Carolina Rebellion 2012

By Chip Tamplin

Published on Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Carolina Rebellion festival returned for a second year, this time bringing bands such as Shinedown, Korn and Evanescence with it. Chip Tamplin was on hand to cover the show, and Kaitlin Follmer has also provided some additional photos.

Ghosts of August:

Rarely do I want to check out opening bands anymore. I want to shoot whatever bands I came to photograph and often don’t check out anyone else but I was pleasantly surprised by Ghosts of August. They had good energy, solid band chemistry and were able to get the lackluster crowd that had showed up by eleven AM to participate in their set. Can’t go wrong with that.

Vocals: 9
Crowd Response: 7
Overall Sound: 8
Band Activity: 8
Overall Rating: 8

Setlist [partial]:

1. About You
2. Fuel of the Words
3. Lifted Up
4. Disease

Weaving the Fate:

Weaving the Fate was one of the more interesting bands on the bill. With a DJ and a guitarist wearing an overly creepy mask (pictured below), I wasn’t sure what to expect from them but I definitely enjoyed their set.

A great fusion of hard rock and samples, Weaving the Fate was by far my favorite of the opening bands on the bill. Vocalist and guitarist Brian Conner has a fantastic voice and the rest of the band added a lot of energy to an already entertaining set. Standout track “Str8 to the Bottom” definitely got the crowd into their set.

Vocals: 9
Crowd Response: 8
Overall Sound: 9
Band Activity: 8.5
Overall Rating: 8.5

Setlist [partial]:

1. Fading Star
2. Rack City
3. Str8 to the Bottom
4. Disown Me

Paper Tongues:

Paper Tongues offered a weird blend of rock and hip-hop, but it worked out oddly well. Front man Aswan North has a great voice and stage presence. Although I don’t think the crowd was really feeling their set overall, it seemed like they thoroughly enjoyed their upcoming single “Amen”, which North dedicated to the memory of his brother who was murdered a few years ago.

Vocals: 9
Crowd Response: 8
Overall Sound: 9
Band Activity: 9
Overall Rating: 8.5

Setlist [partial]:

1. Trinity
2. Ride to California
3. Amen
4. Get Higher

New Medicine:

One of my favorite bands on the bill, New Medicine definitely knows how to put on a live show. They don’t really bring anything exciting to the table, but these guys know how to put on a kick ass rock show. Vocalist Jake Scherer has a catchy voice and like Paper Tongues, New Medicine dedicated a song to the loss of their singer’s sibling.

New Medicine had a lot of fans in the crowd screaming along to hits like “Laid”, “Rich Kids” and “Race You to the Bottom”. Overall, top five set of the day.

Vocals: 9.5
Crowd Response: 9
Overall Sound: 9
Band Activity: 9.5
Overall Rating: 9.5

Setlist:

1. End of the World
2. Spit Me Out
3. Resolve to Fight
4. Little Sister
5. The Takeover
6. Laid
7. Rich Kids
8. Race You to the Bottom

Adelitas Way:

The last time I saw Adelitas Way was at Rock on the Range 2009 when they performed midway through the day on the 3rd stage. While I enjoyed their set, I didn’t find them overly memorable. Almost three years later, I am still struggling to figure out how they made the shift from good but forgettable to the surprise band of the festival.

Their set at Carolina Rebellion was perfect. Each band member was fantastic from vocalist Rick DeJesus to guitarist Robert Zakaryan and bassist Derek Johnson. Closing with their signature song “Invincible”, their set had the entire crowd at main stage screaming along.

Vocals: 9.5
Crowd Response: 9
Overall Sound: 9
Band Activity: 9.5
Overall Rating: 9.5

Setlist:

1. The Collapse
2. Hurt
3. Cage the Beast
4. Criticize
5. Sick
6. Invincible

Halestorm:

With the exception of Evanescence, I’m not a big fan of bands with only female vocalists. I’m not sure why, I’ve just never enjoyed them as much as male singers. With that said, I’ve always loved seeing Halestorm live. Vocalist and guitarist Lzzy Hale combined with brother (and drummer) Arejay Hale lead this awesome rock band to being one of the few exceptions of the rule.

While Lzzy and Arejay are by far the most exciting band members to watch, lead guitarist Joe Hottinger and bassist Josh Smith are no slouches. Behind such smash hits “Love Bites (So Do I)” and “I Get Off”, the band put on one of the day’s best sets by far.

Vocals: 9.5
Crowd Response: 9.5
Overall Sound: 9.5
Band Activity: 9
Overall Rating: 9.5

Setlist:

1. Love Bites (So Do I)
2. Mz. Hyde
3. I Miss the Misery
4. Freak Like Me
5. Rock Show
6. It’s Not You
7. I Get Off

Red:

Red was one of the first bands I ever got to photograph way back in 2008 and even though I haven’t seen them since, they’re still one of my favorite live bands. Vocalist Michael Barnes is one of the best vocalists in rock while the twin tandem of Anthony and Randy Armstrong add a lot of energy on stage.

