This past Friday, the annual Carnival of Madness tour returned to rock at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Charlotte, North Carolina. Well known rock band Shinedown is headlining the all new 2013 tour lineup, accompanied by Papa Roach, Skillet, In This Moment and We As Human.
Though modern rock band We As Human has been around since 2006 and has released two EPs, it wasn't until the release of their first studio album in June this year that they were brought into the spotlight. Originating from Tennessee, We As Human consists of members Justin Cordle (vocals), Adam Osborne (drums), Jake Jones (guitar), Justin Forshaw (guitar) and Dave Draggoo (bass). Though they played the shortest set list of the evening, We As Human were action packed and won the crowd's attention by inviting Skillet vocalist John Cooper to perform their song "Zombie" with them.
Heavy metal band In This Moment took the stage after We As Human. Between an intricate stage set up and being fronted by one of the hottest girls in rock, it doesn't take much else for them to intrigue a crowd. Maria Brink (vocals) is joined by Chris Howorth (guitar), Tom Hane (drums), Travis Johnson (bass) and Randy Weitzel (guitar) to form the band member roster. Since the release of their fourth studio album Blood in August, 2012, In This Moment has performed on several well known tours and festivals. Last year, they were included on the Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival and earlier in June, this year, they played as part of the eleventh annual Download festival. The die hard fans will note that their set for the Carnival of Madness tour has slightly deferred from their usual to compensate for new costumes and even more madness.
Christian rock band Skillet followed In This Moment's performance with a slightly less eclectic stage get up. Skillet consists of husband John (vocals, bass) and wife Korey (guitar) Cooper, Jen Ledger (drums, vocals) and Seth Morrison (guitar). They have released eight studio albums and won the GMA Dove Award for Rock Song of the Year ("Comatose") in 2008, along with numerous nominations since their inception in 1996. Skillet's set featured many of their well known singles including: "Hero", "Awake and Alive" and "Monster" with choruses synced to numerous fog blasts.
Despite having to undergo multiple surgeries to repair his vocal cords last year, the recovered vocalist Jacoby Shaddix of Papa Roach was definitely alive and "Still Swingin'" around the stage after Skillet. Aside from Shaddix, Papa Roach consists of member Jerry Horton (guitar), Tobin Esperance (bass) and Tony Palermo (drums). The band was founded in 1993 and found success after the release of their second studio album Infest in 2000. Five studio albums have been released since then with RIAA certified Platinum and Gold albums and singles. Papa Roach's set list contained many of their "best of" songs, such as: "Scars", "Getting Away With Murder", and "Last Resort". Unfortunately, during their second song, Shaddix's microphone experienced technical difficulties. Shaddix smoothly reacted by borrowing co-member Horton's mic and continuing on with the song. The issues were resolved by the third song, and the rest of their set continued without a hitch.
Top rock band Shinedown took the stage to close out the evening behind Papa Roach. Their stage was lit up vibrantly with risers, a large LCD backdrop, plenty of pyrotechnics and even fireworks. Shinedown was founded in Florida in 2001 by Brent Smith (vocals) and Barry Kerch (drums). Following a few lineup changes, the two original members are now accompanied by Zach Myers (guitar) and Eric Bass (bass). The band has released four studio albums, two RIAA certified Platinum, along with seventeen singles that have reached top five positions on the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. Most of the songs Shinedown performed were off their 2007 album release The Sound of Madness and 2011 release Amaryllis, though they made sure to include a crowd favorite - their cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Simple Man".
This year's Carnival of Madness certainly raised the bar over last year's with the addition of extra performers, lighting, and overall beautiful chaos. For any North Carolinians that missed the Charlotte show, the Carnival of Madness tour will make a stop in Raleigh on Sunday, September 1, at the Red Hat Amphitheater. See all other tour dates here, and be sure not to miss next year's show!