Well…. Rebel Rock Fest didn’t go exactly as planned. 30 minutes before gates were supposed to open on the second day, we found out the whole weekend was cancelled!! We found out via an Instagram post, too, not a mass email or text… Instagram. Interesting. They said the reason for canceling the event was because of the “severe weather” that happened a few days before the event. We’ve heard other rumors of why Rebel Rock was actually cancelled, but we’ll just go with the weather reason for now.
It’s a bummer that the last three days of the fest were cancelled, but at least we had a sick Taco Metal Party that made it all worth it!
The Taco Party, hosted by Jose ‘Metal Ambassador’ Mangin, included headliners P.O.D. and Slaves with support from Kyng, Erra, Sons of Texas, Otherwise, Grayhaven, Killakoi, Fate DeStroyed, Matriarchs and Part Time Superheroes. Volbeat was supposed to be one of the headliners, but unfortunately had some “immigration issues” and wasn’t able to make it. The Taco Party took place on a gorgeous bright sunny day — the perfect day for tacos, margaritas and metal!
We got kind of a late start to the day, so the first band we caught was Matriarchs. A couple songs into the set, lead singer K Enganio took their shirt off and said, “It’s okay! I don’t have boobs”, fully displaying their mastectomy scars, which I thought was totally badass! Fate DeStroyed shocked me! Lead singer, Franccesca De Struct, has an amazing voice and does both clean and dirty vocals. The contrast between her angelic singing and dark screaming is honestly really insane. After the show, she gave us a little backstory on the meaning of the band’s name: she grew up in foster care and made a decision that you are not destined to a certain fate, you can destroy that fate and change your destiny…. hence Fate DeStroyed.
Killakoi also blew me away! They had basically two drum kits! One of them was your normal looking kit and then the other was this cool new contraption they invented called “The Kage” that includes 10 extra toms and a keyboard! It has this synthetic sound to it and it was just absolutely metal. Ethan, “The Kage” player, was climbing all over it while playing and it just made their set that much more entertaining! Taco Party host, Jose Mangin, was jumping from stage to stage, hyping everyone up for the next band and even joined Sons of Texas onstage to perform “I’m Broken” by Pantera.
Slaves is my all-time favorite band, so being able to be side stage for them was a dream! They just radiate positive energy and have a really unique sound that I think makes them stand out. After the show, I heard a few different conversations in passing, with people saying “I was not expecting that! Slaves is SO good”… “They just have a different vibe”… “I had no idea they were that good!” I’m so incredibly grateful that I was able to be there for their last show before they close the ‘Slaves’ chapter and start a new one. I’m really happy for them and excited to see where their new rebrand will take them. Stay tuned for more info on their rebrand next month!!
P.O.D. closed out the Taco Party and killed it, as always! The energy they put out is so electrifying, especially when they open their set with “Set It Off”! The whole crowd was jumping and moshing; it’s just the perfect way to start a set. There was a little girl standing in the front row, decked out in P.O.D. merch, with a sign that read “I <3 P.O.D! Today’s my birthday! 12!” Towards the end of the set, guitarist Marcos Curiel got the entire crowd to sing “Happy Birthday” to her! She will never forget this birthday! P.O.D. left the crowd feeling alive by closing out with “Alive”.
Even though Rebel Rock got cut short, I’m incredibly grateful that we all got this Taco Party. It was probably one of my favorite days ever and I’ll never forget it!
Photography by Heather Vandemark; recap by Kaiya Vandemark