by Sara McCarthy
Staff Writer –
May 7, 2012 at New York State Fairgrounds Chevy Court in New York, NY
On a very wet and dreary Tuesday night, Rise Against brought their tour to Syracuse, NY. Despite the horrendous weather, a crowd of about 4,000 descended on the New York State Fairgrounds, it takes more than a day of torrential rain to stop Syracuse rockers from attending the first outdoor show of the year.
Title Fight, hailing from Kingston, PA started playing at 6:00, which was the same time the gates were opened. This scheduling snafu prevented a lot of audience members from seeing the band perform. Formed in 2003, the band lists Blink 182 as a major influence and that is apparent in their music. A grinding mix of punk and hardcore, Title Fight gave an energetic performance and truly seemed to enjoy themselves on stage. Their last album Shed was released in May 2011 under Side One Dummy Records and recently announced their plans to enter the studio this summer and release their new record in September 2012.
A Day To Remember was next on the bill for the night. An already rowdy crowd went ballistic when band members took the stage. The band opened with “The Downfall of Us All,” and crew members threw dozens of large beach balls out to the crowd. For about five minutes it wasn’t safe to be a bystander, you never knew when you might get beaned with a wayward ball! Ripping through each song, this band held nothing back and neither did the kids in the audience. Fist pumping and singing right along; there was a constant stream of crowd surfers coming off the front of the crowd. At one point, just before playing “Homesick”, Vocalist Jeremy McKinnon crawled inside a huge transparent blow-up hamster ball, rolled off of the stage and ran/rolled all over the top of the crowd. Each successive song brought more energy and a larger response from the crowd, and a few different times it appeared as if the barriers in front of the stage were not going to hold. Finishing up their dynamic set with “The Plot To Bomb The Panhandle,” this group of guys from Ocala, FL left the crowd wanting more and primed for Rise Against.
The Downfall of Us All
A Shot in the Dark
I’m Made of Wax Larry, What Are You Made Of?
My Life For Hire
All Signs Point To Lauderdale
You Be Tails, I’ll Be Sonic
Better Off This Way
Have Faith In Me
All I Want
The Plot to Bomb The Panhandle
The set for Rise Against featured five vertical rectangular video screens, evenly spaced across the stage. These screens lit up, showing movie scenes and dialogue taken from “The Shameless Opportunist” in Catch-22. As the intro concluded, band members took the stage, and opened their set with “Survivor Guilt.” The momentum started by A Day To Remember was continued by Rise Against, band members were all over the stage, playing it up for each section of the crowd. When they broke into “Help Is On The Way,” the video screens played clips of demonstrations and the clashes that can break out at these events. The main part of the set was finished up with “Prayer Of The Refugee” which drove the crowd insane; they started surging forward and once again called into question the stability of the barriers. Things cooled down a bit when vocalist Tim McIlrath brought out an acoustic guitar and played both “Audience Of One” and ‘Swing Life Away.” At this point in the evening, the rain started once again, drenching everyone in the area. The crowd stayed strong and when the opening strains of “Make It Stop (September’s Children)” started, the started jumping and screaming. This song deals with the problem of homophobia in today’s society and how it is affecting our children, with an increase in suicide rates. This is a band not afraid of serious and unsavory topics.
Rise Against put on an amazing show that left the audience satisfied that they got their fill of rock on a wet Tuesday night. As the thousands of people filed out of the exit gates, members of PETA stood handing out fliers, as Rise Against are active supporters of the controversial animal rights organization.
Ready To Fall
The Good Left Undone
Help Is On The Way
Disparity By Design
Re-Education (Through Labor)
Blood To Bleed
Prayer Of The Refugee
Audience Of One
Swing Life Away
Make It Stop (September’s Children)
Give It All
The Strength To Go On
Rise Against & A Day To Remember 2012 Photo Gallery
May 22 & 23, 2010 at Crew Stadium, Columbus, Ohio
by Chris A. & Deb Rao
[author: Chris A.] It’s the fourth time Columbus has hosted the “Rock on the Range” festival and by the size of the audience you’d never know there was any kind of economic crisis. With approximately 50,000 people attending each day, “Rock on the Range” is proving to be “the” show of the year in the upper Midwest of the United States. Three stages, 30-plus bands, dozens of vendors and lots of creative merchandise for sale, it’s a big party and a very good time. As with past years, there were three stages; the Monster Stage was the main stage inside the Columbus Crew Stadium while the Kicker Stage was located on the north side of the stadium and the smaller Jaegermeister Stage was positioned on the south. “Rock on the Range” has always been a great place for upstart “baby bands” to get some exposure plus they don’t seem to shy away from including diverse acts on the bill. In the case of Rock on the Range, a show known primarily as a “metal festival” it was interesting that the show would be opened and closed by rap oriented acts. Headliners for Saturday on the Monster Stage were, “Rise Against”, “Three Days Grace” and “Godsmack”. On Sunday the main bands were, “Seether”, “Rob Zombie” with “Limb Bizkit” closing the festival.
