Festival Coverage

Dreamville, More Than Just Music

Dreamville, More Than Just Music

J.Cole’s Dreamville festival will happen this Saturday, April 6th in Raleigh’s own Dorathea Dix Park & although the line-up features some of hip-hop & RnB’s top artists, Cole has done an exceptional job planning to make Dreamville more than just your average music showcase. Dreamville will include a putt putt golf course, beer garden, local merchants in a bazaar of vendors, & the “Dreamville Festival Art Wall.” Furthermore, there will be an exclusive lounge space set aside for members of the Divine Nine (black Greek letter organizations/BLGOs).

However, the most unique part of Dreamville– in my opinion– is the “For the Students” session put on by Dreamville in coalition with William Peace University. As a student, employee of the music industry, & attendee of Dreamville hearing the announcement of a “For the Students” greatly excited me. The full title of the off-location event is “For the Students: A Conversation with Ibrahim Hamad & Sacha Stone-Guttenfreund.” This assembly will be held, as previously mentioned, at William Peace University & is open to the public at 6:30 PM. The specific address is 15 E. Peace St, Raleigh, NC 27604. I have copied below the overview of the event provided to WKNC by Dreamville. 

“OFFICIAL OVERVIEW: An in-depth conversation featuring Ibrahim Hamad and Sascha Stone Guttfreund. This conversation will focus on how the relationship between ScoreMore Shows and Dreamville developed, as well as how each "mogul” got to where they are. The event will offer students perspectives & insights on the industry directly from two of the most intelligent behind-the-scenes figures in the game today.“

I took it upon myself, after reading the overview & having my interest piqued, to research both featured speakers. First, Ibrahim Hamad. Hamad is a self-labelled "International Dreamvillain” but is also a close friend to J.Cole as well as his personal manager & the president of Dreamville. Hamad has been working with Cole since before the release of 4 Your Eyez Only, & believes– as stated in an interview done with Billboard– “grinding at a slow pace leads to success well worth the wait.” Aside from working with J.Cole, appearing in the Eyez documentary, & building Dreamville Records, Hamad also helped to set-up the Dreamville Foundation. Clearly, Hamad is a worldly man of many talents & experiences, & has a fountain of wisdom to share at William Peace. For more information on Hamad & his work with Dreamville, I have posted the link to the 3rd installment of Dreamville’s “Born Sinner” series, which features Ibrahim Hamad.

Next, Sascha Stone Guttfreund, is another key player in the music industry. His work with J.Cole, Kendrick Lamar, & Tory Lanez has been noted through his promoting company, ScoreMore– which describes itself as “your favorite rappers’ favorite promoters.” The company, which Stone-Guttfreund started in college, is now a massive promotion business, which makes Stone-Guttfreund a massive music industry mogul– & he isn’t even 30 years old yet. Stone-Guttfreund went at the game with a very DIY approach. Billboard reported on Stone-Guttfreund in an interview in which he described the development of ScoreMore. He attributes his experience in door-to-door sales, development of a street team, & word of mouth to the initial growth of his business. The man that was once promoting concerts with less than 100 audience members, years later & out of college, is now helping to coordinate Dreamville, which is sure to garner thousands of attendees. 

While there is no Born Sinner video on Stone-Guttfreund, you can find out more about him at the “For the Students” session this upcoming Thursday. Audience members must RSVP at AND at Although this event is open to the public, non-WPU students are required to pay a nominal fee & must fill out a separate registration form.

J.Cole & his team at Dreamville are attempting to literally put the tools to success in the hands of his fans. Don’t miss out on this incredible event, for the students.

Festival Coverage

A Local’s Guide to Dreamville Fest


  • Park at NC State’s Wolf Ridge apartments’ parking lot!!! NC State is charging $20 for event parking at the coliseum deck and other parking lots, but NC State resident spots are free and open to the public on the weekends. You could realistically park anywhere on NC State’s campus that is a resident’s spot, but the Wolf Ridge apartments are the closest to Dorthea Dix. As pictured below, the red circle is the parking lot and the yellow line is the path you will walk to the festival grounds. The path is 0.4 miles which is a 9 minute walk. Even though you will have to cross the Centennial Parkway, there is a light and crosswalk where you have to cross.

