Rock On The Range 2014 Day One Breakdown

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(PCM) Despite the less than favorable weather conditions in the Columbus, OH area, it did nothing to diminish the rock n’ roll spirit that was alive and well at this year’s Rock On The Range held as Columbus Crew Stadium.

Legions of rock and metal fans gathered together to see the top artists in the genre perform at the one place where rock truly lives and that place is without a doubt, Rock on The Range.

Over the year’s Rock On The Range has grown to be a full three day festival completely dedicated to rock and metal and this year’s line-up featured a stellar array of bands. At Rock On The Range there is something for everyone whether your a fan of thrash metal, speed metal, radio rock, alternative rock or anything in-between, there are bands that will appeal to every taste.

What I also enjoy about Rock On The Range is that it is an absolutely amazing place to learn about and enjoy new bands. My advice is go check out the side stages. While the main stage acts were utterly phenomenal, there were definitely some absolutely amazing acts featured on this year’s side stages as well.

With three full days of rock, we have decided to break down our coverage to our highlights from each day, along with exclusive interviews!

Day one of Rock On The Range featured performances by Guns N’ Roses (interview here), Staind, Seether (interview here), Black Label Society, Killswitch Engage (interview here), Black Stone Cherry (interview here), Redlight King (interview here), Down, Living Colour (interview here), Reignwolf, We Came As Romans,Thousand Foot Krutch, Kyng,Devour The Day, Lacuna Coil, Butcher Babies,One Ok Rock (interview here), Truckfighters, Werm, and Kill Devil Hill (interview here).

Things We Loved At Rock On The Range Day One

1. Kill Devil Hill got Rock On The Range 2014 off to an incredible start. Talk about waking up the crowd! Also, I about lost my mind when Phil Anselmo of Down joined Kill Devil Hill on stage to perform the Pantera classic “Mouth For War”!  For those that don’t know, Kill Devil band member Rex Brown was the former bassist for Pantera. You can view a video of this amazing moment below:

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2. One Ok Rock made their U.S. festival debut at Rock On The Range and I can definitely say that this band is well on their way to creating quite a name for themselves here in the States. They are high-energy and just a lot of fun to watch!

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3. Reignwolf is incredible and his performances are absolutely hypnotizing. I first caught Reignwolf at last year’s Voodoo Experience Festival in New Orleans and I was thrilled to see that he was going to be performing at this year’s Rock On The Range. Reignwolf is a true master of his instrument and the way in which he commandeers the stage demands the attention of anyone within a close enough radius.

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4. Another one of the top performances of the day came from Living Colour. While many may have questioned the band’s placement on the bill, they more than held their own and totally blew the audience away. The band has such amazing showmanship and their raw energy was infectious. It was also quite a moment to see the members of Down jamming out on the side of the stage and then later Down having Living Colour join them on-stage for the last song of their set! I adore festival moments like these that break down genre stereotypes!

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5. Killswitch Engage blasted onto the stage with true passion and intensity. They were also perhaps one of the absolute loudest performers of the day and trust me, we were not complaining. You could literally feel the stadium vibrate with each guitar chord and bass line. With so many great tracks under their belt, I can’t even imagine trying to put together a setlist, however Killswitch delivered. I just wish they could have played a bit longer set, I have decided I will never tire of hearing “My Curse” live and of course their brilliant cover of Dio’s “Holy Diver” to close out their set.

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6. Black Label Society never disappoint in the live environment. The band effortlessly blends together incredible showmanship and stellar musicianship. Touring behind their latest album release “Catacombs of The Black Vatican”, it was awesome to see some new tunes sneak their way into the band’s set. Front man Zakk Wylde holds the audience captivated and the band is always a highlight to any festival billing, especially when they release giant black beach balls to toss around the crowd..definitely not something you see everyday!

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7. Despite hearing a few complaints from other critics regarding Guns N’ Roses performance which closed out Rock On The Range night one, I have to disagree, as I felt they did a pretty darn good job. While it did appear that a lot of the crowd had begun to exit the stadium, I blame that more on the dropping temperature than I do on the performance that was taking place on the stage. GNR’s set was chock full of hits, most of which appeared early on in the set as the second and third songs were “Welcome To The Jungle” and “Mr. Brownstone” and please give Axl Rose some credit for hitting the stage at 9:30pm on the dot. Seriously, he was not even a minute late! It also must be noted that Concert Hotels has just ranked Axl Rose as having the World’s Greatest Vocal Range!

One of the most beautiful moments of the set came when Axl took to the piano to play “November Rain” as shimmering sparks rained down around him. It was also great when he disappeared from the stage a few times to allow guitarists DJ Ashba and Bumblefoot and keyboardist Dizzy Reed their time to shine in the spotlight with solo’s as well.

Rock On The Range Day One Photo Gallery
All photos credit: Ken Schuler for PopCultureMadness.com

Check out our exclusive coverage of Rock On The Range Day Two and Day Three here!

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