Rebels decked out in ponchos and garbage bags braved the weather on Sunday for day two of Carolina Rebellion. Despite exhaustion from the previous day's fun with Alice In Chains, Limp Bizkit, and countless others, a line formed early on in the morning to secure front row spots and catch opening act Nonpoint.
A rain delay was announced when noon hit, with Nonpoint's gear sparking and unsafe to turn on. Shade tents became shelters from the rain as hundreds of people patiently huddled and waited for the festival to begin. About thirty minutes after their scheduled set time, American Fangs took the Jäger stage. The Houston band played tracks from their upcoming debut album due out on May 14. They finally kicked the day off to a packed field, getting everyone warmed up with a sound that resembled Foo Fighters with some rap thrown in on occasion.
Things began to look promising as new time slots were scheduled for the next few bands and the rain slowed down to a mild drizzle. Pop Evil took their place on the Rebellion stage to play some new songs from their upcoming album Onyx, the band's third album that singer Leigh Kakaty has said is the band's best work to date. The group were as in sync as ever, hyping up the crowd with "Boss's Daughter" and "Last Man Standing." Their shortened set ended with "Trenches," possibly their biggest hit to date. Kakaty had everyone bouncing and singing along with the chorus while mosh pits broke out across the muddy field.
The instant their set finished, people rushed over to the Carolina stage to catch Massachusetts metal band All That Remains. They wasted no time with small talk, fitting as many songs in as they could. Crowd surfers caked in mud began to make their way up to the barrier as the band played their recent single "Stand Up" as well as "Forever In Your Hands." They finished off with "Two Weeks," a catchy melodic metal track with sing along choruses and adrenaline inducing guitar riffs.
European bands seemed to make up a pretty big part of this years lineup, including UK natives Heaven's Basement. The new band are one to watch out for in the very near future, and are no stranger to big crowds after playing alongside Bon Jovi, Shinedown, and more. The band are gearing up to head out with Buckcherry next week, and there is mo doubt that the crowd during their set was a good warmup for the band on what to expect from Buckcherry's fans. Their blend of hard rock and bass grooves on "Fire, Fire" was a definite highlight of their set. Everyone that didn't know the words when the song began was singing along by the time they finished.
Next to take the Rebellion Stage was mock hair metal band Steel Panther. The band stepped out decked out in full makeup, their long hair straightened, and amusing attitudes to match the look. Their set was as much a comedy show as it was a blast from the past. Steel Panther's talent and the powerful vocals from singer Michael Starr made it even more entertaining to listen to the lyrics. Their sound was so impressive that no one would guess at just a quick listen that they're a modern band singing about weenie rides and Asian hookers. They had the audience head banging and laughing hysterically throughout the entire set before it was time to head to the Carolina stage for the next band.
The festival grounds were buzzing with rumors that Hollywood Undead would no longer be playing their highly anticipated set, so when the guys took the stage, the rebels responded with ear piercing screams and unstoppable energy. The rap-rock group, clad in their usual masks, had 3 singers trading off on vocals and constantly keeping the crowd going.
Throughout performances of "We Are," "Undead," and other fan favorites a steady stream of crowd surfers warmed up shivering security staff, flying over the barrier nonstop. The band's energy was contagious no matter who the audience was there to see, and by the time they played their last song the field was packed as far back as anyone could see.
Shortly after Hollywood Undead's set we were left for the day with sets from Buckcherry and Sevendust before the festival wrapped up early due to rain. Rebels seemed very bummed out that they would be missing Volbeat, Rise Against, Bush, and Soundgarden, but that didn't stop them from making the most of their remaining time.
Sevendust were a late addition to the bill, filling in for 3 Doors Down amidst legal troubles with bassist Todd Harrell. The metal group were welcomed with open arms to the festival, with those who stuck out the weather forming massive circle pits to mosh along to the band's new single "Decay" as well as a number of older hits.
Featuring all of the original members, each guy brought their own unique element to the live show. They are one of the only bands that have no single front man, with every member interacting with the crowd and blowing fans away with their talent just as much as the other.
Unfortunately, we had to miss out on Buckcherry due to the rescheduling times switching around numerous times, but be sure to check back at MPR next week for our coverage of their headlining tour when it hits NYC with Heaven's Basement!
For those that braved the weather on Sunday, make sure you check your e-mail or head to CarolinaRebellion.com for instructions on how to receive your choice of a 20% refund on Sunday's ticket or a ticket to the Sunday show next year. It was most definitely a disappointment, but the safety of the fans, band, crew, and staff had to come first; all of the bands were on site and ready to rock and have each promised to make it up to their NC fans soon, so be sure to check them out!
Overall, Carolina Rebellion was exhausting and incredible. Weather aside, the dedicated fans and energy from the bands made for an awesome rock-filled weekend.