The buzz for the past month around South Carolina heavy rockers Isabelle’s Gift has been as deafening as their music; after winning an Eventful.com contest, they opened for KISS in Charlotte, North Carolina’s Verizon Wireless Ampitheather on Saturday night.
backstage before their set
“It was the coolest experience of my life,” drummer Robbie Smith says. “The high point was being out there and playing—I wasn’t as nervous as I thought I was going to be.”
“The high point for me was talking to fans after the gig,” singer Chris Sutton says. “So many people came out here to support us we can’t thank them enough. And so many people who had never heard us, KISS fans, the road crews and stage hands, they all told us how much they loved our music, which was an amazing feeling.”
“This was the twenty year pinnacle and I hope it’s not the last one,” guitarist James Zimmerman says.
The set itself was a short twenty minutes, with the seats up front a little empty, but as you can see from this picture, the lawn was full of Gift fans who had come out to support the band.
“I remember walking onstage and seeing that crazy crowd,” says bassist Jason Carrion. “And it was
Charlotte, not Columbia! I loved the crowd response.”
“It didn’t seem real,” Smith says. “It was so big, and there was so much to take in.”
“I think we did well,” Sutton says. “It was almost like a car crash—lots of good things and a few bad things happened, and I’m not sure we’ll all remember it the same way.”
“Stepping out on that stage made me feel whole, it made me feel alive,” says guitarist Kyle Snell.
“This was the most intense and fun show I’ve ever played,” Carrion adds. “If Isabelle’s Gift were to end tomorrow this would be enough—I’m extremely proud, the show was flawless.”
So, what’s next for Isabelle’s Gift?
“We’ve got to figure that out,” Sutton says. “I didn’t think this would really happen; we need to step back and really think about where to go from here.”
(Thanks to Kay Edgerton and Allen Reynolds for the photos in this post)
Here’s a video wrap-up of the day from Bill Grant of Caveat Films, who also shot the more official-looking video below it: