by Zane Cash
- Photojournalist –
Rocklahoma 2013 promised to be the biggest Memorial Day party around and that was an understatement! The three-day festival kicked off on Friday, May 24 in beautiful Pryor, Okla. with near perfect weather and people from all over the country who were ready and waiting to rock-n-roll. From the moment you arrive at your campsite and your feet hit the dirt, you realize that for the next three days, you will be having the time of your life and it almost feels like you have entered a completely different world.
This was the biggest year ever for Rocklahoma, with about 90 percent of ticket holders camping on the grounds, there was a party to be found from sun up to sundown all three days of the festival. There are people from all walks of life attending this festival simply because the mix of the lineup makes it a very unique experience and with over 70 acts appearing on multiple stages, there is something for everyone to enjoy. This was also the first year that Rocklahoma completely sold out their VIP section, along with the Groupie, Roadie & Rockstar packages which gives festival goers upgraded parking, reserved upfront seating, and access to the VIP tent that includes all you can drink Bud Light, soft-drinks, coffee, iced-tea, water and an amazing assortment of food, served buffet style.
From the moment the gates open at Rocklahoma, There is great live music on three stages inside the festival grounds. The Retrospect stage features a lot of bands that are on the rise and making a name for themselves in the music industry. Bands like London’s Dungeon, The Last Vegas, Black Tora, Firstryke and more brought everything they had to the stage and put on a very up close and personal live performance.
Across the pasture (literally), the Hardrock Stage or second stage had so many talented big named bands, some of which probably felt like they deserved to be on the main stage with longer set times but still gave it everything within them to impress the crowd and make sure they got their money’s worth.
The main stage is where the biggest parties of the weekend took place with headlining performances from Bush, Guns N’ Roses, Bullet For My Valentine, Alice In Chains, Cheap Trick, Korn and other bands over three days.
Day one of Rocklahoma was an extremely busy day, trying to run around and check out as many bands as possible. Hardrock Haven started the day at the Retrospect Stage listening to the sounds of London’s Dungeon who had a great crowd gathered at the tent awaiting their performance. Next, it was on to the main stage for All That Remains, who released their sixth studio album late last year entitled A War You Cannot Win. Even though there were some sound issues on the main stage, the band still gave it their all and played songs from that album as well as crowd favorites like “This Calling” & “Two Weeks”.
Next up on the main stage were the ’80s rockstars of the band Ratt who had rejoined forces with their original bassist Juan Croucier and came prepared to play their crowd favorite like “Round & Round” as well as many others.
By this time, the crowd had really filled up the festival grounds and were ready and waiting to see Papa Roach who are on the road in support of their latest album, The Connection. As he is known to do, Jacoby Shaddix decided to get up close and personal with the fans as he took the microphone into the crowd so he could be closer to the fans. They put on a great live show and played hits like “Burn”, “Getting Away With Murder”, “Forever”, “Scars” and “Last Resort” to name a few.
The next band of the day was Clutch from Germantown, Md. who are on the road in support of their latest release entitled Earth Rocker. These guys have been playing shows as a band since 1990 and they put on one of the best shows of the day. Playing the self titled track “Earth Rocker” from the new album, as well as other favorites like “Electric Worry”, they had the crowds attention from start to finish.
Finally, the sun had went down as we all had been hoping it would and it was time for a guitar auction to help with victims of the Moore, Okla. tornado. A guitar that was signed by Gavin Rossdale of Bush was auctioned for $3,000 just before the British rock band took the stage. The energy from the crowd was insane as Gavin Rossdale appeared into the spotlight. The entire band was filled with energy as if the crowd was giving it out and they were taking it in. Opening the show with the crowd favorite “Machinehead” really increased the party mood and feel. They then went on to play favorites like “The Sound Of Winter”, Everything Zen”, “Greedy Fly”, “Little Things” as well as a completely brilliant cover of “Come Together” by The Beatles where Gavin decided to leave the stage and walk throughout the crowd signing with people and giving hugs and high fives. He came back on stage with almost no shirt and then decided just to remove it altogether. They put on a very entertaining live show and also played the crowd favorite “Glycerine” towards the end of the set.
Now it was finally the moment that we had all been waiting for. After standing around waiting for a little over half an hour, Axl Rose and Guns N’ Roses finally took the stage and the crowd was glued to their performance, hoping to hear their favorite GNR song live or to have one special moment with one of the band members. The 30-minute wait paid off and then some because GNR played a very long set and the crowd ended up getting to hear almost 30 songs live. Including hits like “Welcome To The Jungle”, “It’s So Easy”, “Mr. Brownstone”, “Live & Let Die” (Wings cover), “Sweet Child O’ Mine”, “November Rain”, “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” (Bob Dylan cover dedicated to the state of Oklahoma), “Patience”, “Paradise City” and more. There was also an awesome piano solo by Dizzy Reed as well as covers of “Another Brick in the Wall Part 2” (Pink Floyd cover with Alx on piano) and “The Seeker” (The Who cover). It was a perfect way to end a very epic day of live music in Pryor, Okla.!
