Sold Out! The first thing I see before the weekend started, and at first I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. From personal experience I know how hard it is for bands to draw a respectable amount of people to shows here in North Carolina. This year’s Carolina Rebellion was the biggest and best out of its four predecessors and it is only going to get better. Since the first festivals held at Metrolina Expo and Rockingham Speedway, it is clear that The Rebellion has found a home at Rock City Campgrounds at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Saturday May 2nd
The crowed started to gather by the time Of Mice & Men hit the Rebellion Stage at 2 p.m.. The metalcore band from Orange County, Fla. lead by frontman Austin Carlile let everyone know that it was going to be a crazy weekend.
Hollywood Undead woke up the crowd with their unique blend of hip hop with alternative rock. This was a special show for them as vocalist J-Dog and his girlfriend Vanessa got engaged on stage in the middle of their set.
Festival alumni Chevelle and Papa Roach drew a massive audience despite being in the middle of the day.
For those who missed Rise Against coming to Greensboro with Linkin Park on the Hunting Party Tour, this was everyone’s chance to finally see them.
The other two headliners, Korn and Marilyn Manson, did not disappoint. With increased stage production and the sun going down, the Saturday closing sets were the perfect way to end the day.
Sunday May 3rd
As the gates opened at 11 a.m., you could feel the buzz around Slipknot’s performance later on. But, before that on the Jagermeister Stage, a band called Starset was first up for the day. People were highly receptive to the group’s unique look and blend of rock and pop influences.
Sunday was a great day for frontwomen lead bands with the likes of Butcher Babes, In This Moment, The Pretty Reckless and Halestorm all in one place.
After a long hiatus and legal issues, Breaking Benjamin are back with an all new lineup and a highly anticipated new album. Charlotte was one of the first shows Ben Burnley will play as they start to tour once again. Most of the people inside the gates headed over to watch their set as the fans went crazy trying to get as close as possible.
As Slash and Slayer wrapped up their sets, the sun was setting on the Tar Heel state and the grounds began to grow shades of orange as dusk fell. Soon Godsmack would perform playing a number of their fifteen top five hits.
Soon after closing the Carolina Stage the final band, Slipknot was finally coming up. While over this weekend I had to work my way through some tough crowds, it was clear that everyone was staying for the best live show in heavy metal. Most well known for their attention-grabbing image and chaotic live shows, nothing would have been more fitting to end North Carolina’s biggest concert of the year.
As thousands of people made their way home after an exhilarating weekend of rock, one thing was clear: Carolina Rebellion is here to stay. From the bands to the event staff, this year’s overall production and organization of the festival lived up to all the hype.
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