I was hoping to make it to Rock on the Range this year, but the ticket prices are a tad too high for me. Not to fear though, I’ll still cash in on the events popularity by digging up this unpublished review from the vault that I did way back in 2009. Hope you enjoy!
Columbus Crews stadium is close enough to the freeway that with the windows rolled down you can hear the bands playing on the way to the venue, which is great because you’re rocking before you’re parking. A gentleman with a couch on wheels pulled us to the front gate on a bicycle. Once inside we were surrounded by all the summer festival staples: bongs, t-shirts, overpriced food, portable toilets, and an ATM in a van. I loved the irony of seeing roaming beer vendors soliciting in the child play area. But we weren’t interested in elephant ears or $4 bottled water, we wanted rock! And rock we received.
I kicked off my day in a pit; from there it was a nonstop journey across three stages watching dozens of bands. The sky was overcast but anyone who’s ever been to an outdoor festival will tell you that this is preferential to blue skies. The clouds block out the sun’s heat and keep the day cool. Plus stage lights would have been asinine on a sunny day. The open-air stadium was a great place to see a show. The staircases and landings offered multiple views of the side stages. We even headed up to the nosebleed section and turned around to get a bird’s eye view.
Once Flyleaf took the main stage the clouds parted and the sun broke through, proving once and for all that Christian bands are good for something. But the clouds would not be deterred for long and soon the rains fell. Solid drops only lasted about five minutes but a light mist persisted throughout Chevelle’s set. The drizzle didn’t last long and a few women took the opportunity to remove their wet tops during All That Remains. (The singer for All That Remains tried to make a grand entrance by running onto and leaping on the stage. The rain made the stage a little slippery and he ended up slipping on his face). I usually have to shove dollars into garters to see so many boobies! The crowd was crazy at this show; I even saw a wheelchair that had to get in on the crowd surfing action.
After a scrape on the knee and a few kicks to the head we found some great seats for Alice in Chains. The question of the day was how well could the new guy sing these songs? William Duvall filled Layne Staley’s shoes so well he should be submitted to weekly drug screens. And even if he passes he should be sent to rehab! The only downside to seeing this classic band was that the wind blowing through the arena prevented me from holding up my lighter during “Rooster.” (During which they were joined by Duff McKagan)
After ten straight hours of bouncing back and forth between the stages and having to pick and choose between bands playing simultaneously it was nice to relax a bit and check out the great view of the Columbus skyline the stadium offers. Once Slipknot hit the stage the night was over. We sat in the bleachers and watched the crowd bounce back and forth, savoring the last moments of our day at Rock on the Range.