Three stages, 38 bands, two days. All that's missing was some hard liquor at this past weekend's Rock on the Range hard-rock fest at Columbus' Crew Stadium.
With a lineup made up of rock veterans Buckcherry, the Used, Hoobastank, Chevelle, Alice in Chains and Mötley Crüe (as well as heavyweights Static X, All That Remains, Atreyu, Korn and Slipknot), you could most definitely see the need for a Jäger Bomb and not just a tent filled with tchotchkies promoting the liquor.
Making your way from one stage to another, you could pick up everything from a new glass pipe to a $10 flavored hit of fresh (90 percent pure!) oxygen and then get a new tattoo from the mobile tat trailer parked just inside the gates. Of course, going the whole day without food isn’t an option, unless you wanted to get rolled out on one of the many EMT cots waiting to cart away dehydrated bodies. So there was Donatos pizzas, nachos and soft pretzels ready to relieve you of your cash.
The first day was definitely the heavier of the two. Performances by Atreyu and All That Remains were followed by Korn and Slipknot sets. So fans didn’t have a moment’s rest rustling from stage to stage. There was hardly a breather all day ... unless you count Alice in Chains' show, which featured their new frontman William DuVall.
Rounding out the day was a monstrous performance by everyone’s favorite masked metal marauders, Slipknot. Their show was amazing, with blazing lights, effects and sound that left audience members thumping hours after the band left the stage.
Despite the chilly weather, day two was smokin' hot with performances by Hoobastank, Buckcherry, the Used, Avenged Sevenfold and Mötley Crüe. With all those legends around, the smaller acts understandably could be intimidated. But none of them wasted any time drawing in the crowd. Pop Evil was especially good. Singer Leigh Kakaty attracted fans like mosquitoes to a bug zapper.
They were a tough act to follow, but Clutch was ready for the task. They ran through a bunch of their best tunes, even making way for a pretty good new one, “Unstoppable Watts.” Avenged Sevenfold and Mötley Crüe wrapped up this year's Rock on the Range with pyro and noise galore. An appropriate end to a great weekend of music. —Johnny Angell