads off to Europe now and will return state side in July to tour with Wovenwar and Kyng.
Speaking of which, the next band happened to be Los Angeles, Ca based Kyng. Fresh off the release of their killer new album Burn The Serum, Kyng is a band with some clout in their young career. Singer Eddie Veliz walked onto the stage and welcomed the crowd with a furious set of raging guitar driven tunes including “Electric Halo”. Performing their hearts out, Kyng showed why they are pure rock-n-roll energy paying homage to the classic styles of yesteryear.
The next band up was one of metal’s most beloved acts, Killswitch Engage. The energy and excitement for this band to hit the stage alone was enormous with the recent reuniting of original vocalist Jesse Leach and a brand new album of metal titled Disarm the Descent (2013) under their belt. Opening up with “A Bid Farewell” followed by “New Awakening”, “Rose of Sharyn”, “This Fire Burns”, and other classic that made this band famous; Killswitch Engage brought force with them to the stage. Leach sounded strong as the rest of the band sounded fresh and pumped up. Killswitch Engage are one of those bands which do not get as much recognition as they deserve and was great to see them perform with such intensity, passion, and emotion.
Since the news came down that Motorhead would be unable to attend Carolina Rebellion, thrash metal legends Anthrax stepped up to the plate to fill in for them. Standing strong over three decades and a series of memorable albums, North Carolina were ready to see the band live. With a presence following them, vocalist Joey Belladonna, guitarist Scott Ian, bassist Frank Bello, drummer Charlie Benante, and new guitarist Jonathan Donais performed at high levels, not missing a beat. Pleasing songs like “Caught In A Mosh”, “Indians”, and “I Am The Law” had the pit swirling on the ground with exhilaration. Anthrax showed why they are still one of the most dominating live metal bands in the world with their performance, and North Carolina cannot wait to see them come back.
Changing up the pace next was Canadian rock band Thousand Foot Krutch. An inspiring rock band in their own right, a glow fed off each member as they knew they were ready to bring a powerful performance to this massive audience. Band leader Trevor McNevan had the biggest smile at the festival that day, welcoming all of the fans in the audience that day as they performed such hits as “Let The Sparks Fly”, “Courtesy Call”, and “War of Change”. Mixing in older tunes like “Move” gave the band’s dedicated fan base exactly what they were looking for as they earned new fans with every passing song. Keep your eyes open as the band is set to release their newest album Oxygen:Inhale later this summer.
Up next was one of hard rock fans favorite bands Seether. Also in the midst of a tour with Black Stone Cherry, Seether was ready to go at Carolina Rebellion. Opening up with their classic song “Gasoline”, followed by “Fine Again” and “Broken”, had the audience in a frenzy. Singer Shaun Morgan’s voice soared high and loud throughout the performance as he was intimately engaged in the music. Ready to release their upcoming album Isolate and Medicate, Seether fans await July 1st on the edge of their seat.
As the afternoon was coming to an end and night was falling, Copenhagen, Denmark hard rock band known as Volbeat took the stage. Riding high on the wings of success of Outlaw Gentlemen and Shady Ladies (2013), Volbeat seem to be an unstoppable force to rock super stardom. Taking off with sound waves of energy, vocalist Michael Poulsen sang intensely and vividly. Amazed by the size of the crowd, Poulsen even pointed out his own countries flag was flying in the crowd. Drummer Jon Larsen, guitarist Rob Caggiano, and bassist Anders Kjølholm were as tight as any band could be; getting everyone’s blood flowing. Volbeat played a twelve song set jam-packed with high-octane vocals with such hit songs such as “Doc Holliday”, “Lola Montez”, and “Heaven nor Hell”.
Directly following was Fozzy, performing at Carolina Rebellion for the first time. Led by WWE star Chris Jericho (vocals), the Atlanta, GA band felt right at home in the Southern Element at Carolina Rebellion. Playing a set of six songs, including new single “Lights Go Out”, the music sent shock waves through the audience. Jericho’s voice sounded immense as the band welcomed the audience to join along for the wild and epic ride of music. The band’s new album Do You Want To Start A War is out July 22nd and should be on everyone’s list of albums to purchase.
As the sun was setting and the temperature began to drop, electrifying rocker Rob Zombie brought the heat right back up. Like an adrenaline rush, as soon as the first chord hit, the party was started with sight and sound only Rob Zombie can bring. Playing such classic hits such as “Superbeast”, “Dragula”, “American Witch”, and newer song “Dead City Radio and the New Gods of Supertown”, Zombie had control over this audience. With moshing and some crowd surfing taking place, the fans cheered loudly for the entire set. Keeping himself busy between directing films and writing music, Zombie has a lot going on down the road with a new film and album in the works for 2015.
After a long day of rock and metal, day one of Carolina Rebellion was closed out with titans Avenged Sevenfold. Known for their live performance, the band did not disappoint, taking off with “Shepherd of Fire”, followed by “Critical Acclaim”, “Bat Country” and “Hail to the King”. The fast pace motion of each track built tension like a volcano ready to explode with emotion, and was the perfect ending to the day. Over the course of an eleven song assault, Synyster Gates, Zacky Vengeance, Johnny Christ, Arin IIeja, and M. Shadows performed at an elevated level. Mixing visually entertaining aspects with their music, Avenged Sevenfold showed Carolina Rebellion the juggernaut they are. With fifteen spectacular bands on day one, day two was less than twelve hours away.
Check out the coverage of day two of Monster Energy’s Carolina Rebellion on CrypticRock here.Photo credit Matt Lanier Photography