By far the highlight of the set was when former Korn guitarist Brian “Head” Welch came on stage toward the end of their set to perform their song “Death of Me” with them.

Vocals: 9
Crowd Response: 9.5
Overall Sound: 9.5
Band Activity: 9.5
Overall Rating: 9.5

Setlist:

1. Feed the Machine
2. The Outside
3. Let Go
4. Lost
5. Death of Me [Featuring Brian Welch]
6. Breathe into Me

Volbeat:

I was really excited for Volbeat because they were one of the only bands on the line up that I hadn’t actually seen yet. They didn’t quite live up to my expectations, but they were still damn good.

Vocalist and rhythm guitarist Michael Poulsen has a very unique voice and vocal style, but I think it fits perfectly with the style of rock and metal that Volbeat plays. They didn’t have a tremendous amount of energy, but the sound quality of their set was very good and for a non-headlining band, the lack of energy was fine.

Vocals: 8.5
Crowd Response: 8.5
Overall Sound: 9.5
Band Activity: 9
Overall Rating: 9.5

Setlist:

1. The Human Instrument
2. Guitar Gangsters & Cadillac Blood
3. Radio Girl
4. Sad Man’s Tongue
5. Hallelujah Goat
6. The Mirror and the Ripper
7. I Only Want to Be With You [Dusty Springfield cover]
8. Pool of Booze, Booze, Booze
9. Still Counting
10. Raining Blood [Slayer cover]

Chevelle:

This was my fifth time seeing Chevelle and sadly it was by far the worst. In fact it was the only poor show they’d put on in that time. I think it had more to do with the sound mixing than the band itself, but it was still too much to get over. Vocals would cut in and out, as would the instrumentals. At times you’d only be able to hear singer Pete Loeffler without being able to hear his guitar at all.

Their choice in setlist was pretty solid ranging from old to new, but with how horrible the sound quality was we couldn’t even enjoy their set. I’m sure this was a one time issue, so I don’t want to deter people from seeing them since they’re normally a phenomenal live band, but boy did they have bad luck at Carolina Rebellion.

Vocals: 5
Crowd Response: 9
Overall Sound: 4
Band Activity: 7
Overall Rating: 6

Setlist:

1. The Clincher
2. Another Know it All
3. Hats off to the Bull
4. I Get It
5. Send the Pain Below
6. The Red
7. Sleep Apnea
8. Jars
9. Face to the Floor

Slash:

I’ve only seen Slash live once and that was roughly seven years ago with Velvet Revolver, so I was really excited to see one of the greatest guitarists ever live again.

With the addition of vocalist Myles Kennedy (Alter Bridge), Slash’s solo album was a phenomenal success and the live tour is even better. Though I’m not really a fan of Alter Bridge, I’ve always loved Kennedy’s voice and I think it accents Slash’s style of rock really well.

While there wasn’t much in the way of theatrics (excluding a confetti shower following their finale) the band looked like they were having a blast and going through some of Slash’s solo material, Slash’s Snakepit and covers of Velvet Revolver and Guns N’ Roses the crowd certainly enjoyed their set.

Vocals: 9
Crowd Response: 10
Overall Sound: 9.5
Band Activity: 9
Overall Rating: 9.5

Setlist:

1. Mean Bone [Slash’s Snakepit cover]
2. Ghost
3. Dirty Little Thing [Velvet Revolver cover]
4. Back from Cali
5. Nothing to Say
6. Nightrain [Guns N’ Roses cover]
7. You’re a Lie
8. Sweet Child O’ Mine [Guns N’ Roses cover]
9. Slither [Velvet Revolver cover]
10. Paradise City [Guns N’ Roses cover]

Five Finger Death Punch:

I’ve always enjoyed the music of Five Finger Death Punch (though Ivan’s previous band Motograter will always be better in my eyes), but I’m amazed by the quality of show they’ve been putting on the last couple of years that I’ve seen them. Their stage production has rapidly improved with each tour.

Ivan is a phenomenal front man and the rest of the band has fantastic stage presence. They were easily one of the crowd favorites and one of mine too. The crowd went crazy when they started into a short cover of Pantera’s “Walk”. Definitely worth a view if you get the chance to see them live.

Vocals: 9
Crowd Response: 10
Overall Sound: 9.5
Band Activity: 10
Overall Rating: 9.5

Setlist:

1. Under and Over It
2. Salvation
3. American Capitalist
4. Walk/Bad Company medley [Pantera/Bad Company cover]
5. White Knuckles
6. Drum solo
7. The Way of the Fist
8. Remember Everything
9. The Bleeding

Staind:

If it wasn’t for their stellar live sound, Staind would not be worth seeing. Their stage presence is mediocre at best and Aaron Lewis never looks like he’s even remotely having fun. It seems more like it’s a burden to him than the great job it is. With that said, he does sound great live and is the only redeemable thing about their set.

