Charlotte, NC’s Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheater played host to the first Rock for Heroes Benefit Concert on September 9th, hosted by The Independence Fund. The bands featured included OTHERWISE, ADELITAS WAY, and headliners Three Days Grace.
The Independence Fund is a nonprofit organization that assists and supports wounded veterans and their caregivers with mobility services and wellness programs to help them regain their independence. This rock show was a way to bring awareness to the cause. Proceeds from the concert went straight to the charity, and when ticket holders bought tickets online, they also had the option of buying a ticket for a wounded veteran, which was very unique to this show.
Each of the bands showed their support for the cause during each of their sets. OTHERWISE took the stage first and wowed the crowd with their energy and audience involvement. Frontman Adrian Patrick was all over the place, pointing out fans in the crowd and shaking hands with some of the veterans in the front row. The audience seemed very receptive to the energy as well, as everyone was seen on their feet and rocking out even if they didn’t know all of the words. The band played a mixture of songs from their first and second album including “Love & War”, “Die For You”, “Meet Me In The Dark”, “I Don’t Apologize”, “Coming for the Throne”, and closing the set was the very appropriate “Soldiers”.
After a quick set change and after the sun had finally set, ADELITAS WAY took the stage. The band came out swinging from the very beginning and opened with their single “Sick”. Even with some technical difficulties occurring during their set, the band didn’t let it phase them and they continued to play and put everything into their performance. Other songs performed from their catalogue included “Criticize”, “Bad Reputation”, “Good Die Young”, “The Collapse”, and “Invincible”.
Finally, closing out the night, Three Days Grace made their way onto the stage, but not before gracing the audience with the audio recording of “Killing in the Name” by Rage Against the Machine, followed by “Wonderful Boat Ride” from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. As the track came to an end, they came out one by one and went straight into “Time of Dying” from their album One-X. The crowd was warmed up quite nicely by the openers so by the time the headliners came on they were loose and ready to rock out with no care in the world. The band’s elaborate stage set up allowed them to take full advantage of the space, with frontman Matt Walst constantly running around and climbing up to the drum set. With how many albums Three Days Grace has, their set was very single-heavy but they still find creative ways to change the set list up and make it interesting by including short snippets of covers into some of their songs. For example, in the middle of “Home” the band took a second and played some of Tool’s “Sober”, and before “The Good Life” they got the energy up by playing some of “The Beautiful People” by Marilyn Manson. Some other songs they included in their set were “Just Like You”, “Chalk Outline”, “Pain”, “I Hate Everything About You”, “Painkiller”, “Never Too Late”, “Animal I Have Become”, and more. Drummer Neil Sanderson and Pianist Dani Rosenoer also graced the audience with a drum and piano solo. After a quick break, the band came back for an encore with “I Am Machine” and “Riot”.
Overall, I would say that this benefit was a complete success. There was a great audience turnout and the cause was able to raise a lot of money by putting up something like this. I’m sure if The Independence Fund decided to do it again they would have no problem getting support, not only from fans, but from bands as well. Each band went out and played their hearts out for all the soldiers and veterans, and from my perspective, it was all very well received.