Despite a damp start to Saturday, gray clouds and occasional sprinkles didn’t appear to hold the crowd back as the yellow benches in Crew Stadium started to disappear as fans arrived to the show. At noon, the show started with Windsor, Ontario Detroit Tigers fan, “Richy Nix,” a tall thin white-guy from Ontario, rapping to metal. Twenty minutes later on the main stage, “Sevendust” exploded into their set, erasing any memories of cockeyed baseball caps and robotic hand gestures, with in-your-face metal intensity. Nearly 11 hours later the sound of electric guitars and the gritty metal of “Godsmack” faded as day-one came to an end.
Sunday was a glorious day, blue skies, beautiful hot sun and no indication of rain. At noon, “Shaman’s Harvest” a great young band, opened the show on the Kicker stage. Over the course of the next 11 hours Apocalyptica performed its brand of “metal”. Australian metal band “Airbourne” made a lot of friends and demonstrated why we all love blues-based rock ‘n’ roll! At nearly 10 pm, Fred Durst and the now out-of-seclusion “Limb Bizkit” capped off an incredible two-days of great music.
With three stages and almost invariably two running at one time, it was impossible for anyone to see all the bands. As seems to be the case with Columbus rock ‘n’ roll crowds, the fans were very mellow at Rock on the Range. It was a big party with lots of beer and thousands of friends. Sitting back and observing, It was amazing to watch the incredibly orderly procession of thousands of people snaking along the paths to get from stage to stage. Venue security, the Columbus Police Department (who were there in numbers) were extremely fan-friendly and were clearly there to keep an eye on things and to snatch up the occasional drunk-moron who got a bit too out of hand.
Each performance day started at 12 noon and for the most part the show stayed on time and ran smoothly. “Rock on the Range” 2010 was a very successful event with great bands and thousands of happy fans. Keep any eye here for interview articles from John 5, Airbourne and others from the weekends show. For more information on “Rock on the Range” visit www.rockontherange.com You can also see my photos of “Rock on the Range” by visiting www.chrisa.us
Rock on the Range Photo Gallery
Photos appear courtesy of Chris A. and Deb Rao
[author: Deb Rao] As thousands of rock fans descended to Columbus, Ohio at Crew Stadium, one thing was for certain the sporting venue was turned into a rock and roll extravaganza for one of the most anticipated events of the summer Rock On The Range 2010. The event promised to feature one of the most solid line-ups to date. This year Rock On The Range was hosted by Mistress Juliya and broadcast live by Nikki Sixx and his new hit radio show Sixx Sense.
Tattoos, body jewelry and rock clothing venders filled the area to the hilt. The crowd featured a young audience and some older fans of the older bands. One of the most exciting aspects of this year’s line-up on May 22 headlined by Boston’s Godsmack with the diversity to the line-up. ROTR featured the best in punk, alternative, hip-hop and hard rock cutting edge bands making an impact in music today. The festival featured three stages of music included the Jager Stage. Kicker Stage, and Monster Stage. I found myself mostly stationed at the Kicker Stage but after the days shooting of that stage was over, I managed to catch full sets of Rise Against, Three Days Grace, and Godsmack. More on the main acts later.
My journey began early in the morning from Boston, as my flight landed in Columbus, Ohio a tad late due to flight delays. But no worries a full day of music was ahead of me. One of the first acts I had the pleasure of seeing was Eleven Seven Music recording artists Drowning Pool on the Monster Stage. This band is one of the hardest working bands in music today. Singer Ryan McCombs has picked up the pieces and breathed new life into the band. As the sun tried to break through the ominous clouds, Drowning Pool heated up the stage with a set that included these songs,”Enemy,” “Sinner”,”37 Stitches,” Feel Like I Do”,”Regret”,”Tear Away”, and “Bodies.”