Vocals: 8.5
Crowd Response: 7
Overall Sound: 8
Band Activity: 6
Overall Rating: 7

Setlist:

1. Spleen
2. Right Here
3. Eyes Wide Open
4. So Far Away
5. Now
6. For You
7. Paper Wings
8. Outside
9. Not Again
10. It’s Been Awhile
11. Mudshovel
12. Something to Remind You

Evanescence:

Evanescence was definitely the band I was most excited for. While I’m not a big fan of female fronted bands, I’ve always loved Evanescence, especially singer Amy Lee’s voice. While the band’s music has fallen (see what I did there?) off a bit after the departure of founding member and guitarist Ben Moody, they’ve still put out some pretty solid music over the last decade.

Their live show wasn’t too aesthetically appealing, but they did have a tremendous amount of energy and Amy Lee’s voice sounds even better live than it does on their albums. They played a wide array of hits ranging from “Going Under” and “Call Me When You’re Sober” to their smash hit closer “Bring Me to Life”, sadly without anyone lending guest vocals to Paul McCoy’s (12 Stones) portion of the song. Otherwise, fantastic set from an underrated rock band.

Vocals: 9.5
Crowd Response: 9
Overall Sound: 9
Band Activity: 10
Overall Rating: 9.5

Setlist:

1. What You Want
2. Going Under
3. The Other Side
4. Made of Stone
5. Your Star
6. (Unknown)
7. Lithium
8. Sick
9. The Change
10. Call Me When You’re Sober
11. Imaginary
12. Never Go Back
13. Bring Me to Life

Korn:

After seeing them at Projekt Revolution in 2004 — the only time I got to see them with the entire original band — every time I’ve seen Korn since has paled in comparison. There were a few select times where I got glimpses of their former glory, but overall the band’s sound drastically fell from grace.

The departure of former members Brian “Head” Welch (guitarist) and David Silveria (drummer) had a profound on the quality of Korn’s music, especially Welch. While they retained a semi-resemblance of their earlier sound, Head’s influence was more central to their sound than anything they could replicate without him.

After seeing Head before Red’s set, perform during it and then hanging around the media tent during Korn’s meet and greet with fans, we were hoping and praying that maybe, just maybe, Head would perform with the band during their set tonight. And when they got to their final song, “Blind”, I’d started to give up hope. Then singer Jonathon Davis started into an intro that could only mean one thing…Head would be joining them on stage.

My friends and I ran out into the crowd with our camera bags still attached to our backs and stood there wide-eyed as Head slowly walked onto the stage with his guitar held up over his head. It gave me chills. It took awhile for the crowd to soak in the history that was happening at Rockingham Speedway at that very moment…Head was performing with his band mates for the first time in over seven years.

Sadly their set prior to Head rejoining them was pretty awful. In fact, it was by far the worst of all the times I’d seen them. I didn’t mind their experimentation with dubstep on their newest album The Path of Totality, but those songs transition very poorly to a live rock atmosphere and the addition of old school songs “Divine”, “Predictable” and “Good God” couldn’t make the set any better.

The only thing that saved the set was seeing Head perform with the band and that speaks volumes to just how much the band needs him. They need Head to rejoin the band permanently. They won’t be able to live off of previous success forever. With that said, seeing Head perform with Korn was by far the highlight of my Carolina Rebellion experience and Shinedown had a tough time (in my eyes) following it.

Vocals: 8
Crowd Response: 10
Overall Sound: 9
Band Activity: 9
Overall Rating: 9.5 (only because of Head)

Setlist:

1. Divine
2. Predictable
3. No Place to Hide
4. Good God
5. Narcissistic Cannibal
6. Kill Mercy Within
7. Chaos Lives in Everything
8. Get Up!
9. Here to Stay
10. Freak on a Leash
11. Falling Away From Me
12. Another Brick in the Wall [Pink Floyd cover]
13. Shoots and Ladders + One [Metallica cover]
14. Got the Life
15. Blind [Featuring Brian “Head” Welch]

Shinedown:

While I’ve always enjoyed Shinedown live, I’ve never really found the desire to listen to them outside of a live setting. Certain songs, namely “Bully”, I love, but overall I don’t really see much appeal. With that said, they are a phenomenal live band and vocalist Brent Smith has fantastic stage presence, especially when sharing the mic with guitarist Zach Myers (pictured below)

I’m a little surprised that they were headlining a festival of this nature with only four albums out (the latest one having come out just this past month) but with their stage production it’s not hard to see why. Though half of the crowd did leave after Korn. I thoroughly enjoyed their set. Shinedown is definitely one of the best live bands around. If you ever get the chance to see them, I strongly suggest you take it.

Vocals: 9.5
Crowd Response: 10
Overall Sound: 9.5
Band Activity: 10
Overall Rating: 9.5

Setlist:

1. Sound of Madness
2. Diamond Eyes (Boom-Lay-Boom)
3. Enemies
4. If You Only Knew
5. Nowhere Kids
6. The Crowd and the Butterfly
7. Unity
8. Amaryllis
9. Devour
10. .45
11. Bully
12. Simple Man [Lynyrd Skynyrd cover]
13. Second Chance
14. Fly From the Inside

Photos by Chip Tamplin (Bands Listed in Alphabetical Order):
 

Additional Photos by Kaitlin Follmer (Bands Listed in Alphabetical Order):

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