Day two at Rocklahoma was another very busy day filled with so much great live music that it would be impossible to cover all the bands but we did our very best to cover as many as possible. The second day for Hardrock Haven started at the main stage watching one of the most talented bands in the music business today, Halestorm. Halestorm took the stage with so much confidence that you knew they were going to put on a killer show. Lzzy Hale looked extremely beautiful as always and belted out crowd favorites like “Freak Like Me”, “Love Bites (So Do I)”, “I Get Off”, “I Miss the Misery” and the band even played a perfect cover of “Straight Through the Heart” in memory of the late Ronnie James Dio. (RIP)
Next up on the main stage was Christian rock band Skillet from Memphis, Tenn. who’s new album will be out later this year. They are very passionate about what they believe and they don’t try and force their beliefs on you during their show but they do take the time to let you know that they love their God and that they do believe. The crowd cheered very loud when John Cooper (lead singer of Skillet) informed them that the band Skillet is not ashamed of the gospel of Christ and really got into some of the crowd favorites like “Hero”, “Awake & Alive”, “Monster” & “The Last Night”. Skillet also played a few songs from the new album before finishing their set.
Next, it was time from heavy metal band Bullet For My Valentine from the United Kingdom. With a backdrop of bloody hands from the Temper Temper album, Bullet For My Valentine took the stage with an extreme force. Knowing that they were one of the only HEAVY metal bands of the weekend, you could tell that they really wanted to bring the metal and put on a great show. Playing songs like “Your Betrayal”, “Waking The Demon”, “Riot” and “Temper Temper” as well as crowd favorites “Scream Aim Fire” and “Tears Don’t Fall”, the crowd was huge during their entire set.
Finally, it was time for the last band of Saturday night at Rocklahoma and that was the legendary Alice In Chains. They didn’t play that long of a set but the songs they did play were extremely powerful and a little bit creepy because the new singer, (William DuVall) sounds a lot like Layne Staley (RIP) when he and Jerry Cantrell harmonize together. They were very interactive with the fans, making eye contact and singing with those who knew the words. The set included songs like “Them Bones”, “Check My Brain”, “Hollow”, “Down In A Hole”, “Nutshell”, “Would?” and many more. There was also a very beautiful tribute to Layne Staley and they ended the night with crowd favorites “Man In The Box” and “Rooster.” Everything about Alice In Chains performance was near perfect and the crowd even got to meet Jerry Cantrell’s father who came out and said a few words to the audience!
Day Three and the final day of Rocklahoma was mostly spent trying to remind ourselves that our legs did in fact still work and that there were still more great bands to see! The bands we decided to cover on day three started with the extremely funny Steel Panther on the main stage. The entire crowd spent pretty much the whole show laughing and having a great time. If your face didn’t hurt from smiling after the Steel Panther set, you probably weren’t paying attention and that was probably because you were watching all the females in the crowd who didn’t mind showing a little skin. Their set included songs like “Girl From Oklahoma”, “Asian Hooker”, “Community Property”, “17 Girls in a Row” and “Death to all but Metal”.
The next band on Sunday at Rocklahoma was Hollywood Undead on the main stage and they knew how to get a crowd excited. Not only did they play a pretty long set but they also brought a child from the audience (who was wearing a Hollywood Undead shirt) up on stage for an entire song. They played songs for the crowd like “Undead”, “Tendencies”, “Been To Hell”, “City” & “Hear Me Now”. They were also joined on stage by Fieldy of “Korn” for the song “Everywhere I Go”.
The final band of the weekend for Hardrock Haven at Rocklahoma 2013 was the band Korn on the main stage. Many people were very excited to see Korn live simply because they were reunited with their original guitarist, Brian “Head” Welch for one of the first times in over eight years. You could tell by watching Korn on stage at Rocklahoma that they really wanted to be there and that they were having the time of their lives. The sound was extremely tight and Jonathan Davis’ vocals have never sounded better. It was an intense live show, filled with energy and emotion.
They started the show off with “Blind” which really got the crowd in the mood to party hard. Then it was “Ball Tongue” / “It Takes Two” / “Lodi Dodi“, “Twist“, “Chi“, “Falling Away From Me“, “Narcissistic Cannibal“, “Coming Undone” and “Did My Time.“ Then Jonathan Davis broke out the bagpipes and they played “Shoots & Ladders” / “Somebody Someone.“ Also on the set list was “Here To Stay“, “Helmet In The Bush“, “Need To“, “Lies” and the encore songs were “Get Up!”, “Got The Life” and they ended the night with “Freak On A Leash.“ It was one epic weekend and definitely a festival that you want to put on your calendar for next year!
Headliners included: Guns N’ Roses, Alice In Chains, Korn, Bush, Cheap Trick, Bullet For My Valentine, Papa Roach, Skillet, Hollywood Undead, Steel Panther, Asking Alexandria, Ratt, Halestorm, Device (with David Draiman), All That Remains, Escape the Fate, Dokken, Clutch, Motionless In White, Big Wreck, The Sword, Young Guns, Thousand Foot Krutch, Otherwise, Red Line Chemistry, Mindset Evolution, Heaven’s Basement, We As Humans, American Fangs, O’Brother
Retrospect Records Stage featured performances from: The Last Vegas, London, Wildstreet, Mad Max, Bai Bang, Lynam, De La Cruz, The Glitter Boys, Black Tora, Sunset Riot, Firstryke, Ragdoll, Hessler, Switchblade Scarlett, Nasty Habit, Sister’s Doll, London’s Dungeon, Rhyme, Emerald City, Wicked, Down n Dirty, Station, Ruff Justice, Mystery, and Fist of Rage.
by Chris A.
