The excitement was brewing driving into Columbus Crew Stadium to begin the first day of the three day excursion into the heart and soul of rock n’ roll at Rock On The Range 2013. Always one of the top picks for best festival in the States, Rock On The Range 2013, yet again did not disappoint. Rock On The Range is now one of the veteran rock festivals in it’s seventh year and the line-up becoming more and more diverse and without a doubt, more awesome with each passing year. It was also amazing the hear that this years festival was completely sold-out, so rock on!
Normally the festival features three stages that run back to back throughout the course of the weekend, however with the festival expanding to three days this year instead of two, Friday night’s line-up of ten bands ran on two stages starting a bit later in the afternoon. On Friday night we caught some amazing performances from XFactor1, Love & Death, American Fangs, Hollywood Undead, Mindset Evolution, Buckcherry,Oleander, Cheap Trick, In Flames, and Korn.
The afternoon got off to fantastic start with Love & Death kicking things off on the main stage. Many Korn fans knew to show up bright and early because Love & Death is the new band fronted by ex-Korn guitarist and founding member Brian “Head” Welch. It was during last summer’s Carolina Rebellion festival that Welch reconnected with Korn front-man Jonathan Davis and joined the band on-stage during their closing set marking the first time they had played together since 2005. Fast-forward to 2013 and the announcement that Brian “Head” Welch had rejoined Korn on a permanent basis and they would be performing live together at Rock On The Range left many die-hard Korn fans absolutely overjoyed. Welch appeared to be thrilled playing in both bands and absolutely tore up the stage with both Love & Death, as well as, Korn to close out the night.
One of huge surprise highlights came from Oleander’s performance on the Jagermiester second stage earlier in the afternoon. Being of the early to mid nineties generation, hearing this band’s name on the bill immediately had everyone excited and curious about what to expect. The band has just released a new album titled “Something Beautiful” and put on one hell of an amazing and energetic performance at Rock On The Range. Another highlight of the afternoon came once Los Angeles rockers Buckcherry took to the main stage turning the energy notch from zero to sixty blasting straight into their hit song ” Lit Up” and never slowing down. They tore through majority of their hit singles, and even threw in a bit of a surprise with the not often played song “Porno” sneaking it’s way into the band Rock On The Range set.
Another band that was surprise to see included on this year’s Rock On The Range bill was Cheap Trick, however these veterans of rock brought down the house churning through their hits such as “Dream Police”, “I Want You To Want Me”, and of course “Surrender” during which they were joined on stage by several member of Buckcherry. It was insane to see the majority of the crowd, most of whom were not even born during Cheap Trick’s height of popularity, belting out every lyric to both “I Want You To Want Me” and “Surrender”, and let’s not even mention the almost bewildered looks upon the faces of both Robin Zander and Rick Neilson and hundreds of fans began crowd surfing their way from the back of the stadium to the stage, something probably not seen at your typical Cheap Trick concert, but that’s Rock On The Range for ya!
Swedish metal band In Flames closed out the Jagermiester stage on Friday evening with one of the most adrenaline fueled performances you could have the chance to witness. The crowd went absolutely wild with mosh pits galore and continuous chants for more as they ate up the raw brutality that is an In Flames performance. With the crowd amped and ready to go, it was finally time for Korn to take to the main stage to close out day one of Rock On The Range 2013. This year marks the first time Korn has ever headlined Rock On The Range, and they pulled out all the punches. Opening with “Blind” followed by the deep-cut, fan favorite “Ball Tongue” the crowd went absolutely insane. It was wall to wall people on the floor of the stadium rocking out to Korn’s nearly 70-minute set, and you could see the camaraderie between those five men on stage who put every inch of their soul into their performance and never disappoint in the live environment. It was such a great way to bring Rock On The Range Day One to a close!