This weekend Drew and I headed up to Charlotte with Tim, Justin, Abi, Matt, and Kara to see the Carnival of Madness. Ian spent all afternoon Saturday with my parents and then Jon kept him at our house overnight. (We got home around 2am Sunday).
What is the Carnival of Madness? It was a concert at the Verizon Amphitheatre. It's in its first year and, if this year is an indication of what the future holds, it will be around for a while. The line up this year was 10 Years, Sevendust (!!), Puddle of Mudd, Chevelle, and Shinedown. Drew and I were especially excited to get to see Sevendust and Puddle of Mudd. We have seen Chevelle before and they were great. Neither of us were really big Shinedown fans (b/c we didn't know a lot of their stuff), but we like some of their stuff we heard on the radio. 10 Years has 2 songs that I know, but I wasn't worried about catching their show.
We left Columbia around 2pm with Justin and Abi in our car and Matt/Kara/Tim in Matt's car. We through in a CD that Justin had made and given to me a long time ago and rocked out to Big Wreck, Sevendust, Cake, Incubus, and more on the way up. We got parked and settled into camping chairs around 4pm to enjoy some adult beverages. These were required due to the heat. It was 98 degrees with a heat index of 112. 10 Years took the stage at 5pm and we headed in to find our seats around 530pm. Sevendust rocked my face off shortly after. They are AMAZING live. They are so humble and seem to genuinely perform because they want their fans to enjoy their music, not because they want the fans to worship them.
After a break to change the stage, Puddle of Mudd was up. Now out of our whole group, Tim, Drew, and I were the only Puddle of Mudd fans. They opened with Control (one of my favorites) and I knew right away we were in trouble. They just sounded off. They played Psycho and Blurry and a few others, but it was really pretty lame. The highlight of their set was their closing number: 1) It was AC/DC's TNT and 2) It was the end of their set. I left hoping they were having an off night, but after reading reviews of other stops on this tour, it seems they may just not be so good live.
Chevelle was up next. They did not fail to impress. They weren't big on interacting with the crowd, but their music was awesome! Three talented musicians that sound like 5. Just a great time.
Finally, it was time for the tour headliners: Shinedown. I don't know a whole lot of Shinedown. I know 45, their cover of Simple Man, Save Me, and a few more. I didn't really know what to expect. I was totally impressed. The lead singer has an amazing voice and range. His stage presence is insane. He just commands attention. Plus, they are (like Sevendust) hugely appreciative of their fans. They came out rocking with Sound of Madness and carried strong through 45, Crow and the Butterfly, and many many more. We slipped out early to beat the crowds, but I did get to hear Simple Man as we walked through the parking lot to the cars.
I got us lost on the way home (Imagine that). Missed the exit to 277 to get back to Matt and Kara's. Drew was napping, but Justin and Abi were awesome and helped get us back with directions their phone. I now know that Farrow Rd runs right into Bull St.
The whole day was a great time. Sure it was hot and I probably sweat more than I had in years, but it was worth every minute. Great friends, great music, and just fun times. Plus, concerts are great for people watching. Those of you that are friends with Justin- watch his FB page for future pictures. There was a guy in front of us who enjoyed one to many adult beverages (and probably a lot of drugs) and was just rocking out the whole first half. However, he passed out and was out cold through Chevelle and Shinedown. Justin got a good pic of himself with the guy passed out in front of him. Add to that the fights in the lawn mosh pit, the fight between drunks in the parking lot, and the questionable fashion choices of many- we were truly entertained even when the music wasn't going.