- Senior Photojournalist –
May 17-19, 2013 at Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio
ROCK ON THE RANGE 2013 AN AMAZING FESTIVAL OF EPIC PROPORTIONS
“Sold Out, All Three Days… Thank you Rangers” were the words scrawled on the white board in the media tent at Columbus Crew Stadium in the early afternoon on Friday, day one of the 2013 rendition of “Rock On The Range.” It was obvious just walking around the stadium that in excess of 30,000 people were roaming from stage to stage soaking in the rock n’ roll. By the end of three days, some 105,000 people would pass through the gates at Crew Stadium to participate in one of the biggest rock festivals in America.
Now an institution and firmly established as “the big festival in the Midwest,” Rock On The Range has been so successful and so well supported by the fans that its inspired several spinoff festivals including “Carolina Rebellion” and “Rocklahoma”.
For rock fans from the Buckeye state, Rock On The Range is special because it’s the original festival and it’s the big time for Ohio. The citizens of Columbus love the festival and its residents plan vacations and party time around the massive event. The countdown to Rock On The Range starts just after the new year when the promoters start announcing the bands. In the months leading up to the show, local radio and media promote, talk, pitch and extol the virtues of Rock On The Range. While all that’s happening, local bands like Mansfield Ohio-based Error 504 fought it out with 60 other Ohio rock bands for the chance to perform at Rock On The Range.
The 2013 Rock On The Range proved to be the most highly attended show in the franchise’s seven-year history. The concert has been so successful and so well attended that a third day was added to the event giving rock fans a solid weekend of big-time rock n’ roll.
Gates for Friday opened at 3 p.m. giving rock fans a reason to sneak out of work a bit early and get the weekend started. Unlike Saturday and Sunday which would feature three stages, Friday’s venue was slightly more compact, featuring the Jaegermeister Stage and the Monster Main Stage. Opening the show was Columbus favorite, X-Factor-1 who welcomed the crowd to the show and set the bar high for every act that would follow. Over the course of the next 11 hours, Rock on The Range fans were treated to incredible performances.
While the early bands got fans warmed up, crowd favorite and one of America’s best party bands Buckcherry lit it up on the Monster Main Stage as they got the Rock On The Range fans to their feet. It has to be mentioned that Cheap Trick was absolutely brilliant and demonstrated exactly why they have been around for four decades. Rick Nielsen and crew were energetic and had the audience in the palm of their hands. It was an inspired and incredible performance. As darkness fell on the stadium headliners Korn took to the Monster Main stage, drummer Ray Luzier, illuminated by a single spotlight tapped out the opening to “Blind“ on the cymbals as the crowd roared and welcomed the return of Brian “Head” Welch on guitar. Day One of Rock On The Range was in the can.
As the day dawned on the second day of Rock On The Range, a light rain was falling and ominous clouds converged over the gigantic Crew Stadium. Thankfully, the threat of rain passed and the storm clouds diminished as the day progressed. Day two introduced the Pabst Blue Ribbon Stage into the mix joining the Monster Main Stage and the Jager Stage as the showcase for the artists.
While all the bands seemed to be performing at a high level, day two standout performances were given by Michigan based Pop Evil, Grammy winners Halestorm, Welsh heavy metal band Bullet For My Valentine, a pyro-filled Three Days Grace and Iowa’s favorite sons Stone Sour. Stone Sour’s Cory Taylor is one of rock’s most magnetic frontmen in rock as Stone Sour dominated the stage during their dynamic performance as the fans went berserk. Headliners Smashing Pumpkins performed on the main stage closing the show as Rock On The Range day two passed into history.
Before everyone knew it, day three had arrived, the final day of ROTR and like the first two days, the weather Gods smiled down upon the masses and graced the show with ideal weather. Thrilled to have earned the privilege to perform at Rock On The Range was Mansfield, Ohio’s own Error 504. Fresh off their Battle Of The Bands victory, they gave a spirited rousing performance as they welcomed the Sunday crowd to the event.
Just like Friday and Saturday the Rock On The Range crowd was massive, over 30,000 people worked their way from stage to stage to check out the bands. When it came to standout performances it was hard not to have a great time watching the bombastic pomposity of ’80s rock n posers Steel Panther. Over on the PBR stage, blond vixen Maria Brink and her very visual band In This Moment turn up the heat on the fans. A few hours later, drawing a gigantic crowd to the PBR stage was one of heavy metal’s favorite sons Randy Blythe and Lamb of God.
As Alice In Chains wrapped up their set on the Monster Main stage the sun was setting on the Buckeye State and the stadium became shrouded in an orange and gold glow as dusk fell. Soon it was the final band, Soundgarden. Chris Cornell and company sounded amazing as they performed their catalog of great songs for the masses at Rock On The Range.
Then as suddenly as it started, Columbus Ohio’s biggest concert of 2013 was over. The strains of rock n’ roll faded into the dark Ohio night as thousands of people made their way home after a rousing weekend of rock n’ roll.