What to Bring

  • Portable charger
  • Empty water bottle
    • The festival will have multiple water stations but if you really want to stay hydrated and save the environment bring a small empty water bottle
      • Note: this must be empty when going through security
  • Some kind of light and portable jacket
    • Bonus if its a rain jacket
    • Raleigh’s weather is weird and even though it says 75 and cloudy the weather could change in an instance

What NOT to Bring 

  • Non-clear Backpacks
    • I was really surprised by this! You are not allowed to bring backpacks into the festival grounds unless they are clear and only have one pocket. You are allowed to bring a fanny pack so pull up in style and rock that fanny pack instead.

Helpful Tips

  • Get there earlier than expected
    • This is the first Dreamville festival ever!! Security may take a little longer than expected simply because they want this festival to run as smooth as possible. Instead of missing an artist you really care about, get to the festival grounds a little earlier than intended so that you can ensure you see all your favorite artists.

Annelise Thorn, Assistant Promotions Director, WKNC 88.1

Festival Coverage

4 Reasons WKNC Is Excited About Dreamville Fest

The time has finally come – after an unfortunate postponement due to Hurricane Florence, Dreamville 2019 is less than a week away. J. Cole’s Dreamville Fest will take place right here in Raleigh on Saturday, April 6th at Doretha Dix Park. The WKNC staff and I are very excited for the jam-packed day of music and here is why

1. First and foremost, I’m looking forward to potentially getting the chance to hear the music Dreamville has been working on for their new collaborative LP, Revenge of the Dreamers III. Sources indicate that some of the innovative producers in hip-hop, such as Mike WiLL Made-It, Kenny Beats, !lmind, and ChaseTheMoney were invited to the album’s recording sessions. In addition to Dreamville emcees (J. Cole, EarthGang, JID, Bas, Cozz, etc.), some of my favorite artists like Ski Mask The Slump God, Raleigh-based Mez, Smino, Saba were rumored to have attended the recording sessions as well. Some have been previewing some of these tracks during their live shows, and I have loved what I’ve heard so far. Considering many of the artists involved in the recording process will all be in the same place on Saturday, it’s safe to say those attending Dreamville Fest will get a chance to hear some of these new songs.

2. Second, It’ll be interesting to see Dorthea Dix Park be put to good use and transform into lively festival grounds. Raleigh has put forth a master plan to expand and transform Dix park, and Dreamville Fest is the first major event to be held on the land. I’m hoping the the festival can be used as an example of using the park in creative and interesting ways.

3. Next, If you know anything about WKNC you know we love us some North Carolina music. We cannot wait to see the talented Raleigh artists billed on the lineup play for large crowds in a local space. NC artists featured on the Dreamville Fest Lineup include: J. Cole, Rapsody, King Mez, and Loot. It’ll be cool to witness Raleigh hip-hop fans show these talented artists love for keeping the NC music scene alive and well.

4. Last and most obviously, we are excited for Dreamville Festival because the line-up is stacked with great artists. Whether it’s 21 Savage’s I Am > I Was, JID’s DiCaprio 2, J. Cole’s KOD, or Saba’s Care For Me, most of the lineup contributed to some of the strongest hip-hop releases in 2018. JID, EarthGang, J. Cole, and Saba have all proved themselves to be incredible performers when I’ve seen their shows in the past, and I believe the rest of the lineup will do the same this weekend.

Looking to explore some of the artists on the lineup? Check out our Spotify Playlist: WKNC’s Guide to Dreamville 2019

Jack Greene,  Program Director at WKNC 88.1

Festival Coverage

Off the Record: Boulevards 

DJ Beowvlf interviews Boulevards live from Hopscotch Music Festival!

Listen Here

Concert Review Festival Coverage

Double Duchess’ Day 1 Hopscotch Recap

Day One is DONE. The WKNC team had you covered djing live downtown, capturing photos and videos, and I’m continuing the coverage for you here. To recap the night, H.C. McEntire and Real Estate kicked off the night prior to the crazy show that The Flaming Lips put on for us with tons, I mean TONS of confetti in City Plaza. I’m talking I was pulling confetti out of my being until I got home and showered. This morning I still woke up with confetti in my apartment; I think it’s going to follow me for a while.

