Sunburned and exhausted from the previous day, Rebels quickly woke up when “Sweet Caroline” began to play at the Jagermeister Stage. By the time the intro was over the stage was packed full as far as the eye could see for Gemini Syndrome. The hard rockers brought a powerful set, getting everyone involved when singer Aaron Nordstrom joined the audience in the pit for their final song, “Stardust”.
Following the national anthem, Nothing More were the first band to take the Rebellion Stage for Day 2. A fairly new band, they captured the audience with their contagious energy and made for a very interesting performance. They incorporated some unique show characteristics, including a separate small drum at the front of the stage that frontman Jonny Hawkins would drum and jump on throughout the set. They closed out their short set with "This Is The Time."
First up on the Carolina Stage were Hellyeah. The all-star lineup delivered a fun set that allowed everyone to get “Drink, Drank, Drunk” and bounce along to “Hellyeah!”. Australia’s Twelve Foot Ninja made their first appearance in Charlotte, bringing a different sound to the festival. The band somehow fused together reggae and metal without sounding confused, and seemed to gain a ton of new fans grateful for a refreshing change by the end of their 25 minutes.
Fuel’s set started out slow, picking up about halfway through when they began to roll through the hits that everyone wanted to hear. After encouraging all of the women in the audience to flash them, they finally focused on the music and brought flawless performances of some of their biggest hits, including “Bittersweet” and “Falls on Me”.
Theory of a Deadman received a very warm welcome at the Carolina stage following their short absence from touring. They steered clear of their ballads, keeping the energy up and entertaining everyone with the lyrics on “Bitch Came Back”, “Hate My Life”, and “Bad Girlfriend”. The band also gave a taste of what to expect from their upcoming album on the recently released single “Drown”. Next up on the side stage, Redlight King mixed it up throughout their set, including rock tracks “Comeback” and “Bullet In My Hand” and rap infused “Built To Last”.
Alter Bridge wowed everyone with stunning guitar work from Mark Tremonti and the undeniably distinct vocals of frontman Myles Kennedy. Opening with “Addicted to Pain” they showed off their years of experience, effortlessly flying through solos and getting the crowd moving with their nonstop energy throughout the set. A Day To Remember was clearly largely anticipated by the audience as they pushed closer and closer together towards the front of the Carolina Stage. From their set opener "All I Want" the band delivered a high-energy performance which was fueled by the constant moshing of the crowd. Crowd surfers flowed constantly towards the stage and a cloud of dust billowed up as everyone jumped around and rocked out.
After Memphis May Fire closed out the side stage for the night it was time for the highly anticipated return of Staind. Their sound was even heavier live than recorded on songs like “Falling” and “Mudshovel”, during which crowd surfers flew over the barrier endlessly. Singer Aaron Lewis showcased his powerful vocals and gave fans a few minutes to rest on “It’s Been Awhile” and “Outside”. Next up on the Carolina Stage was 311, perhaps the biggest surprised of the lineup. While it was clear that many were confused as to how their sound fit into the rock and metal festival, they put on a solid performance that everyone seemed to enjoy as they took a must needed rest from moshing and crowd surfing.
Five Finger Death Punch closed out the Rebellion Stage for 2014. The band’s live show was made for big festival settings, with an intense energy that will make even the least enthusiastic in the audience headbang a little. Amidst tracks like “Lift Me Up” and “Hard to See”, guitarist Jason Hook and singer Ivan Moody turned it down for a few minutes to singalong with the crowd on “Remember Everything”. Moody wasted no time picking things back up again, giving some kids in the audience a once in a lifetime chance to go up on stage in front of tens of thousands of crazy rockers to join him in singing “Burn MF”.
Just a few short minutes shy of 10 pm, the lights on the Carolina Stage dimmed for the last time as headliner Kid Rock slowly made his way out onto the stage. Before he walked out, a clip of Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" was played from the speakers and cut off appropriately during "born and raised in south Detroit" leaving the audience to scream the lyrics from the top of their lungs and officially introducing Kid Rock. He spoke a small prayer from behind the stage getting the crowd riled up in anticipation and finally emerged onto the stage accompanied by sparklers going off in the background. Kid Rock took into account that it was a rock show so he kept the energy high by jumping up and down across the stage and doing cool little mic tosses during "You Never Met a Motherf***er Quite Like Me." Other songs included in the set list were "American Badass," "Cocky," and of course, "All Summer Long."
Before long, Carolina Rebellion 2014 had officially come to an end. Estimated audience numbers for the festival reached up to about 100,000 people, making this year's turn out the best so far. The organization of this year was impeccable and it looks like it's only going to get better. If you missed out on Carolina Rebellion this year, make sure you're there next year. It's definitely something you don't want to miss.
Check out photos from Day 2 HERE and stay tuned for interviews from the festival soon!