With a record sell out and an even bigger line up, this year’s Rock on the Range has set the bar high. The 2017 Rock on the Range had a record sell out once its amazing line up was announced to include Volbeat, Soundgarden, Korn, the original line up of LIVE, the Offspring, and of course METALLICA!
As fans around the world planned their ROTR weekend, all eyes were on the weather. With the festival being an all outdoors fest, weather is definitely a major concern for goers. As the weekend approached closer the forecast seemed more and more drearier. Then Thursday morning came. News breaking early morning of the passing of Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell, the music world was left shocked, stunned, and without words but a lot of emotion. With Soundgarden set to close out day one many headed to Columbus with uncertainty. One they were uncertain of what the ROTR festival would do with that open time slot. Would they play tribute to Chris or would they fill the spot with another act?
Well, Friday came without haste. The day began with warm sunny weather, almost too warm. About half way through the day the PA system throughout MAPFRE Stadium began to belt out a muffled announced that there was severe weather approaching and we were to all evacuate the stadium to our vehicles. This caused some confusion with fans as it was still very much sunny but, they seemed to obey the announcements and the tailgate parties began to commence again. About an hour after the evacuation was when the weather hit. With the rain and evacuation, the show was set back about 4 hours. The weather passed and the stadium was filled again to continue on the show where it left off. Goodbye June, Beartooth, I Prevail, Thrice, The Amity Affliction and a few others got their sets in before the evacuation. Motionless In White and Norma Jean kicked the festivities back into gear. Bush, Sum 41, Gojira, Chevelle all continued to keep the crowds moving through the evening. Pierce the Veil closed out the Zippo Stage for the evening with LIVE following up on the Monster Main Stage. This is when the unknown became the known. What was going to come of the open time slot. AEG & DWP put together a wonderful tribute to Chris Cornell. This included a video with his isolated vocal track to Black Hole Sun and Stone Sour’s Corey Taylor also coming to stage to perform some or Cornell’s other hits as tribute.
Saturday brought more uncertainty when fans began to show up at the gate for the 11 am open time and they were turned away. The festival’s producers, following the onsite meteorologist suggestions, decided to hold off allowing fans into the stadium as there again was weather imminent. Instead fans could be seen enjoying their own food and fare in the parking lot while they awaited the all clear. At around 1:30 the gates opened and allowed the fans to claim their favorite spot to get a good view of what the second day had in store. Day two was host to One Less reason, Starset, Skillet, DED, Alter Bridge, Seether, Whitechapel, Papa Roach, Taking Back Sunday, The Offspring, Coheed & Cambria, and Korn to name only a few of the fan favorites.
Sunday, the day everyone has anticipated! The day kicked off on time with Mother Feather, Dorothy, Royal Republic and As Lions opening up the Zippo and Bud Light stages. Rival Sons opened the Monster Main Stage with their hits, getting the stadium crowd moving. Radkey, Wage War, Nothing More, Everytime I Die, Biffy Clyro, Zakk Sabbath, and Suicide Silence all kept the stages flowing and rocking. The Pretty Reckless were due up next on the Monster Stage. With an emotional introduction from Sirius Radio’s Shannon Gunz, The Pretty Reckless took the stage and played their hearts out. TPR were on tour with Soundgarden and had opened for Chris Cornell and Soundgarden at the Fox Theater in Detroit. You could tell that lead, Taylor Momsen was putting more emotion into the performance. To follow and close out the night was The Dillenger Escape Plan, Primus, Amon Amarth, and Volbeat. Unfortunately, during Volbeat’s performance the producers had to pause the show as the sky decided to open again dampening the crowd. This time the crowd was not evacuated, potentially due to fear of riots. Instead the fans who decided to give their spots up huddled in the concourse of the stadium. The ones who did not want to lose their spot on the floor all banded together and created a poncho town. Fans holding their neighbor’s poncho the crowd created tents allowing no rain to ruin their evening. As the weather passed and the skies dried the show began again with Volbeat’s final two song of their set. Then a quick set change and Metallica appeared on stage to play for the biggest Rock on the Range crowd seen by HEAR. Their performance included pyro, fireworks, LED boards, and a lot of excited super fans. Metallica played through their hits with every crowd member singing along. Thus, closing out a damp, but successful 11th year of Rock on the Range.
Also, mentionable points to the weekend were the Rolling Rock comedy tent which hosted Jim Breuer, Nikki Glaser, tony Hinchcliffe, Brent Terhune, and Steve Sabo to only new very few. The Music Experience tent, as always, was bumping full of fans trying out the latest and greatest products in the music world. You also had a chance to enter in a draw and win one of six ROTR guitars.
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With a Rock on the Range experience this year, I don’t know how they will top themselves next year! Stay tuned to Facebook and the Rock on the Range Official Site for this year’s highlights!