Rock fans gathered early last Saturday, September 28th, at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater for the 2013 Weenie Roast in Charlotte, NC hosted by 106.5 The End. The show kicked off at 12:30 pm and lasted through the afternoon and evening playing host to a variety of talented bands including Biffy Clyro, Manchester Orchestra, New Politics, and others alternating between the main and second stage.
As the sun began to set and the evening hours hit, Sick Puppies took the main stage, opening their set with “Die to Save You” from their new album Connect. The crowd responded energetically to the 3-piece as they played a variety of their song collection including bass-driven “Odd One,” “War,” “Dressed Up as Life,” and current single “There’s No Going Back.” “Gunfight” was a popular one with the audience as sarcastic lyrics were belted out with the electrifying and aggressive sound of the guitars and drums. The band closed with “You’re Going Down,” leaving the audience on an aggression high and wanting more. Sick Puppies are not new to the Charlotte area and always gain more and more fans after each visit.
Retiring the second stage for the night was Filter. Fans rushed over in order to get a good spot in front of the stage and it was minutes until the gated area was packed. From the start of their set hands were up and people were rocking out in sync to the drums. The crowd erupted when the bass line hit of “Hey Man Nice Shot” and voices were heard above the speakers as the audience shouted back the lyrics during its entirety.
After Filter’s set, the crowd rushed back over to the main stage and found claimed their spots for the rest of the night. A few short minutes later AWOLNATION walked out one by one and got the audience warmed up with “Kill Your Heroes”. The band’s energy was contagious and within minutes everyone was jumping and rocking out to the beat. AWOLNATION brings a certain level of intensity to their live show that you don’t truly get a feel for in their album, so if you haven’t seen them live yet, you definitely need to put that on your to-do list. They plowed through their set playing songs including “Guilty Filthy Soul,” “Not Your Fault,” and “Burn It Down.” They graced the audience with a new song called “This Kid’s Not Alright” and also played the well-known hit “Sail.” Once the first note of “Sail” was struck, cell phones flew in the air, proving that this is definitely their most popular song. The band killed their set and left the stage to chants of “We are AWOLNATION” from the audience.
A quick set change later, Sublime with Rome claimed their time slot on stage. Within their hour long set they played hits like “Santeria,” “What I Got,” “Wrong Way,” and “Date Rape,” among others. The audience response was overwhelming as they screamed back every lyric and danced the night away to some of the care-free songs. Appropriately, a beach ball also made its first appearance during Sublime’s set and kept being passed back and forth through its entirety.
As Sublime left the stage to cheers from the crowd, the stage set up began for headliners Thirty Seconds to Mars. A black backdrop was drawn up and their logo was brought to the stage. Shortly after, the lights dimmed over the audience and they erupted in cheers as “Birth” opened up the set list for the night and each band member stepped out on stage one by one. This show was the band’s second stop on their U.S. tour after being overseas and they were so appreciative of their fans throughout the night.
The live show focused on songs from their new record Love, Lust, Faith, and Dreams but also included older singles like “Kings and Queens,” “Closer to the Edge,” “This Is War,” and special acoustic performances of “From Yesterday,” “The Kill,” and “Hurricane” from Jared Leto. As for songs from their newest album, the crowd was treated with “Conquistador,” “Do or Die,” and “City of Angels.” Throughout the set, Leto encouraged crowd participation and the audience was very happy to comply. Thirty Seconds to Mars closed their set with the first single, “Up in the Air,” off their latest album. Something cool and different that they did for it was call up people from the audience to join them on stage. They gathered what looked like a good 50 people and they jumped and rocked out right next to the band, an experience that those fans will surely never forget.
Overall, Weenie Roast 2013 would be called a success in my book and after seeing and hearing everyone else’s reaction to it, I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks so.