The fans went wild last night; someone tried to steal my shoe (off of my foot) since it had gotten attached to a prop that had been thrown into the crowd, I had gotten a piece of my ear plug lodged so deeply into my ear canal authorities couldn’t assist me, and someone outside of King’s was trying to show me some “VERY legal marijuana” of which I politely declined. What a crowd! 

After TFL I hopped over to King’s and caught Erica Eso from Brooklyn, made my way to The Basement to chill in the nice air conditioned space and snap a few shots of Skeletonwitch before catching some of Sleep. After that I trekked back to King’s/Neptunes and caught Kilbourne’s set and a smidge of HOLYCHILD before crawling back to my apartment for some good Zzz’s.

Real Estate

The Flaming Lips

Skeleton Witch


Concert Review Festival Coverage

vitamin E’s Electronic Hopscotch Roundup

Hey guys, its that time of year again- the weekend of Hopscotch Music Festival. For us indie teens/young twentysomethings here at WKNC, its an exciting time to see our favorite artists live and close by. Or if you aren’t lucky enough to score tickets, it is most likely covered on someone’s snapchat story in blurry video segments where the artist is not clearly discernible.

As afterhours music director, I am pretty stoked about this years lineup so without further ado, here are the Top 5 Picks for electronic music this year u cant afford 2 miss <3 

1. Negative Gemini: Saturday @ 12:30am @ Neptunes

2. Gudiya: Thursday @ 8:30pm @ Neptunes

3. Alex Brown: Saturday @ 9:30pm @ The Wicked Witch 

4. Breathers: Friday @ 10:30pm @ The Basement 

5. Thoom: Saturday @ 11:30pm @ Neptunes

But its not all fun and games at Hopscotch..You may assume that I, as a music director, am invincible, however, while coming to this festival I may or may not have left my car in drive and had it roll into a collision with another parked car as I walked away. Other than that, 10/10 experience here in downtown Ralz. 

signin off,

vitamin E

Concert Review Festival Coverage

Show Review of Imurj’s “Local Artist Spotlight”

On Friday, August 24th, the Raleigh music venue, Imurj hosted a “Local Artist Spotlight” show which featured three up-and-coming artists who were personally selected by Imurj. The lineup was as follows:

1. Stranded Bandits (opener)

2. Darren and the Buttered Toast

3. Mosquito Washington and the Bloodsuckers (headliner)

I listed the artists in their performance order but I will be describing their sets based on which I enjoyed the most (my favorite act being the last one).

Although Mosquito Washington was the headliner, I was least impressed by them. This band, comprised of 5 classic metal old-heads had little impact on the crowd. For the first few songs audience members– many of whom were very clearly not traditional metal heads– excitedly began head-banging and participated in a center-stage push-pit. Eventually, however, the crowd dissipated as riff-after-repetitive-riff drawled on. Now, don’t get me wrong, the members of Mosquito Washington are vastly talented men who clearly have a solid taste in music, but it is safe to say that their time is long over. Each song could have easily been an Alice Cooper or Black Sabbath cover, which may have been preferable to their lesser-known originals. It was nostalgic to hear such classic song structures, but maybe they weren’t suitable for this event. The vast majority of the crowd were in their early 20s and if they weren’t attending as part of the entourage of other performers, they were mere frequent customers of the bar and probably not diehard hair-metal fans. Overall, I feel as though Mosquito Washington could have had a better draw at a tribute show or by marketing themselves as a cover band. Kudos to the members for carrying on the spirit of the 70s and 80s, and such a pity that it was lost on the ears of the crowd.

Up next was Stranded Bandits, a 4-piece rock group that is relatively new to the Raleigh scene, but for those invested in its culture it won’t be long until their name becomes familiar. The band isn’t visually cohesive, unlike the other two artists on this lineup, but the sound each member produces mix to form an incredibly exciting set of songs.

