Rock on the Range 2014

Rock on the Range

May 16-18, 2013

Columbus, OH

              Rock on the Range has been a staple for rock fans all over the USA and entering its 8th year, has grown to 3 full days.  After experimenting last year with a half day on Friday, this year they extended it to a full day and with a sellout crowd, it proved to be a winning formula. Featuring over 60 bands spread out over 3 stages, as well as a Comedy Tent, fans had many choices to check out.  Headliners included Guns N’ Roses, Avenged Sevenfold, and Kid Rock.

          Guns N' Roses (1)   Day 1 started out with overcast skies and light sprinkles, along with temps in the 50’s. Fans were slow to file in but by the end of the day, they packed in Crew Stadium.  Some of the highlights from Day 1 were Kill Devil Hill, who opened the day at noon.  Kill Devil Hill feature Rex Brown on bass who has played in Pantera and Down.  They ended their set with a surprise appearance from Phil Anselmo as they performed Mouth for War. Black Stone Cherry got the Main Stage going with their Southern Rock and with their new album, Magic Mountain, climbing to #1 on the rock charts.  Fans packed in to catch a killer set. Reignwolf was the surprise of the day, while most fans and media headed over to see Butcher Babies.  The crowd that remained at the side stage caught one of the best performances of the weekend.  The guys in the band play a raunchy, bluesy style rock that takes you to the edge as they explode on stage. This is a band to watch in the coming years, as they have hit onto something that reaches fans of rock. Down ended the night for both side stages. Phil Anselmo dared the crowd to show them they have it in them to mosh, as well as form pits and they obliged to his every word.  Rex Brown came out to a huge roar of approval as he joined in to play out the set.

Day 1 ended with Guns N Roses and started on time, at 9:30, as they played the longest set in ROTR history – 2½ hrs.  With temps dipping into the 30’s, fans stayed for the first hour before heading out, leaving the diehards to enjoy.  GnR did not disappoint and while a little long with some songs, they played all the fan favorites.

Day 2 highlights were dominated by the side stage bands.  While many people line up early to see the headliner for main stage, they missed out on new bands on each side of the stadium. Wilson laid waste to the Jager stage with their in-your-face party rock that is so infectious you can’t help but like.  Crobots played a 70’s stoner rock that was very infectious and will be hearing a lot about in the coming year. Avatar brought their carnival show to ROTR and totally owned it as their set seem to awaken the fans.  After 2 days of cold, Avatar warmed their bones as the mosh pits opened up and heads banged.  With their new album, Hail the Apocalypse, this is one circus you won’t want to miss. Nothing More is a band that has been receiving a lot of buzz and very much deserved.  With their single, This is the Time (Ballast), they have been tearing it up on the charts. Singer, Jonny Hawkins has the looks and the vocals to set them apart from the rock genre that seems to be clutter with cookie cutter bands. Taylor Momsen owned the stage when her band, The Pretty Reckless, came on.  Combing old school rock with her sexuality, she pushes the envelope and gives rock a much need kick-in-the ass but not playing it safe. Not to forget the Main stage, where Rev Theory have refocused and come back with an EP, Take Em Out and seemed rejuvenated with guitarist, Paul Phillips joining the group. Avenged Sevenfold (7)

             Pop Evil have been touring nonstop for over a year since the release of their album, Onyx.  Their live shows have become a key factor in their success and at ROTR, they did not fail to make their mark.  Singer, Leigh Kakaty hand walked on the crowd before coming back on stage to close out their set with Trenches with DMC that will have fans remembering as the highlight of ROTR. Day 2 ended with a perfect pairing of Slayer and Avenged Sevenfold, which was the largest crowd of any day in ROTR history.

Day 3 could not have started any better with temps in the low 60’s and sunny, after dealing with 2 days of cold.  The fans were ready to peel off the layers of clothes and let it all hang out.  Gemini Syndrome have been converting fans all over America and today was no different.  Playing as if they have been together for many albums, they are a tight as hell on stage and come at you full force giving the fans a much needed wake up call to start day 3. Asking Alexandria lead singer, Danny Worsnop side project – We are Harlot made their debut at ROTR.  Fans were excited as they packed the stage and they did not disappoint as the crowd sang along to the single, Denial. Gojira have been around for years but their last two albums, they have become fan favorites in America. They have raised the bar in the metal genre by incorporating several styles into a powerful in-your-face attack, that seeing live is a pure metal fan’s bliss. Adelitas Way is back and after a few members being replaced, they are coming back strong, with their new album, Stuck to be released at the end of July.  Fans can expect rejuvenated live shows and clearer direction in their music.

Five Finger Death Punch (4) It was good to see ROTR reach out to bands from all over the world; with Wolfmother they raised that bar.  Playing a 60’s & 70’s style rock that proved to be very effective with the Main stage fans. Alterbridge, a band with two of the hardest working people in rock, Myles Kennedy and Mark Tremonti who never seem to stop working so when they come together, they form one of the best guitar duo in rock. While many fans would have loved to seen Five Finger Death Punch to headline, it was a treat for Sunday fans and they did not want the weekend to end.  5FDP, playing at ROTR has reached mythical levels with sets being stopped short, waves of bodies being carried over the barricade.  Tonight was no exception as bodies flew, music played at a level that will leave future rangers hearing about.

To close the 3 day, 2nd year in a row, sold out festival, was Kid Rock.  Bringing his party anthems with a mix of rock, hip-hop,Kid Rock (7) and country gave a chance for fans to party the night to an end. ROTR 2014 could be remembered for many things, but in the end it was the music of 60 bands that brought together a brotherhood/sisterhood of fans who call themselves, Rangers.

Till next year ROTR.

Review by Peter Lizano 

Friday, May 16

Guns N’ Roses



Black Label Society

Killswitch Engage

Black Stone Cherry

Redlight King


Lacuna Coil

Kill Devil Hill


We Came as Romans

Thousand Foot Krutch

Saturday, May 17

Avenged Sevenfold



Theory of a Deadmand

Pop Evil


Rev Theory

The Pretty Reckless

Nothing More

Stars in Stereo




Sunday, May 18

Kid Rock

Five Finger Death Punch

Alter Bridge



Adelitas Way


Jason Bonham

We Are Harlot

Gemini Syndrome



Twelve Foot Ninja