June 12, 2014 Monster Energy’s Carolina Rebellion Day Two Domination 5-4-14
After an absolutely earth-shattering Saturday at Monster Energy’s Carolina Rebellion, day two, Sunday May 5th kicked off with a line-up of veteran and upcoming rock/metal bands. Gracing the bill on the final day of the festival was Gemini Syndrome, Nothing More, Hellyeah, Twelve Foot Ninja, Fuel, Theory Of A Deadman, Redlight King, Alter Bridge, A Day To Remember, Memphis May Fire, Staind, 311, Fiver Finger Death Punch, and Kid Rock. Talk about a balanced offering of music to satisfy any restless concert goers’ soul. With many people returning from day one, day two was ready to challenge for pure rock dominance.
Starting the festivities off was Los Angeles, California based band Gemini Syndrome. Spending the past year on one big tour after another, this band has been garnishing uber amounts of attention with their debut album Lux (2013). Despite many still replenishing themselves from day one, everyone was happy to see Gemini Syndrome take the stage, setting the tone for the rest of the day. The guitar tones, riffs, bass lines, and vocals were all made flawlessly by the band, eager to make an impression. Vocalist Aaron Nordstrom sang at a high level, showing excitement with the rest of his bandmates to be at the festival. Playing through a bunch of recognizing tracks including “Pleasure and Pain”, “Basement” and “Stardust”, Gemini Syndrome were the perfect icebreaker. Be sure to catch them on tour this summer with Sevendust.
Continuing the momentum of music was the San Antonio and New Orleans rockers known as Nothing More. This band instantly is one band to look out for this year with a unique mature sound everyone is going to want to hear. Their energy and passion on stage was certainly apparent as they tore through their set. Vocalist Jonny Hawkins kicked off the excitement with a massive drum solo on his signature aux drums. Soon after his drum solo concluded, the rest of the band kept the music in motion, giving the crowd something that they would certainly never forget. Perhaps one of the major highlights of their performance was their track “Ocean Floor” from their upcoming self-titled debut album that will be released June 23rd. Do not pass this band up; they are ready to take hard rock by storm.
Kicking the festival into high gear next was the hard rock/heavy metal band Hellyeah. Initially thought of as a side project of all-star veteran musician, Hellyeah has blossomed into a full-time gig with steady album releases and consistent touring. Adding to the set was the emotion released by the audience chanting “Dimebag Darrel” as drummer Vinnie Paul took to the stage. The band without a shadow of a doubt brought the energy and intensity that everyone expected them to bring to the stage. Performing songs such as “Cowboy”, “Matter”, and their latest single “Sangre Por Sangre (Blood for Blood)” from their newly released album Blood for Blood, the crowd was treated to a full blown metal assault. Each member of the band brought everything they had and performed flawlessly. Vocalist Chad Gray’s vocals were on point with pitch perfect aggression and unmatched enthusiasm giving Hellyeah fans one hell of a ride.
After the crazy heavy metal ride from Hellyeah, it was time for Melbourne, Australian rock band Twelve Foot Ninja. This band was all about surprises at Carolina Rebellion, many had heard of them, but never had the pleasure of being able to see them live before. Vocalist, Kin, was all smiles as were the rest of the band being able to perform in front of such an excited enthusiastic audience. Known for their unique style delivering some soaring melodies and a heavy rock sound which has given them a reputation as being one of the up and coming bands to look for, the band electrified the stage. Performing many ear-catching tunes from their debut album Silent Machine, Twelve Foot Ninja brought diversity and flexibility in sound to Carolina Rebellion that everyone loved.
Continuing the afternoon of rock was Harrisburg, Pennsylvania natives Fuel. Having built a name for themselves in the late 90’s into the early 2000’s, Fuel is a band with a slew of rock radio hits everyone knows and adores. With some changes in the line-up and a welcomed re-launch in 2010, many people in attendance that day were overjoyed to see this band perform in North Carolina again. Lead vocalist Brent Scallions was sincere in his approach, full of energy, along with the rest of the band on stage. With the recent release of Puppet Strings, it was indeed apparent Fuel is back, and it showed in the music. Treating their core fans to some of their biggest hits including “Hemorrhage”, and new song “Soul to Preach”, Fuel certainly showed this festival audience they are not going anywhere for a long time.
Moving onward, mixing in the Canadian rock flavor, was Theory Of A Deadman. Becoming a mainstream rock success over their career, Theory of a Deadman can mingle with pop rock while jamming hard and heavy with the best of them. Providing no let down to the audience, Theory Of A Deadman encouraged everyone to sing along as they played through such songs as “Lowlife”, “Bitch Came Back”, and “Bad Girlfriend”. This band certainly did not disappoint the fans that day and taking to the vibe of the crowd, immediately fit right in with the day’s events. Lead singer Tyler Connolly sang inspired and did not miss a step at all. It was clear as the performance wore on that Theory Of A Deadman wanted to rock hard, loud, and heavy. Be sure to check out their forthcoming album Savages due out July 29th.
It was now mid-afternoon, the temperature was rising, and despite the heat, no one was ready to tap-out as another Canadian rock act by the name of Redlight King took the stage. Taking the audience’s resilience as a sign, Redlight King capitalized big time, blasting out their crafty tunes at peak volumes. Mixing hip hop, alternative rock, and some hard rock edge, this band has something for everyone. They performed such songs as “Bullet In My Hand”, “Times Are Hard,” and “Devils Dance”. Vocalist Mark Kaspryzk brought his poetic lyrics to life before Carolina Rebellions eyes and delivered a spot on set. Be sure to catch them on some other rock festivals this summer as they continue to support their 2013 album Irons In The Fire.
