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]
by Sara McCarthy
July 30, 2011 at New York State Fairgrounds Infield in Syracuse, N.Y.
Galaxy Communication’s station 100.9 Krock held its 16th annual Krockathon on July 30. The warm, sunny weather attracted about 20,000 fans to enjoy a day filled with the musical sounds of 13 different bands.
Held for the third year at the infield of the New York State Fairgrounds Racetrack Infield, Krockathon seems to have found its forever home. In years past, Krockathon has called the Cayuga County Fairgrounds, Vernon Downs Racetrack and Oswego County Speedway home. The infield offers plenty of room for additional vendors, meaning less waiting in line, more port-a-potties and open space farther away from the stages for attendees who prefer to enjoy the show and people watch without having to keep their eyes open for crowd surfers.
Festivalgoers had a large selection of food and beverage vendors to choose from, including standard fare of burgers and pizza all the way to newer creations such as deep-fried pickles. Other festival activities included body piercing for the more adventurous souls and spur-of-the-moment tattooing.
Viewed by rock fans in the Syracuse area as THE festival to attend, this year’s lineup certainly did not disappoint. With almost constant music playing on two side-by-side stages, from local group Silent Fury, relative newcomers Bayside to headliners Stone Temple Pilots, there was a band present to satisfy just about any musical taste.
Dropkick Murphys was the band that drew a lot of attendees to the festival who wouldn’t have normally attended. This crew of sometimes kilt-wearing guys from Boston, Mass., were awesome, and their set was filled with bagpipes, loud guitars and a sound that is a mix of punk and rock. It was a fun show, and Dropkick Murphys is a band that everyone should see at least once.
All of the bands put on amazing performances, but the stand-out performance of the day was Bush. Playing hits, such as “Glycerine,” “Everything Zen,” “Comedown” and “Little Things,” these guys blew the crowd away. They treated the crowd to a couple of songs off their upcoming album, The Sea of Memories, including their current single “The Sound of Winter.” The best of all and unexpected was The Beatles cover “Come Together.” It was a great set and showed all of the 20-somethings that Bush is a band to be reckoned with.
Seether followed Bush and had no problem keeping the energy up. Always a band that puts on a phenomenal live show, Shaun Morgan and bandmates lived up to their reputation. Opening with “Gasoline” and following with “Needles,” these guys ruled the stage and rocked from one song to another. “Fur Cue,” from their new album, Holding Onto Strings Better Left to Fray, featured the heaviness and vocals that this reviewer loves about Seether. The band closed out its set with “Fake It” and “Remedy,” which had the pumped crowd singing right along.
Headliner and music veterans Stone Temple Pilots took the stage 20 minutes after their scheduled start time. The stage was backlit by a huge grid of blue lights, casting the members in shadow. Starting their show with “Crackerman,” Scott Weiland pulled out the megaphone to create the signature sound of the song and followed that up with “Vasoline” and “Wicked Garden.” The entire band sounded great, and Weiland’s vocals were spot on. In between numbers, his speech was slurred and difficult to understand. Despite the difficulty with speaking, Weiland and fellow band members were all over the stage, showing they still have the energy and stamina to put on a rockin’ set. Just prior to singing “Dead & Bloated” for their encore, Weiland asked if anyone in the crowd could sing and knew the lyrics to the song. He surprised everyone when he pulled a fan on stage and, together, sang the first few verses, which sounded great. STP closed out its set with “Trippin’ on a Hole in a Paper Heart.”
Time Warner Cable Main Stage:
Click Clack Boom
Airborne Toxic Event
Stone Temple Pilots
Tebbs Head Shop Second Stage:
Rose Hill Drive
My Darkest Days
2011 Krockathon 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 Derric Miller
When Sick Puppies released Dressed Up As Life in 2007, everyone with the ability to hear realized this band was on the edge of “making it.” With songs like “My World,” “Pitiful,” “Cancer,” “All the Same” and “Asshole Father,” Sick Puppies carved out a sound that had both an edge and could soften the blow with more sensitive tracks. This was in large part due to Shimon Moore’s sometimes mesmerizing falsetto passages; Moore used his vocals to truly paint aural stories on Dressed Up As Life. Unfortunately, on their new release Tri-Polar, Sick Puppies cease blazing down the trail only they have forged through the years and instead embrace the vanilla Mainstream Rock scene, stripping away whatever unique identity they had to join the herd.
How vanilla are they? Well, they are “bragging” about the new song “You’re Going Down” being featured on WWE’s Extreme Rules PPV broadcast.
Tri-Polar jets off with “War,” a noisy, clumsy track beginning with Moore shouting, “Let’s do this!” If Moore’s goal was to become more brutal and guttural this go-round, he succeeded. Of course, this takes away from the musicality of the vocals. For fans of Sick Puppies before Tri-Polar, their only thought can be, “What’s going on?”
Up next is the immature “I Hate You,” but it at least it is leagues above “War.” In fact, besides the kindergarten-y chorus of, “I know you think you hate me but I will always hate you more,” the verses are what you’d expect from Sick Puppies.
“Riptide” is the one track where they regain their identity. They no longer sound like Saliva clones on “Riptide.” Just the pacing of the lyrics as Moore sings, “You all hate your children. They’re too fat to feed. You’re on medication; take your pills and sleep. I think I’m doing just fine, compared to what you’ve been doing.” Sick Puppies sonically, in the past anyway, support the great unwashed masses, and write music meant to lift up those feeling downtrodden. That’s what happens here, and few bands do it with such honesty as Sick Puppies. As far as brilliant choruses, this is the exact definition of one. “Riptide” is bittersweet, though, because the album all falls apart on the next song.
“You’re Going Down,” again, is Saliva’s territory. Let them write this sort of pseudo-macho offal meant to energize the Red Bull masses. “When my fist hits your face and your face hits the floor …” Really? This from the band who once waxed poetic, “Welcome to my world, where everyone I ever need always ends up leaving me alone. Another lesson burned, and I’m drowning in the ashes, kicking, screaming …”
After you get through the opening tracks, your Sick Puppies appetite is probably nil. If so, that’d be a little pre-judgmental, because tracks like “Odd One” “Should’ve Known Better” and “Master of the Universe” are more palatable than the aforementioned blather.
The one surprising composition, especially considering the WWF/UFC/WWE tone of Tri-Polar, is “White Balloons.” Bassist Emma Anzai sings lead vocals with Moore, and she holds her own against Moore’s sometimes overpowering delivery. The song begins slowly, with Anzai and Moore playing off each other, and builds into a mammoth chorus. While a fairly stunning song, it’s too little, too late.
Out of all the bands currently in the industry narrative, you’d think Sick Puppies would know better than to play to the lowest common denominator. Bands that do so do it only because they have no other options — a one-trick pony merely has one trick. This is clearly is not the case with Sick Puppies, or at least wasn’t, before Tri-Polar.
I Hate You
You’re Going Down
So What I Lied
Should’ve Known Better
Don’t Walk Away
Master of the Universe
In it for Life
HRH Rating: 6.1/10