They opened with a tune called, ‘Debauchery,’ which was steeped in classic rock elements and used riffs that the Foo Fighters themselves could have written. The crowd, at this point mostly made up of family and friends of Darren and the Buttered Toast, received the music warmly, with one audience member shouting out, “these guys rock!” Up next was a song called, ‘On the Run–’ I was very lucky that they announced the title of every song they played– and it featured main vocals and a solo by their drummer, Douglas (DJ) Schilens. The solo directly mimicked the performance style of Led Zeppelin drummer, John Bonham, particularly his Moby Dick solo in which Bonham transitioned between using sticks and his hands to play drums. Schilens used this same technique, although his solo wasn’t 15+ minutes long. In fact, Stranded Bandits seems to have a knack for showcasing their individual skills. Matt Barton, the lead guitarist of the group, was featured on an instrumental track entitled, ‘Beach Bum Blues.’ Furthermore, the group continually pays homage to their classic rock heroes, with Barton next honoring Jimi Hendrix by attempting to play guitar with his teeth. Although this was a courageous feat of showmanship, it may have fallen flat for the juvenile band– or maybe only the rock god himself, Hendrix, can successfully pull that trick off. Either way, Barton’s suave stylings outside of that moment proved to be well-suited to their music and he never made another mistake.

At the end of ‘On the Run,’ and truthfully between every song that was performed, Stranded Bandits’ bare-footed bassist, Arjun Sheth, kept up a strong, constant bassline and ensured that never did a moment pass when the audience wasn’t engaged by music. They swiftly transitioned into a Hendrix cover of the song, ‘Purple Haze.’ At this moment it was their frontman– Isaac McDaniel’s– time to shine. The frontman, though youthful, carries an air of unadulterated self-confidence when performing– I saw a clear connection to Steven Tyler. McDaniel never stopped moving, both on and off-stage, and even initiated dance circles during the following set. During their Hendrix song he threw himself to the ground, vivaciously slamming his fists against the ground, wholly consumed by the music.

This group is definitely one to keep an eye and ear on. The vibrancy of these young men won over the crowd and began the show with an explosion of sound. A few dissonant sections arose where it seemed as though the band members were drifting apart from one another, but unless you were listening critically, it would have been impossible to tell. Even so, I was informed that this was their very first real gig and that up until this point they had only done open mic events. These guys play with more finesse and flair than some veterans to the scene and I can safely say that I was beyond thoroughly impressed by Stranded Bandits.

After their set I was able to approach a friend of the band’s– Anya Johnson– who was kind enough to share her photos of their performance with me. Below are a couple of the pictures she took for Stranded Bandits.

Although the rockers in Stranded Bandits fulfilled their purpose of beginning the show with energy, it was their following act that really blew the crowd away. Darren and the Buttered Toast, as advertised on their website, are a group that draw on influences from “…the soul of R&B, Jazz, Rock, Gospel, and other musical traditions…with a focus on a positive vibe to lift the spirit and move the feet.” Without a doubt they achieved their goal. This group, having been active since 2013, had an extremely well-done set. Despite the fact that much of their music was improvised it flowed so well that it was as if they had practiced every note beforehand. Of course the skeleton of the songs were pre-written and practiced, but the meat of their performance comes from the vitality of their members. I have good things to say about all of them.

  • Darren Curtis (lead vocalist/guitar)

The charismatic frontman of Darren and the Buttered Toast kept his eyes ever-scanning the crowd, flashing a row of glittering teeth to anyone who matched his gaze. Curtis started off with the energy high and never let it fall. He spent the whole dancing in-front of his microphone and behind his guitar, tantalizing jazz lines seducing the audience’s eardrums. Curtis’ lyrics, especially during ‘Mr. Bass Man’ told a story set to music, and were easy to follow for the duration of the set. A true showman in every sense of the word.

  • Isaac Capers (backing vocals/drums)

Although Capers wasn’t showcased in the same way that Stranded Bandits had done with Schilens, there was no doubt that Capers is deeply talented. Instinctively I want to call him robotic, because to my knowledge he never missed a single beat all night, however, he was too fluid to be considered robotic. No, Capers is a definitively human drummer, and his heart guided the music he created. In pairing with Anthony Dyal, the two kept the audience dancing so frivolously that we were quite literally begging for more. Darren and the Buttered Toast performed two encores.

