Josh and I had driven down to Charlotte for The 2013 Carolina Rebellion. on Saturday, we didn’t get into the fairground until after 4, but I could see from the already sardine-ing crowd that if we waited any longer, we wouldn’t get a good spot for The Deftones, or Alice in Chains.. Josh wanted a beer. I left my phone at home.. I wouldn’t find Josh again until I found the car. I think the Deftones may have been the best show of any of the bands we saw- I really, really dig this band, and I’ve never seen a frontman have half as much genuine fun on stage as Chino. Pardon my French, but it really fucking rocked. their set list couldnt have been better: all of the good singles, and a couple from the newest album, which I thought they pulled off epically.
In the hour wait before Alice In Chains started, I met a guy from Lynhcburg, that informed me 10 Years is playing here in June, listened to a 50something year-old, wasted, guy talk about how much his legs hurt in the funniest possible ways, and laughed along as EVERYONE in the crowd made fun of Limp Bizcut/Fred Durst, who’s performance was being broadcasted onto our screen, without audio. AIC was really, really kickass too. I’d seen enough youtube videos and listened to their last album enough times to not be flabbergasted at how much William Duval (new singer) does sound like Lane Staley. Their set was really good- all the good singles (and the ones we’ve heard enough, and I’m sure they’ve played enough). My only complaint is that they didn’t play “Nutshell.” This may have been the the first show they played with Jerry Cantrell’s new haircut. Someone in the crowd had a sign, which they called out, that said “friends don’t let friends get haircuts JERRY!” for the last 2/3 of their performance the girl next to me was dead set on rubbing her boob on me, very aggressively. It was so good/bad that it was hard to focus on the band.. which was ALICE IN FUCKIN’ CHAINS! Thank you boob girl.
I sat at the car for almost ten minutes before Josh showed up.. With some girl, again. She ended up being super cool, and let us come party with her friends in their hotel room.
She had talked about meeting all these bands, and just generally seemed cooler than us, so when we opened the door of the hotel room to 6 or so rock-star looking dudes, it slightly intimidating to say the least. We kind of introduced ourselves, and this one dude walks up to me and says “hey, I’m Joe (or whatever his name was), you may have heard of me,” as he lifted his sleeves up and showed his tattoos. This was one of the most awkward, situations I’ve ever been put in… All I could say was “uh, no..” He looked disappointed, stood there for a few more, weird, seconds then walked away. In my mind I had just met some awesome dude in a touring band and introduced myself as uncool, Douche Mcgee.
I brought it up later and they told me they had no idea why he did that… He was just a local dude, not the vocalist of some band I’m too uncool to know about. They gave us alot of free booze, one guy kept sexually-assaulting everyone(?). And then at the end of the evening, one of the dudes let us crash at his parents'(out-of-town missionaries) super-nice townhouse- which was incredible because it rained all night, every hotel was booked, and we had nowhere to sleep but the car. They were all really cool people, and I’m sure we’ll meet again, and rock out.
It rained all day Sunday, so after picking up some boots and swim suits from an inner-city thriftshop (it was not inspired by the song. IT WASN’T!) we killed a couple hours at the Soulride park, which was just a couple miles away from the Speedway.
When we got into the crowd, just about an hour before Rise Against was supposed to start, a couple bands had already bailed- it was unclear if it was their decision or the event management’s. For the first two hours the crowd grew in size, and we all just watched the staff squeegee and leaf-blow the stage. No word was given that anything was canceled, but no gear was on stage. At one point, the siked-up crowd began chanting “squeegee man” at an enthusiastic stage-dryer. I could see the guitarist from Rise Against up in one of the VIP areas on the sides of the stage. As the hours wore on, the crowd became, collectively drunker. I’ve been to my share of rock shows, a couple strip clubs, and a good number of protests, but I’ve never seen more crowd surfing (to no band, remember), angry chants, or boobs in one place. It was the greatest disappointment ever. After 3 1/2 hours a man came on stage, announced that no bands would be playing, and was miraculously not killed by any of the incoming beer cans, rocks, food, shoes or other missiles that immediately followed. It was a sad ride home, but there were alot of hilarious, really drunk, very upset people.