The summer concert season is fast approaching, as Rock on the Range returns to Columbus Crew Stadium for a sixth year of hard-hitting rockitude next Saturday and Sunday, May 18-20 in Columbus, OH. As usual, the lineup features a great collection of heavy-hitters as well as a number of quality up-and-coming acts – plenty of great music for any rock fan to appreciate! But looking at the list of bands that will be playing can only say so much – let’s take a closer look, shall we?
The show consists of three stages – the Monster Energy main stage is contained within the stadium, while the second and third stages are located directly adjacent. The biggest acts of the weekend will be seen on the main stage, while the second and third stages feature a mix of established acts and up-and-comers. Here’s a day-to-day breakdown of all the performing acts!
Friday, May 18
f.y.e Second Stage
Black Tide – Known for their well-polished form of speed metal, the band was founded in 2004 when frontman Gabriel Garcia was only 11 – the band went to to release its major-label debut “Light From Above” in 2008. The young band scored their first major tour on Ozzfest 2007 – where their ages actually worked out in favor of the group. The band was initially slated to appear on the second stage for that tour, but was shifted to the main stage due to the fact that the second stage was sponsered by Jagermeister and all the band members were underage at the time. More recently, the band rocked the Vive Latino Festival in Mexico at the end of March to a throng of over 100,000 fans – rockin!
Foxy Shazam – This group draws upon the excesses of 1980s hair bands, highlighting both the ridiculous and fun aspects of glam rock. No doubt about it, Foxy Shazam is a group that is all about rockin’ out and having fun! Frontman Eric Sean Nally is a throwback, both for his anachronistic mustache and over-the-top stage antics. If you check this group out, it’s best to approach the occasion after leaving all notions of seriousness behind…
Also appearing Friday is Hells Bells (AC/DC tribute) and Hairball (80’s rock tribute).
Saturday, May 20
Monster Energy Main Stage
Incubus – As the main Saturday main-stage headliner, Incubus is likely a group that needs no introduction. “Drive” and “Nice to Know You” are only a small sample of the many singles from the band that have become iconic to fans of rock music. The band, formed in 1991 by high school classmates Brandon Boyd (vocals) Mike Einzinger (guitars) and Jose Pasillas (drums) has enjoyed amazing longevity. The group recently announced they would be touring with Linkin Park later this summer, the first pairing of the two massively successful alt-rock groups.
Shinedown – Though the group has only existed half as long as Incubus, Shinedown has been intensely productive, with over 10 million albums sold worldwide and seven #1 singles in the U.S. The band’s fourth studio album “Amaryllis” was just released at the end of March, debuting at #1 on the U.S. Billboard Rock chart. According to frontman Brent Smith, writing the just-released album presented a unique circumstance for the band following the massive success of the previous release. He went out of his way to research his most-used words, and avoided writing songs that included them – a tall task indeed! (Safe to say that task was successfully completed.)
Five Finger Death Punch – Named for a finishing move from “Kill Bill”, 5FDP has forged ahead with massive groove coupled with shouted and melodic vox. The group brings its powerful fusion of metal and hardcore to the stage for their third showing at Rock on the Range in 2012. You may know the group for their powerful cover of “Bad Company”, and the above video from their song “Under and Over It” is a perfect example of their eye-opening brand of groove/metalcore.
Slash – This year has been one of accolades for Slash, considered by many to be one of the best to ever fret a six-string. The ex-Guns N’ Roses axeman joined his former bandmates during their induction into the Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland last month, and even won “Riff Lord” honors at the 2012 Revolver Golden Gods awards. Slash’s bluesy style has won respect from many of the top musicians, evidenced by the fact that he will be joining Black Sabbath during their 2012 reunion tour to fill in for Tony Iommi, who continues to fight health issues. Slash will also be touring this year in support of his solo album “Apocalyptic Love”, featuring Alter Bridge singer Myles Kennedy on lead vocals.
Chevelle – Originally formed by three brothers and named for the family car, Chevelle has been through a lot in 17 years of activity, including the firing (or departure) of younger brother Joe Loeffler. The family connection continued with the hiring of brother-in-law Pete Bernadini to replace Joe on bass back in 2007. Chevelle’s heavy alt-rock is perfect for the main stage as the group continues its tour in support of its sixth studio album “Hats Off to the Bull”, released in December.