  • Delante’ Randolph (backing vocals/saxophone)

Let me start by saying that I was wholeheartedly floored by the talent that drips from this man’s fingertips. Saxophonists are notoriously creative musicians, and Randolph was no different. In coalition with Curtis– the two musicians bounced off one another effortlessly–, he created a sonic landscape fit for anyone to dance around in. Switching between a classic sax– I’d like to assume it’s an alto– and an electric sax allowed him to variate his sound in numerous ways. The electric, which looked like the biggest Juul I’ve ever seen, was hooked up to a pedal board which even furthered his ability to manipulate the music. This was something I had never seen before and it was phenomenal. Every note, every solo, every run was immaculately conceived and blessed our ears similarly. Furthermore, he was incredibly nice to talk to after the set and provided me with all the band’s contact info for future listening. Definitely an incredibly friendly man.

  • Anthony Dyal (bassist)

This man is the true backbone of Darren and the Buttered Toast. The funk and finesse he brought to the stage got the crowd off their feet, onto the dancefloor, and into each other’s’ arms. A steady rocker, which was exemplified during his mini solo, Dyal is a master of his entire instrument. Incredible bass lines, incredible tone, the absolute cherry on the top of this buttered toast-erpiece.

Overall, Imurj did an excellent job of picking a line-up with a wide variety of genre-influences to pander to the interests of every show-goer. Every performance had its appeal and provided an excellent evening of rock n roll. I’m very excited to see where each of these groups go and how they musically progress.

If they’re ever playing in the area again, you can bet I’ll be there for another showcase of talent– I hope to see you all there.

Thanks for reading, and remember;

Punk’s not dead, its on 88.1 WKNC.

-DJ Beowvlf

Festival Coverage

Moogfest 2018 Recap

Now that we’ve all been able to recover from the weekend, it’s time for a recap of this year’s Moogfest. 15 miles of walking around Durham + at least 5 meals consisting of free sandwiches from the media lounge + 17 shows = one unforgettable weekend.


The first show I went to was Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith. Maybe it was because I had gotten several free drinks at the opening party beforehand but I left Carolina Theatre absolutely sobbing, which was a good start to the weekend.


Next we checked out Madame Gandhi. Her performance was dynamic and multifaceted, ranging from drum solos to rapping to reading poetry.


I only caught a bit of Jamila Woods’ set but I enjoyed what I was able to hear. I really loved her recent album HEAVN and highly recommend it.


I ended night one on a high note with Kelela, who put on a captivating performance. I was a little bit concerned when I heard she’d be playing Carolina Theatre- a seated venue- but they opened up the pit so people were able to dance.


On Friday afternoon I stopped by the Raund Haus local producer showcase (check out my interview with Raund Haus a little further back on the blog!) Pictures is Double Barrel Benefit alum RGB.


I headed back to Carolina Theatre for Jon Hopkins, which I wasn’t really feeling to be honest, but had a great light show.


After quickly realizing I had lost my phone and retrieving it from the nice people at the Caroline Theatre front desk, I saw Suicideyear, a producer best known for his work with Yung Lean. This was honestly a weird show, complete with very unsettling visuals, but pretty fun.


I LOVED Yves Tumor’s performance- it was the perfect kind of abrasive and weird. My friends all complained about their ears hurting afterwards and didn’t want to stay for the whole time but I highly enjoyed it.


Next up was Shabazz Palaces. This was a really fun set and the crowd was absolutely loving it. I didn’t witness this myself but apparently there was a man in the front row dancing like crazy and swiping left on Tinder enthusiasticall during the set, which rocks.

I actually ended the night by checking out new Moogfest venue Fruit and Company and then going to an afterparty, but I didn’t get any pictures because both locations were too crowded.


I was THRILLED when Moses Sumney was added to the Moogfest lineup mere days before the festival. I’m honestly a bit of a stan of his.His show was the first I saw on Saturday and it was a beautiful one. Very different from when I saw him at Moogfest in 2016- this time he had a full band with him!


Pete Rock was another artist added last-minute (and as part of the free programming). 


I was really excited about Psychic TV! None of my friends wanted to go with me to this show but I still enjoyed myself. Their bassist was wearing one of their own T-shirts, which absolutely owns.


Jenny Hval killed it as per usual. I’ve been lucky enough to have seen her three times and each time has been amazing. She always incorporates weird performance art into her sets, and this time it consisted of a gigantic inflatable clam and a few inflatable pears that she had her collaborators blow up while she performed.