Next up on the Monster Stage was Puddle of Mudd who is in the midst of a successful headlining tour. Puddle Of Mudd is best when performing at festivals like this. Lead frontman Wes Scantlin always manages to get the crowd rolling and today’s performance was no exception. The band opened with the ferocious “Control”, as Wes took full control of the moment and the mosh pits began. Slammin’ into new song “Spaceship’ let the party begin as Wes yelled,”What’s up Motherf***ers?” Highlight of the set with fists in the air included the AC/DC cover “TNT.”
I proceeded to make my way to the Kicker Stage to catch one of the most exciting and promising acts of the day Halestorm. Mistress Juliya introduced the band as Lzzy Hale dressed in a black and red dress and hit the stage with a set that was clearly mesmerizing. Halestorm opened their set with “It’s Not You.” The ’80s had Heart and Pat Benetar as the reigning rock queens. Well, this is the Millennium and Lzzy Hale most definitely deserves the title as best new female of the decade. Lzzy can rock with the best of them and Halestorm clearly won the title for best act on the Kicker Stage at ROTR 2010.
It was great to see all the female musicians performing here today. Next up another great band that gave an outstanding performance was Christian rock band Skillet. Fronted by John Cooper, his wife Korey Cooper on guitar was also spellbinding. Jen Ledger was featured on drums. The band also featured a cello and violin, which added a nice flavor to the hard rock sound. Highlights of the set were the songs “Hero”, and “Monster.”
The Kicker Stage featured some of the best acts all day. Next up Killswitch Engage made Massachusetts proud. It was exhilarating to see all the talent from the Mass area here today. Highlight of the Killswitch Engage set was when singer Howard Jones dedicated the song “Holy Diver” to the legendary Dio. Metal horns in the air. May you rest in peace.
Throughout the day many of the bands held meet and greets including Adelita’s Way and Puddle Of Mudd. It was great to see the inter-action between fans and bands. This festival is all about the music. The rock stars left their attitudes at the door and chatted with the fans and showed their appreciation.
The event was blessed by the weather this year as the sun finally broke through the crowds with temperatures in the 80′s. Finally, the Kicker Stage music was over and now it was time to enjoy the Monster Stage. The floor began to fill up to capacity for The Deftones. I spoke with many fans who were eager to see the band. The Deftones took full advantage of the set premiering many new songs from their latest release Diamond Eyes. They are definitely one of the best punk rock bands around; true pioneers.
One of the most promising acts on the Monster Stage was Rise Against. I never heard of them before and really enjoy their high-energy set. The award for most promising act on the Monster Stage would have to go to Three Days Grace. This is a band that you associate all their hits on the radio when you hear them they play live and you go “I know that song.” This was my first time seeing this Canadian band perform live and I have to say I was very impressed by Adam Gontier vocals. Sporting a black hat, Adam and company delivered a set that was powerful and poignant. Adam is the master of love gone wrong songs. I highly enjoyed the “I Hate Everything About You.”
Boston’s Godsmack was the headliner on the Monster Stage and did Boston Proud. Sully Erna took full control of the Mid-western crowd and showed them how we rock in Boston. Their set list included
Godsmack Set List:
Straight Out of Line
War and Peace
Cryin’ Like a Bitch
Batalla de los Tambores
Spotted in the audience, was Jackass star Jason Acuna. Actually, he was sitting in back of me with a beret of beauties on his lap. The announcer of the show commented that this years show broke all attendance records. Rock On The Range 2010 proved to be a haven for rock fans to unite and enjoy some of the best cutting edge bands in music today. It was a time to make new friends, spend time with old friends, and celebrate the exciting new wave of music today.
Special Thanks to the great staff of MSO for letting Hardrock Haven cover Rock On The Range 2010. Be sure to check out Rock On The Range interviews with Puddle Of Mudd, Sevendust, Richy Nix, and coming soon Adelita’s Way and Apocalyptica.
Rock On The Range May 22 Line-up:
Drowning Pool 1:40
Puddle of Mudd 2:55
Papa Roach 4:15
Rise Against 7:05
Three Days Grace 8:51
Richy Nix 12:00
Violent Soho 1:05
Adelita’s Way 2:20
Killswitch Engage 6:20
Like A Storm 12:00
Taddy Porter 1:05
Non Point 3:40