Theory of a Deadman – Staying rockin’ isn’t a problem for Theory of a Deadman. The band may hail from Canada, but they still manage to dominate rock radio in the U.S. with #1 hit songs like “Bad Girlfriend” and “Lowlife”. The group has achieved notoriety as a result of tours with Nickelback and their contribution of songs to the WWE. Like Nickelback, Theory brings a heavy, simplistic fusion of country and hard rock that is easily accessible for any rock fan.
Halestorm – Fronted by Lzzy Hale, who also writes for Revolver Magazine, which had previously named her one of the “Hottest Chicks in Metal”, Halestorm brings a heavy dose of in-your-face rock with songs like “Familar Taste of Poison” or “It’s Not You”.
Adelita’s Way – Formed in 2005, Adelita’s Way originally found mainstream success with their single “Invincible”, which was made the theme of WWE Superstars in 2009. The group makes easy-to-listen-to driving hard rock, interspersed with the occasional Daughtry-like ballad like their single “Last Stand”.
f.y.e. Second Stage
Cypress Hill – “Insane in the Membrane”, the California hip-hop group has been active since 1988 with over 18 million albums sold worldwide. Frontman B-Real is known for his distinctive high-pitched vocal tone, making his rapping style easy to discern if one listens to a track that he is a part of. DJ Muggs, Sen Dog and Eric Correa round out the lineup of a classic hip-hop group that helped to pioneer a fusion of rap and rock in the 1990s.
P.O.D. – “Payable on Death” is the full name of this group, who also hail from Cali and bring a strong fusion of hip-hop and rock to the table. P.O.D. incorporates a reverence to their Christian faith into their music, with a style that proved to be just what the public wanted in the late 90s during the rise of ‘nu metal’. The band’s newest album “Murdered Love” is set to be released this summer, which will be their first release in four years and first from their new label Razor & Tie.
Cavo – Best known for their hit single “Champagne”, Cavo’s music would feel right being played at any party involving plenty of drinkin’ and debauchery. Upbeat, driving, and melodic are the most appropriate descriptors for this group.
Falling in Reverse – Falling in Reverse was born in prison, interestingly enough – frontman Ronnie Radke was serving an 18-month sentence and had been fired from his previous band Escape the Fate as he began writing the group’s initial songs. In jail Radke was able to finally kick a debilitating drug addiction and turn his life around, because it wasn’t long after his release that he managed to get a new group together with record-label support. FIR, like Radke’s previous band, is a glam-rock outfit combines sugary-sweet melodic vocals with intense guttaral punctuations. (Chicks dig it, we presume…)
New Medicine – Heavy, in-your-face alt-rock. Worth a look, especially if they rock like their video for “Laid” on the regular.
Emphatic – Auto-tuned crabcore. Worth skipping. Their set will be a great time to take a break, get a beer, or perhaps hit the Port-a-John.
Bobaflex – Bobaflex celebrates their return to Rock on the Range by scoring the top spot on the Jager stage for Saturday’s show. When seeing the band perform, you can expect high intensity as well as the occasional ballad-esque tune.
In This Moment – Frontwoman Maria Brink heads this metalcore group that adeptly explores a musical space that is at times heavy and abrasive, while others experimental and exploratory. Though Brink doesn’t have the appearance of the tough, in-your-face type bandleader, her lyrics and screams can bring anyone to their senses! And their drummer Jeff Fabb dominates the double kick drums like no other. (Although he did just leave the band – hopefully his replacement,
Kyng – Think Shinedown with a heavier edge. (At least vocally).
Rival Sons – Rival Sons haven’t been around that long, but their throwback musical style hearkens back to a better musical age – the 1970s. If you had the chance to view the video above, you’d see that they boast a style that evokes memories of Led Zeppelin, with a funky bass grove, sweet lead riffs, and funk-osity.
Otherwise – The group’s latest single “Soldiers” is a blue collar anthem that any tough guy could rally behind – a shout-out to all the people out there who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirtied and shirts bloodied.
Coming up next – A preview of Sunday’s acts. Keep your browser ready, folks!