Rock on the Range Photo Gallery
Rock on the Range Day 1 Photo Gallery
Korn, Cheap Trick, Buckcherry, Hollywood Undead, In Flames, Oleander, Mindset Evolution, XFACTOR1, Love and Death, American Fangs
Rock on the Range Day 2 Photo Gallery
Smashing Pumpkins, Stone Sour, Three Days Grace, Papa Roach, A Day To Remember, Bullet for My Valentine, Halestorm, Asking Alexandria, All That Remains, Black Veil Brides, Pop Evil, Clutch, The Sword, Motionless In White, Otherwise, Young Guns, Red Line Chemistry, Gemini Syndrome, Heaven’s Basement, Scorpion Child
Rock on the Range Day 3 Photo Gallery
Soundgarden, Alice In Chains, Bush, Volbeat, Skillet, Lamb Of God, Steel Panther, Device, In This Moment, Sevendust, Sick Puppies, Ghost B.C., Red, Big Wreck, Deuce, Middle Class Rut, Thousand Foot Krutch, Beware Of Darkness, O’Brother
The consensus of the folks who attended Rock On The Range 2013 was almost universal praise. A few fan comments include:
“At Rock On The Range, ROTR brings in people from all across America to be united by music. How amazing is that? I loved every minute of it!” -Tina M.
“My first show ever! It was an amazing array of music, people and rock all in one! -”Pam V
“First time Ranger here and I enjoyed it so much that I may make it a tradition now. I was most impressed with the other Rangers in attendance. Standing in line we got the most helpful advice for dealing with crowd surfers, which side of the stadium to sit on to avoid the sun during various times of day etc. Everyone was so nice and it was obvious that we were now part of one big rock family.” -Cheri D.
From the bands to the overall production and organization of the festival, for the seventh time, Rock On The Range lived up to all its hype and delivered the goods. An amazing festival for anyone who loves to rock.
Here’s to a great time and let’s all hook up and do it again next year! You can see hundreds of photos of Rock On The Range right here at www.hardrockhaven.net
For more information on Rock On The Range visit www.rockontherange.com and interact with them on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/rockontherange
[Photos by www.chrisaphotography.com]
If there was ever any question about rock ‘n’ roll being alive and well, the answer has arrived in the form of Monster Energy’s Rock Allegiance Tour. Read more
by Jonna Ambur
- Photojournalist –
December 15, 2012 at OAKDALE THEATER, WALLINGFORD, CT –
From the bright lights of Las Vegas, NV, Otherwise kicked off the Christmas Chaos concert, presented by 106.9 WCCC. Otherwise burst onto the scene with their song, “Soldiers,” which rocketed them to popularity throughout the nation. At the time an unsigned band, otherwise was hand-picked to perform at the 48 Hour Festival in 2011. “I Don’t Apologize” soon followed, and they’ve been on an upward climb since.
True Love Never Dies —their 11 song album— is a tribute to lost loved ones, lost relationships and emphasizes their struggles to get where they are today.
The crowd clearly knew who had taken the stage and was pumped to start their night with such a heartfelt, powerful, kick-ass group of musicians. While their set was short, they made an impact and played the songs people came to hear. From the audience, you could tell that they love what they do and appreciated every person in the room.
Adrian Patrick – Lead Vocals
Ryan Patrick – Guitar
Corky Gainsford – Drums
Vassilios Metropoulos – Bass
Next up was Fozzy, who have been banging out albums since 2000. Headed up by Chris Jericho of WWE fame, these guys were ready to kick ass and take names. When they started, Fozzy was a band that focused on covers. But in 2005, they took on the task of recording an all original album, All That Remains, which introduced “Enemy,” their first original hit single. Their most recent original release, Sin and Bones, was released in 2012. “Sandpaper,” one of the top choices off this album, had the Connecticut crowd on their feet.
Chris Jericho – Vocals
Rich Ward – Guitar
Frank Fontsere – Drums
Paul Di Leo – Bass
Billy Grey – Guitar
Hinder started their set to a packed floor. Traveling to Connecticut from Oklahoma, Hinder joined Christmas Chaos in support of their newest release, Welcome to the Freakshow. From the heart pounding to the heart wrenching, Hinder never fails to produce an album that appeals to fans across genres.
The band opened their set with “Two Sides of Me,” “Up All Night,” and “Use Me.” “What Ya Gonna Do,” “See You in Hell,” and “All American Nightmare” followed. The music barely stopped between songs, Hinder delivered one hit after the next. They slowed it down a bit to play a song they are known for by fans of all ages: “Lips of an Angel”, and ended the night with “Get Stoned.”
Hinder front-man, Austin Winkler, is the quintessential lead vocalist. You can feel the passion he feels for the music, and he engaged the audience with every word. For many in Connecticut, this was the first time seeing the newest members of the band: guitarist Mark King and bassist Mike Rodden. Joe “Blower” Garvey (guitarist and co-founding member), and Cody Hanson (drums) round out Hinder and nail the raw rock sound that their fans love.
All That Remains
Northeastern residents, All That Remains, took the stage to a crowd ready for more. The theater was packed, the audience screaming and nary a person sitting down. They started the night with “This Calling” and “The Last Time” from their previous releases. “Stand Up,” off their newest release A War You Cannot Win, was more like an anthem to their fans, who belted it out right along with them. This band nails their live performance time and time again. They not only perform melodic metal flawlessly, but can also give you that “punch you in the face” kind of metal right after!