Later in the night I caught excellent sets by Fatima Al Qadiri and DJ Stingray but unfortunately didn’t get photos due to poor lighting.

Overall, I had a great time and caught some sets by artists that I wouldn’t expect to be in North Carolina for any other reason- even if some of the bigger names dropped off the lineup this year.

Concert Review Festival Coverage

Carolina Rebellion 2018

Another Carolina Rebellion in the books for this year! And what a year this Rebellion was! No matter what the lineup is like, I always have a great time every year. This was my 5thRebellion and I’m going to be honest, I wasn’t feeling the lineup this year. I was only there for a handful of bands: Parkway Drive, Bullet For My Valentine, Stone Sour, Alice in Chains, Emmure, Hatebreed, Trivium, Breaking Benjamin, Godsmack, Cane Hill, Code Orange, and Incubus. But I ended up seeing some bands that I didn’t plan on seeing, and WOW!!! All the bands that I saw really impressed me.

I reunited with some of my homies at the Carolina Rebellion that I go to other shows with,  and I also made some new friends (like always). A big shout out to my boys from Havelock, NC and Greenville, SC for jamming out with me. I hoped that the people that attended the festival followed my tips and tricks. I also saw every person on my list of people you’d see at a metal festival. I got tons of stories to share and bruises to explain after this past weekend. Were you at the Carolina Rebellion? Did you see me in the pit or crowdsurfing? Who was your favorite band from that weekend?

Did you see me at the Rebellion?

Man, these sunglasses I wore to the Carolina Rebellion are the real MVP’s. They survived multiple mosh pits and tons of crowdsurfing. I didn’t lose my sunglasses and they didn’t break. 10/10 would recommend.

Friday, day 1: 

I arrived at the Carolina Rebellion around 1:40. The first band I wanted to catch, Pop Evil, came on at 2:50. I had enough time to plan out my day and walk around before I started moshing and crowd surfing. I ended up buying a bandana because the mosh pits that weekend turned out being dirt pits. So, I tied a bandana around my nose and mouth. I looked pretty cool if I do say so myself.

I was behind the pit when Pop Evil started, they were one of the first rock/metal bands that I got into in my young, teen years. Like always, they put on a great show. This father had his son on his shoulders and the crowd “Woo’d” them as they went to the front. The lead singer for Pop Evil let the little boy yell “Rock n’ Roll” in the mic and said that they are the next generation of this great music. I ended up crowd surfing out to the song Trenches.

After crowd surfing, I waited at the stage for one of my favorite bands to come on: Parkway Drive. I saw them at the Rebellion two years ago and I also saw them when they played in Charlotte with Miss May I and Thy Art Is Murder. I ran into one of my good friends while waiting for Parkway Drive to come on. To entertain ourselves, we were hitting inflatable balls around the crowd. You’d be surprised how easily entertained a group of metalheads are. Parkway Drive came out to Wishing Wells, which is a song that is off their new record, Reverence, and the crowd exploded. People were jumping around, moshing, crowdsurfing, and singing. Their set was live on Sirius Octane and man, did the crowd get rowdy. There was this one guy, (and his name is supposedly Pat), and he crowdsurfed to them in a giant rubber duck float. 10/10 for creativity. Parkway Drive is a great band to see live because their presence is so entertaining. They played some of their other popular songs such as Crushed and Bottom Feeder. I got a pretty gnarly brusie on the side of my thigh during their mosh pit. But hey, battle wounds are the best. My philosophy is that if you don’t come back sore and covered in bruises, you didn’t go hard enough. I crowdsurfed durung Bottom Feeder and I ended up meeting Jeff and Luke from Parkway Drive after their set. They are really cool guys, and they said that they really liked my sunglasses (I got that compliment a lot this past weekend).

As the day went on, I also saw Bullet For my Valentine, Stone Temple Pilots, and Stone Sour. All of these bands put on a great show. I don’t know what it is, but music always sounds better live and I realized that people at the Carolina Rebellion will literally mosh to anything. The last band that I saw that night was Alice in Chains. I have been looking forward to seeing them for years! Everyone was jamming out when they came on. People were crowdsurfing, singing, and dancing to every single one of their songs. I told all my friends that I would crowdsurf to Rooster, and GUESS WHO DID IT, YALL?! That’s right, The Saw did. My life was complete after crowdsurfing to that song.