Up next was hard rock stars Alter Bridge. This is one band that has a lot of momentum behind them with a hit making new album in Fortress (2013) and a line-up of rockers everyone wants to see. Moments before the band took to the stage there was an Alter Bridge chant going on within the crowd and as soon as each member walked out, the cheers exploded with excitement and joy. Firing things up, “Addicted to Pain” jolted a new found energy into the audience. Keeping that feeling going they also performed their current single “Cry of Achilles” along with other songs such as “Come to Life”, “Metalingus”, “Blackbird”, and “Rise Today”. Myles Kennedy, Mark Tremonti, Brian Marshall, and Scott Phillips all brought their A game that day, bleeding pure rock power on stage.
Keeping up with the fast-paced high octane music was A Day to Remember. This band was all about elevated energy levels and raising the heat on and off the stage. Establishing themselves as a leading rock band since 2003, the band has put together many hit singles and is still pushing forward with their latest album Common Courtesy. Giving Carolina Rebellion all they had, they performed such songs as “All I Want”, “2nd Sucks”, and “Right Back At It Again. Vocalist Jeremy McKinnon made it known he wanted the audience to have just as much fun as the band, and as a result multiple circle pits broke out in and around the audience. This was a massive performance and shows exactly why A Day to Remember are a leading force in the scene.
As the afternoon wore on and temperatures began to lower Dallas, Texans Memphis May Fire took the stage. Fresh off the release of their game changing album Unconditional, Memphis May Fire are challenging for a new level of rock stardom. Right out of the gate, vocalist Matty Mullins was excited as can be to be performing in front of such a massive crowd and it showed. Expressing his Texas pride with a smile, he and the rest of the band were ready to rock loud and hard. Their set included such songs as “Vices”, “Legacy” and “The Sinner”. Exciting the audience with a strong stage show; their reputation precedes them as a band that stand in defiance of all things mundane. Check them as they head overseas to Europe for summer tour dates.
With the sunset and evening upon the festival, it was time for one of hard rock’s most accomplished acts Staind. This heavyweight rock band from Springfield, Massachusetts never ceases to fail with their distinct sound and ability to capture an audience with emotion. With a veteran line-up of Aaron Lewis, Mike Mushok, Jonny April, and Sal Giancarelli, the band brought everything to the stage. Performing such hits as “Mudshovel”, “Right Here”, “Outside”, and “For You” among others, Staind sounded excellent. With textured guitar tones and hard hitting drum beats, the band did not disappoint one bit and the audience could not have been happier to have them back at this year’s Carolina Rebellion. Being three years since their seventh studio album Staind, fans are ready for some new work from the band more than ever.
Keeping the evening going was one of the most pleasant additions to this year’s Carolina Rebellion, legendary rock band 311. Releasing their eleventh studio album Stereolithic in March, 311 are ready to show music why they are one of the most unique treasures in rock. Coming out to a roaring ovation, it was apparent that 311 can still rock an audience after all these years. They performed such hit songs of theirs such as “Homebrew”, “Freeze Time”, “Five of Everything”, “Beautiful Disaster”, and more. Vocalists Nick Hexum and SA Martinez sounded as good as ever along with the rest of the band rocking through a magnificent set. Gearing up for a summer long tour in 2014, fans are ecstatic 311 is back.
Bringing the rage and force of modern heavy metal were the festival’s second to last band Five Finger Death Punch. Undeniably one of the most popular hard rock/metal bands out today, this band shows no signs of relinquishing that title of dominance. The intense power and raw emotion the band exhibited on stage fed the hungry of the crowd at a rapid pace. Vocalist Ivan Moody and the rest of the band went on with larger than life vocals, high energy guitar riffs, and heavy hitting drum lines that made what they do look too easy. Performing such songs as “Under and Over It”, “Never Enough”, “Lift Me Up”, “Bad Company”, and even their famed classic song “The Bleeding”, this was a historic set for Carolina Rebellion. Continuing to treat audiences to their brand of metal, Five Finger Death Punch will partake in an amazing tour with Volbeat this fall which is not to be missed.
As all good things come to an end, so did Carolina Rebellion, at least for this year that is. The last artist to grace the stage was Detroit Michigan’s very own Kid Rock. Chosen as a festival closer can often be an opposing task, but Kid Rock answered the call with a massive performance. Known as one of rock’s best showman over the years, he was not afraid to say “Tonight, we are going old school”. Rocking out such early hits like “Devil Without a Cause”, “American Badass”, and “Cocky”, the attack continued with “All Summer Long” and “Born Free”. Showcasing his array of talents from singing, to rapping, to overall musicianship, this audience was completely taken back by how show stopping Kid Rock was. He showed exactly why he is one of the leading acts in music today and proved he is a full-bred American rocker.
Two days of rock, consisting of twenty nine bands, can send any rocker into overload, but after seeing each band bring sheer excitement to the stage it was one of the best experiences of many attendants’ lives. It is not often in life people can escape from stress and let loose with so many different and talented bands. Carolina Rebellion 2014 provided that oasis for many and setup a summer full of exciting music to come.
Check out the coverage of day one of Monster Energy’s Carolina Rebellion on CrypticRock here.Photo credit Matt Lanier Photography