After leaving Shadow’s Fall, Philip Labonte (vocals) focused on All That Remains, and with guitarist Oli Herbert, they have lead the band through six successful studio albums, and nearly 800,000 albums sold. After performing hits like “Forever in Your Hands” and “Hold On,” it was proven that the fans who have been around since their 1998 start will remain, and the newest to the fold will have a lot of catching up to do. All That Remains came, they played they delivered!
All That Remains is:
Philip Labonte – Lead Vocals
Mike Martin – Guitar
Oli Herbert – Guitar
Jeanne Sagan – Bass
Jason Costa – Drums
Three Days Grace
Three Days Grace closed the night. The band has been around since 1992 under the name Groundswell, but reformed in 2003. This new beginning lead to four huge albums, and continuous nominations and awards.
Three Days Grace opened their set with the melodic “Sign of the Times” and quickly followed it up with their newest hit, “Chalk Outline” from Transit of Venus. This was what the fans were waiting to hear, and the songs they knew came one after another: “I Hate Everything About You,” “Pain,” and “Home.” They even did two covers, Apocolyptica’s “I Don’t Care,” and Christina Perri’s “Jar of Hearts.” The last song before the encore was a crowd choice, “Riot,” and the ended the night with “Animal I Have Become.”
Three Days Grace is:
Adam Gontier – Lead Vocals/Guitar
Barry Stock – Guitar
Brad Waist – Bass
Neil Sanderson – Guitar
In closing, I need to acknowledge a devastating day in Connecticut’s history. Friday, December 14, 2012. It’s a date that forever changed the lives of 26 families, changed a community, a state and a country, and affected a world.
After killing his mother, a disturbed gunman opened fire on Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT at approximately 9:30 a.m. He took the lives of six educators and 20 children under the age of 7. There are no words to explain the grief that these families have endured and will continue to face.
These children will never get the chance to grow up, to experience a life of independence, to have a family of their own. They’ll never see a double digit birthday cake, drive a car or tell their parents “you were right.” They were barely able to read a chapter book from beginning to end without help from their families.
The educators that were taken from us dedicated their lives to children. They all died as heroes, protecting the little ones. Just moments before, they were teaching them the life skills that all of us reading this may take for granted, only to be faced with fear and the unexplained hatred of a stranger.
This was a difficult show to attend as my mind was on those families and the music these babies will never get to hear, the concerts all 26 people won’t ever see. The bands went on and they knew we were in a state of grieving. They helped us escape, if only for a few hours, from the pain of the atrocity that wasn’t even 36 hours old before the doors opened. The band, Otherwise, dedicated the song “Heaven” to all victims, called them angels and the tears started. We were reminded of the lost, but also felt the love for the families and for our community.
Just before Three Days Grace came on, 106.9 WCCC, the local rock station that put this concert together, gave a dedication that was simply perfect. Mike Karoli took the stage and while he spoke, he was followed by members of the station, volunteers, charities, and members of the bands and crew. The stage was full of people that took a few moments out of their night to pay respects with the thousands in attendance.
The compassion shown in his words was followed by a moment of silence. It was a wonderful tribute. While my heart broke because of what happened that day, it was warmed with the idea that all those people could show respect in one place at one time without hateful words, opinions or disrespect. Music truly does soothe the soul. Video: (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGgfDU9Wzbs)
To quote Three Days Grace vocalist Adam Gontier that night, “Spend every day like it’s your last. Live every day to the f*ckin’ fullest.”
In memory of Charlotte Bacon, 6; Daniel Barden, 7; Rachel Davino, 29; Olivia Engel, 6; Josephine Gay, 7; Ana Marquez-Greene, 6; Dylan Hockley, 6; Dawn Hochsprung, 47; Madeline Hsu, 6; Catherine Hubbard, 6, Chase Kowalski, 7; Jesse Lewis, 6; James Mattioli, 6; Grace McDonnell, 7; Anne Marie Murphy, 52; Emilie Parker, 6; Jack Pinto, 6; Noah Pozner, 6; Caroline Previdi, 6; Jessica Rekos, 6; Avielle Richman, 6; Lauren Rousseau, 30; Mary Sherlach, 56; Victoria Soto, 27; Benjamin Wheeler, 6; Allison Wyatt, 6.
Christmas Chaos Concert Photo Gallery
by Chris A.
Energy, Great Vocals and Stage Vibe Make These Bands Worth Shelling Out the Bucks To See Live
Now with its fifth year behind it, “Rock On The Range” has become a real-deal rock and roll concert institution. Held each year in Columbus, Ohio, at Crew Stadium, fans, bands and media agree it’s one of the best run high- value for money rock festivals in North America. The success of the Rock on the Range franchise has inspired a Canadian variant and similar festivals including the 2011 “Carolina Rebellion.”
The 2011 Rock on the Range featured 40 bands and added a free Friday night party for ticket holders. With three stages and that many bands it impossible to see every act. Headliners for the event included Avenged Sevenfold, A Perfect Circle, Disturbed, Korn, Stained and many more.
As the summer schedule heats up, here are a few suggestions for bands to consider going to see based on their performance at Rock On The Range:
Korn: Okay, the bands been through several members and has been around the block, but this train just keeps on rolling. From the moment they walked onto the main stage at ROTR it was pandemonium on the stadium main floor. Jonathan Davis is a presence behind the microphone, with his often constrained, hypnotic vocals adding credibility to the insanity of Korn’s musical world. A genuine must-see band that never fails to deliver live!