Alice in Chains

Crowdsurf count: 4

Bruise count: 3

Saturday, day 2: 

The second day of the Carolina Rebellion was easily my favorite day. There were so many bands that I wanted to see and I was planning on getting my crowdsurf count up and dying in the Hatebreed mosh pit. The first band I saw was Palisades and they put on a really good set. I only knew one song, Through Hell, and they played that song first. They are a smaller metalcore band and I enjoyed their set. I was jamming out beside a dude that was dressed up like a Viking. I also saw a dude dressed up like a penis. He was very popular when it came to taking pictures. I then saw some of Bad Wolves set, and boy did the crowd really like them.


I then left to get a drink and I thought I was in line to get a Monster Energy Drink but come to find out I was actually in line to meet Asking Alexandria. They were pretty cool, and they all complimented my sunglasses. I had to throw it back to my middle school days and go see Asking Alexandria once again. But I left their set early because I was looking forward to seeing Trivium. I was 4 rows of people back for Trivium and I was already prepared to get pushed around in their mosh pit. I met up with some friends and once Trivium hit the stage, the entire crowd was a mosh pit. The lead singer said that we were the craziest crowd that he has seen on tour. They played my favorite song, In Waves, and I ended up crowdsurfing to that song as well.

Now, the next band I saw was… Black Veil Brides (BVB). I’m not a big fan but I wanted to see their live show. I made friends with a group of Marines that I hung out with and they were really cool. One of them was a big Asking Alexandria fan and this was his first Carolina Rebellion. So, I gave him my signed Asking Alexandria poster. He was so happy when I gave it to him. It was the least I could do. BVB’s set was really good, they put on a great live show! There was a baby pit for them and tons of crowdsurfers. I kept laughing because there was this guy beside me who kept commenting every time a crowdsurfer came by. He would say things like “Oh my god here comes another one,” “TIMBER!!!!!,” or my favorite “I have literally been eating ass all day.”

Black Veil Brides

I saw In This Moment again and if you haven’t seen them live, you are really missing out. They put on a great live show as well! And the singer’s voice live is amazing! I saw a girl in a wheelchair crowdsurfing and another girl with a sign that that said, “stop assaulting female crowdsurfers. I came to rock, not to get grouped.” I then went and saw a little bit of Emmure’s set and they are another band that is really good live. I heard them play my favorite song, Flag of the Beast, and then I went to get a spot for Breaking Benjamin. They played Darth Vader’s theme song and the inner nerd in my freaked out. They played some of their most popular songs such as Failure and Diary of Jane. I was on a guy’s shoudlers for Diary of Jane and I had a great view of the mosh pit and the band.

In This Moment

Breaking Benjamin

I ran over to the Gold Stage to see my boys in Hatebreed. There was a huge crowd, so I hauled ass and made my way to the pit. Yeah… the pit for Hatebreed was INSANE!!! Everyone was getting pushed around, there were crowdsurfers, and people on their friend’s shoulders. I’ve never seen a more rowdy crowd. The last time I saw Hatebreed was when they played with Cannibal Corpse years ago. I absolutely loved their stage show and how they interacted with the crowd. Everyone literally went crazy for them. I was bummed that they didn’t play Destroy Everything, but they did play one of my other favorite songs, Looking Down the Barrell of Today, and I moshed so hard. I then crowdsurfed out to catch Five Finger Death Punch.

I was in the way back for Five Finger Death Punch, and somehow, pushed my way to the barricade. The mosh pits for them were crazy, like always, and he talked about how much he loves America and the American Flag. That got A LOT of cheers from the crowd. The lead singer then brought a little girl with cancer on stage and sang to her. It was the most heartwarming thing I saw all weekend. I hauled ass out of the front to catch one of my favorite childhood bands: Godsmack. The first time I saw Godsmack was at the Carolina Rebellion a few years ago, and I was excited to see them again. I was dancing and singing the entire time and I made everyone around me dance with me as well. I got on one of my buddies shoulders for Something Different because Sully told us to. He played some of my favorite songs such as Keep Away, Whatever, and I Stand Alone. I crowdsurfed the entire time during I Stand Alone. It was awesome.

