FESTIVAL REVIEW: ROCK ON THE RANGE 2016 – Day 2 (Saturday)
Waking up to the sound of rain was not the best feeling you could imagine for another day of heavy rock and metal. But once again, the die-hard music lovers were not going to have Mother Nature ruin their weekend of heavy music that only comes once a year.
The day started with former Flyleaf vocalist Lacey Sturm, who packed her side of the stage going up against Citizen Zero. Lacey mostly played songs from her debut album, but did not let her hardcore fans down by adding some Flyleaf songs at the end of her set. Aranda then followed Strum to a similarly-sized crowd while rapper Jelly Roll performed on the third stage. Many wonder why rappers have became a part of part of the rock fest, but it is sort of refreshing to have a different style of music here after listening to rock all day. P.O.D then opened up the main stage by having fans crowd-surf to shake their hand, which resulted in a fan jumping on stage. Lead vocalist Sonny Sandoval was quick to react by saying he loved the fan’s passion and willingness to get on stage, and that he wanted that fan to return to the crowd and not get kicked out, which had the audience cheering in approval.
Wilson then went up against Texas Hippie Coalition, and many were shocked at how amazing Wilson’s performance was. Wilson was no stranger to Rock on the Range after playing in 2014, but the performance these guys brought was something no band had delivered all weekend up to that point. Their music had people who don’t usually mosh be the ones in the middle of the pit. Yes, their music was that effective. Right after their set, many began to rush to the FYE tent to purchase their most recent album, and I believe personally that you should do the same.
The fans began to return to the main stage to see former Three Days Grace vocalist Adam Gontier performing with his new band Saint Asonia. The band’s first show was at Rock on the Range in 2015, and they have been killing it ever since. During their set this year, they made sure to add some covers of their old work from Three Days Grace and Staind. The crowd then split to the side-stages to see either New Years Day or Issues. The next act was Pop Evil, whose new music in their setlist was unrecognisable to the fans, but who became fans of it by the time their set ended. While the rain still hadn’t stopped since the early morning, the fans were still giving it their all as thousands gathered at the stage for Parkway Drive and opened up insane mosh-pits.
The almighty Steel Panther ran onto the stage, giving thousands of fans some comedy hair metal. The band had the crowd laughing so hard to the point of tears with their dirty jokes. Listening to their lyrics, you could not help but laugh. Before the set was over, tons of fans were on each others’ shoulders. Ghost then took to the side-stage, where mostly everyone went. Known to have the best live show, they showed everyone why exactly they had that reputation with their antics. The chants of Hellyeah grew louder and louder as their stage time came closer, and for it being their first show in the city of Columbus, they did everything you could ask for to make it worth the wait. The setlist was made to perfection, and really left everyone wanting them back in Columbus as soon as possible. The sun came out after the rains stopped, just in time for Lamb of God, who had a very similar-looking crowd to Megadeth’s the day before. From the first beat of the drum, the pits opened to a point you didn’t see all weekend. With every song kicking, in the circle pits opened wider and wider. When the band performed “Redneck”, people in the pit whether they wanted to or not; it was that big!
The main stage then came down to the last two bands, and the first of the two was a band who is not new to Rock on the Range: Five Finger Death Punch. In past years, the band was told they were no longer allowed to play the festival due to the outrageous behavior of their fans, but for a 10th year of celebrating rock and metal, Rock on the Range just had to bring them back. The heavy sound of their guitars built up the energy to the point where you wanted to break stuff, and halfway through the show, more and more people started to crowd-surf. Many wished the band could have been the headliner, but that slot belonged to Mr. Rob Zombie. Zombie came out dancing and swinging his long hair as John 5 killed it on the guitar. For those who did not know the band had a new album out, Zombie and co. played material from ‘The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser’. The audience reacted well to the new music, but nothing could beat their classic hits like “Dragula.”