Black Label Society: Zakk and the boys in BLS are back and putting more “brutal”into the old-school “brewtality” the band originally built its reputation on. After several tumultuous years and two ho-hum albums, Wylde’s ejection from Ozzy Osbourne’s band was perhaps what the iconic metal shredder needed to help him find his way back to reality. The now-healthy Zakk Wylde took the stage donning a full indian war bonnet Ala-Ted Nugent and for the next 30 minutes treated the crowd to inspired wailing.
Pop Evil: Wow! An absolutely explosive band with a frontman who has it all. I like bands that are “frenetic” and that’s one way to describe the energy expelled by the rockers in Pop Evil. With great guitar tone and a vocalist who instantly seems to connect with the fans, Pop Evil is one of those bands that deserves serious consideration. There’s no standing still when this band is on stage.
Trust Company: While these guys hail from Alabama, they’re not “good ole boys” by any means. Mixing tight guitar grooves with big soaring vocals in a melodic metal mix of head-banging inducing tunes, this band has great potential. Radio friendly with tunes that should appeal to a broad range of rock fan. The band is absolutely crazy onstage with youthful enthusiasm and high-powered rock-star appeal.
Asking Alexandria: This is a kick ass metal band. I’d never heard of them before ROTR but I’m gonna be keeping an eye on them. With steam-roller precision this British quintet of guitars match perfectly with the incredibly diverse capabilities of the vocalist. If you like it brutal these guys deliver.
Day 1 (Saturday, May 21)
Monster Energy Stage:
|Day 2 (Sunday, May 22)
Monster Energy Stage:
A Perfect Circle
The Damned Things
2011 Rock on the Range Photo Gallery
by Shawna McHenry Luehring & John Kindred
Saturday, May 14th at Liberty Memorial in Kansas City, MO.
Kansas City’s Rockfest kicked of its annual metal salute with Zakk Wylde performing the “National Anthem” with an armed forces color guard to more than 50,000 crazed fans. This year’s event was welcomed by a cold front instead of an onslaught of rain. After last year’s “Mudfest” debacle, local city leaders were fired up and demanded ending the use of Penn Valley Park as the stomping grounds for Rockfest.
Thankfully for fans, AEG, the concert promoter, paid to repair the damage caused by the 2010 event. Their efforts included putting down sod on the 14 acres of damage caused by the rain and the festival goers, who trampled down grass, which created a muddy mess and troublesome trash clean up. AEG and 98.9 the Rock have put in place safeguards to keep the event as clean and safe as possible, including additional trash cans, better placement of port-o-potties, additional security and added fencing.
As always, Rockfest is hyped as the Nation’s Largest Single-Day Music Festival and a concert event with reasonably priced food and beverages. Although this year’s crowd was not a sellout, there were plenty of fans on hand for the festivities.
This year’s lineup featured two band stages. Monster Energy sponsored the main stage, which featured headliners Disturbed, Stone Sour, Papa Roach, Alter Bridge, Sevendust, Hinder and Halestorm. The second stage was sponsored by Jose Cuervo and featured Black Label Society, All That Remains, 10 Years, Redline Chemistry, Crossfade, Art of Dying, New Medicine and Evalyn Awake.
The crowd seemed to relish in its patriotic side this year as Americans flags were visible throughout the crowd. Mardi gras beads where tossed out to those willing to show their “wares” to onlookers. Besides the music, Rock radio personality, “Moose,” officiated a wedding ceremony of about 20 couples or more. Turning back to the stages, the crowd was entertained by pornstar Ron Jeremy aka “The Hedgehog,” and Moonlight Bunny Ranch owner Dennis Hof, and his lovely sidekick, Bunny Love, made an appearance.
With the exception of 15 minutes of warm, bright sunshine for Papa Roach’s performance of “Burn” (pretty ironic), fans spent the cold, gray and windy day enjoying the metal mayhem.
Monster Energy Drink Main Stage:
Alter Bridge 5:10pm
Papa Roach 6:30pm
Stone Sour 8:00pm
Jose Cuervo Drink Main Stage:
Evalyn Awake 12:00pm
New Medicine 1:00pm
Art of Dying 2:10pm
Redline Chemistry 4:40pm
10 Years 6:00pm
All That Remains 7:30
Black Label Society 9:00pm
KC Rockfest Music Festival 2011 Photo Gallery
Photos appear courtesy of Shawna McHenry Luehring
January 22, 2010 at The Joint, Las Vegas, NV.
by Deb Rao
The Jagermeister Tour featuring Buckcherry, Hellyeah!, All That Remains, and The Damned Things rocked The Joint at the Hard Rock in Las Vegas on Jan. 22. Known for featuring the top upcoming and established artists did not disappoint this year. As fans were all “Lit Up” to see the popular Buckcherry headline the event.
Buckcherry performed a 90 minute relentless potpourri of hits that spanned their extensive career from their debut album in 1999 to their current release All Night Long on Eleven Seven Music. Opening with “Dead”, the momentum of their performance did not let up from start to finish. Singer Josh Todd was like a dash of lightning as he pranced around onstage singing hits” All Night Long”, “Everything” and then getting the crowd to join in on their first hit “Lit Up.”