Five Finger Death Punch


Crowdsurf count: 6

Bruise count: 4

Sunday, day 3

The final day of the Carolina Rebellion is upon us and it is a very sad day. I saw some very interesting things on the last day. For example, there was a slip n’ slide where they used a tarp and soaked it with soap and water and then guys would slide into a girl’s butt. It was quiet entertaining to watch. And I am a strong supporter that rednecks are awesome and I want to spend every waking moment with them.

The first band that I saw was Cane Hill even though the mosh pit wasn’t as crazy, the band still put on a killer set. I made some friends that are from Greenville, SC during their set and I ended up hanging out with them for the rest of the day. They were some really cool guys and I enjoyed hanging out with them on the last day. The only other bands that I really wanted to see on the last day besides Cane Hill was Code Orange and Incubus. I just walked around and looked at all the tents that were set up while I waited.

I met back up with my homies that I met during Cane Hill and we saw the rapper Jelly Roll. He was interesting to see, even though I wasn’t a big fan, the crowd seemed to love him. I went with my friends to see Greta Van Fleet and they impressed me. They remind me of Led Zepplin and the pipes on the lead singer are impressive! I was also shocked to find out that everyone in the band are family and they are all around my age. See! There is hope for my generation! During their set, I got asked to get on my friend’s shoulders and pose with a Yoda doll. So I did it, it was pretty cool.

Then We all went to the Black Stage to see Code Orange and I became the hardcore kid of my dreams. Code Orange was my favorite of the day and their pit brought the heat! I ran inside the pit here, at one point I got on my friend’s shoulders and we ran around in the mosh pit. But for the most part, I mainly crowdsurfed. This is where I crowdsurfed a total of 9 times. My friends just kept throwing me up and there I would go, flipping and rolling around in the air. We started running around in the pit and then I would run to my friends and I would jump as they threw me in the air to crowdsurf. It was the most hardcore kid thing I have ever done and it was a GREAT time. I had a guy come up to me after their set and said that my hair is like a mop and that my hair brushed his sunglasses and then he lost his sunglasses.

We then went and saw The Fever 333 and wow, they put on a great show!!!! Their stage show was crazy and the pit was insane. I just kept getting pushed up against people the entire time but hey, we’re all family! It’s all good in the pit ya feel me? Their guitarists ended up getting in the mosh pit with us and it was one of the coolest things that I have seen.

Incubus was the last band that I saw at the Carolina Rebellion and it was another impressive set! Again, the people at the Rebellion will literally mosh to anything so there was a pit for them as well. There were tons of crowdsurfers too. I was on my friend’s shoulders and I swear it was like I was a magnet for crowdsurfers. They all came out of nowhere, but shoutout to my boys catching all the bodies for me and made sure I didn’t fall off my friend’s shoulders. I crowdsurfed myself and I got a really bad handprint bruise that is very visible on my inner thigh. But hey, go hard or go home right? Incubus ended their set with their cover of Pony and I was shook to the max. The mosh pit turned into a grind train and everyone was dancing and grinding on each other showing off their best stripper moves. It was a great time. This guy in front of me was just throwing his ass in a circle on me and he had rhythm so it wasn’t too bad. After their set, I left with my friend’s and went back to the camp grounds to chill out and eat. I was exhausted from getting pretty beat up from crowd surfing and moshing.


Crowdsurf count: 10

Bruise count: 8

Carolina Rebellion 2018 was a complete success. I have a great time each year no matter what the lineup is. The people you meet, the things you see, and what you experience is what makes the festival great. I am truly the happiest when I am at the Carolina Rebellion and it is always the highlight of my year. I saw a bunch of blown up sex dolls, people dressed up as penis’, Stormtroopers, bananas, and a piece of bacon. Saw a lot of girls (and guys) flash their boobs and met some great people. Thank you to everyone who made this year’s Carolina Rebellion one for the books. I will miss you all.

Until next year,

Stay Metal.

Overall crowdsurf count:  20

Overall bruise count: 15

Festival Coverage

Off the Record: Shakori Hills Promoters 

Off the Record: Shakori Hills Promoters

DJ Sparrow and DJ Whatsherface interview promoters for the Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival, coming up this May in Pittsboro, NC!

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