Rock’s in a bad spot these days. The simple truth is, we just don’t have rock stars anymore. Those real-life disciples of Dionysus through which we once lived a vicarious life of trashed hotel rooms, drug-fueled orgies, and the occasional bat biting are now a distant memory. Just as bad, no one seems to know how to put on a classic, over-the-top rock show anymore. We’ve traded in spinning drum risers for banjos, 12-foot-tall living-dead robots for day-glo light shows, 21-gun pyrotechnics for sing-along “hos” and “heys.” The let’s-all-get-along terrorists have won, and they’ve sucked all the fun out of rock ‘n’ roll. All of which is why we must remember that there was a time when the rock gods walked among us, bringing decibel-shattering, devil horn-raising, head-banging good times to arenas around the country. For this year’s Best of Charleston, we’re not only celebrating all of our winners, we’re celebrating heavy metal itself. For those about to rock, we ... invite you to turn the page.
ALL BEST OF CHARLESTON PHOTOS BY JONATHAN BONCEK
We don’t know about you, but at last night’s Best of Charleston Party we partied like rock stars. Unfortunately, we’re paying for it today. No matter what we do, we can’t get Poison’s “Nothin’ but a Good Time” out of our heads. — Chris Haire
You might not suspect it while driving past the azalea-lined sidewalks and quaint historic homes of Summerville today, but at one point in the early 2000s, the Flowertown in the Pines was an underground hub for East Coast punk, metal, and hardcore music. — Paul Bowers
Metal is a many-headed beast, each one capable of melting your face with a blast of turn-it-up-to-11 thunder. Although metal these days is largely the province of death metal riffers and Cookie Monster vocals, this wasn't always the case. — Chris Haire
Hollie Anderson, a City Paper account executive, has quite a history with metal musicians. In her previous life as a radio personality, she worked at alternative stations in Little Rock, Ark., and Milwaukee, Wisc., before coming to Charleston in 1991 to work at the legendary 96 Wave. — Paul Bowers