I can remember seeing the band debut in Boston back at the Paradise in 1999, and it was so exhilarating to see them develop into one of the top acts in music today. Although, Buckcherry has seen major line-up changes over the years, the core of singer Josh Todd and guitarist Keith Nelson remain intact. Keith and Josh have a special chemistry that work so well together, as Buckcherry unleashed hit after hit.
Buckcherry slowed things down only for a second, for their poignant and compelling hit “Sorry.” Then picked up the momentum once again for their anthem” Crazy Bitch.” Buckcherry ended their set on a high note with two encores,” Out Of Line”, and “Whiskey In The Morning.”
Hellyeah! hit the stage at 9:15 p.m. for a 45 minute set of good ol’ fashion southern rock thrash metal. Vinnie Paul was quite impressive with his new rock and roll outfit. Highlight of Hellyeah’s set was ballad “Matter Of Time,” Stampede”, and the hell raising “Hellyeah.”
It was awesome to see Massachusetts band All That Remains on the bill. I recently saw the band perform on the Mayhem Tour a few years ago, and the band has developed quite the following both on the East and West Coast. All That Remains hit the stage at 8:35 p.m.for a 30 – minute set that was explosive. Let the mosh pits begin! It is so exciting to girls making an impact in music today. Bassist Jeanne Sagan was killer on the bass and singer Phillip Labonte unleashed his powerful vocal fury onstage. Highlights of the set included,” Forever In Your Hands”, and “Some Of The People, All Of The Time.”
All That Remains are riding high on their latest release For We Are Many on Prosthetic/Razor And Tie Records. Singer Phillip Labonte commented to the Vegas crowd, “I love Vegas because Vegas always parties hard.” And party hard the audience did. All That Remains conquered the young audience with their unique brand of hardcore metal.
The Damned Things opened the set, as I managed catch the their last song due to flight delays. The audience seemed really into them. I hope to catch them another time!
Be sure to check out The Jagermeister Music Tour as it heads to a city near you. You won’t be disappointed.
Photos provided by Deb Rao
August 7, 2009 at the Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden, NJ
by Steve trager
Fans of pure metal have found themselves with the newest edition of summer festivals simply called Mayhem Festival. It is similar to one the greatest tours ever to roam across America, which is “Ozzfest.” Mayhem Festival certainly has kept the doors opened to one of the best-known genres in music, which is Heavy Metal. Last year’s initial run with Mayhem was an indication that we can still rock out in the hardest way with some of the greatest bands on three stages for one decent priced ticket.
This year’s Mayhem Festival definitely cranked up the word “Heavy” with a brutal line-up that turned most pits into total chaos during such sets like Cannibal Corpse, Behemoth, Trivium and God Forbid.
The nice feature about Mayhem Festival is that you have three stages, loads of music, and rockstar bling for those who always want to make a fashion statement to the rest of the world. Last year’s festival had a great line-up that could have very well been just a one-time slot of Mayhem. But the response from last year brings us to the second annual Mayhem festival. It featured great sets from well-known artists like veteran thrashers Slayer and the rock shock anti-Christ himself, Marilyn Manson, who closed out the main stage.
For most of us who endure the heavier side of metal, there were bands like Job for A Cowboy, WhiteChapel and Behemoth that can grab your attention once the music kicks in. Everyone likes something different when it comes to music in general. While I might dislike some of the bands that played on the Hot Topic stage, it still was an incredible experience to see a long list of bands that certainly hold the record for mosh mayhem.
Perhaps each set could have been longer for bands like God Forbid, Trivium, All that Remains, and Bullet for My Valentine, which opened the main stage, the fans still get the packing punch we have always come to expect at a metal show.
I still have to give props to Killswitch Engage for their stage attire at a metal show. Even dressed slightly unusual for head bangers delight, front man Howard Jones still has that voice that can go through you like a lighting bolt. I especially enjoyed Dio’s “Holy Diver“ cover, which was filled with anger and great guitar work and the balls-to-the-wall vocals makes that ‘80s classic truly come alive as only Killswitch can do so well live.
Slayer also out did a great show, captivating their finest works as an old-school thrash band that they are. Slayer is a true metal band that has never changed its sound and never has sold out for radio success but has kept a cult following all these years in the true genre of pure metal. Even Manson played a great quick set; however, I am not much of a big fan. Music fans always like something different, and that makes them unique. This is an indication that Mayhem Festival will be around for a long time (we can all hope).
The Great: Bullet for My Valentine, All That Remains, Killswitch Engage, Trivium, God Forbid, and Slayer.
Hot Topic / Extreme Metal Stage:
Black Dahlia Murder
Job for A Cowboy
Jagermeister Music Stage:
Beyond The Star
All That Remains
Rockstar Energy Drink Main Stage
Bullet For My Valentine
Mayhem Festival 2009 Photo Gallery
August 4, 2009 at the Comcast Center in Mansfield, Mass.
by Deb Rao
The 2009 Rockstar Energy Drink invaded the Comcast Center in Mansfield, Mass., on Aug. 4. As temperatures soared into the high 80s, fans gathered early in the parking lot to witness the most cutting edge event of the summer. 2009 Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival is a modern day festival designed for today’s music fan with many diverse booths that included merchandise booths and tattoo booths. 2009 Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival showcased the top talent in the music industry today, and also featured one of the most iconic bands in metal history Slayer.
