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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.

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ALL BEST OF CHARLESTON PHOTOS BY JONATHAN BONCEK

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