The Boston 2009 Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival featured three stages: Main Stage, Hot Topic and Jagermeister Stage. What was clearly exciting to witness was the wide age span of fans that gathered for the event. The bill featured a vast array of musical talent and styles, which included on the main stage Marilyn Manson, Slayer, Boston’s Killswitch Engage, and Bullet For My Valentine.
The Hot Topic and Jagermeister stages featured cutting-edge bands that are truly making an impact in music today. One of the first bands I checked out was Behemoth at 3 p.m. Behemoth hit the Hot Topic stage for an energetic 30-minute set and capped their performance with “I Got Erection.”
Behemoth Set List:
Slaves Shall Serve
At The Left Hand Of God
Ov Fire And The Void
Chant For Exhaton 2000
I Got Erection
The Boston Mayhem Festival featured a special Boston homegrown ambiance appeal this year with the homecoming of two New England bands that are making an impact in the music industry today, All That Remains and Killswitch Engage. Also while checking out the All That Remains set, I ran into Shadows fall vocalist Brian Fair, who informed us that the new Shadows Fall release Retribution will be out on Sept. 15. ” Shadows Fall will be doing a special signing at the Mayhem Festival at 3 p.m. on Aug. 8 in Hartford, Conn., at the Comcast Theatre. I can’t wait for the release of Retribution. It is aggressive and awesome. After the album is released, we will be setting up some New England dates,” Fair said.
All That Remains is a band that hails from the Springfield, Mass., area. ATR hit the Jagermeister Stage at 4:30 p.m. and performed an exhilarating 30-minute set to a huge crowd of Boston fans that featured three new songs off of their latest release, Overcome including “Chiron,” “Forever In Your Hands,” and “Two Weeks.” Lead singer Phillip Labonte cheered the crowd on, as he yelled,”We are from the area.”
Bassist Jeanne Sagan commented to me,”It is always bittersweet to play Boston and come home. I have been on the road most of the year. It is pretty amazing playing at the Mayhem Festival this year. We are from the Springfield area.
“Killswitch Engage and Shadows Fall are all around the same area also. We just put out a second single ‘Forever In Your Hands’ that is being added to radio now. We are going to shoot a video for it during this tour actually in a few days. On Overcome, we concentrated more on writing songs rather than parts. We kind of put stuff together and took a step back and looked at it and how does this make this song catchy for people so people can grasp onto to rather than a lot of just filler in the song. So that is pretty much how we went about it.”
All That Remains Set List:
Forever In Your Hands
The Air That I Breathe
Killswitch Engage hit the stage at 7:25 p.m. and managed to the get crowd pumped up for Slayer. Singer Adam Dutkiewicz, wearing a Red Sox cap, gave reference to the band’s heritage in Boston through out the entire set and joked as he commented, “Our drummer is a Yankees fan,” and inspired the Yankees chant to begin. Killswitch Engage took the stage amidst a blast of pyrotechnic opening with “My Last Serenade.” The highlight of the set was “Rose Of Sharyn.”
Killswitch Engage Set List:
My Last Serenade
Fixation On The Darkness
Rose Of Sharyn
A Bid Farewell
The End Of Heartache
At 8:30 p.m., one of the first bands that put metal on the map, Slayer took the stage in true metallic thunder. Anticipation filled the air, as the crowd waited patiently all day to witness the legendary metal band.
Opening with “Darkness Of Christ” the Slayer set spanned their extensive career and also showcased some of their older classic songs. Slayer will be releasing a new album later this year entitled, World Painted Blood, and they performed a new song off of the upcoming album entitled, “Psychopathy Red,” which re-enforced the old-school metal roots of the band.
Singer Tom Araya belted out the songs with much passion. It was clear to see that Slayer was there to destroy and inflict their powerful fury onto the masses as guitarist Kerry King relentlessly unleashed skull-crushing riffs. Highlights of the Slayer set included “Ghosts Of War” and “South Of Heaven.”
When I asked Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo about the rehearsal preparation of the Mayhem Tour and his thoughts on the challenge of performing live versus recording in the studio and the upcoming release World Painted Blood, drummer Dave Lombardo said to me,” It is only challenging like the first maybe two or three days in rehearsal, where you are shedding all of the cobwebs that you have accumulated probably in six months of not touring. But then we were in the studio but that is not the same.
“So the hardest part is the first couple days of rehearsal. There really is no challenge. World Painted Blood is absolutely amazing. I have never been behind a record as much as I have been for this one. I am very proud of it and very happy. It’s all good. Hope everyone’s goes out and gets it,” Lombardo said.
Slayer Set List:
Darkness Of Christ
Born Of Fire
Ghosts Of War
Dead Skin Mask
Angel Of Death
South Of Heaven
Marilyn Manson capped the evening performance. It was great to see a lot of Marilyn’s fans show up early for the concert. It was a long day for them. I spoke to two young fans who braved the heat and traveled an hour and arrived when the gates opened to see the performer. Marilyn’s set included three new songs off his latest release The High End Of Low, as he opened the set with “We’re From America” and capped his performance with “The Beautiful Creatures.”
Marilyn Manson Set List:
We’re From America
Irresponsible Hate Anthem
Four Rusted Horses
The Dope Show
Rock Is Dead
The Beautiful People