Every single article of clothing I brought with me this past weekend is still soaked from the rain. My bank account, on the other hand, is as dry as a desert. My throat has decided that now would be a great time for a case of strep throat and I’m pretty sure my liver has never hated me as much as it does now. All of that being said, this past weekend was a dream and absolutely amazing.

The adventure started last Thursday when me and my friends Niki and Mike piled into my little Prius and started the eleven hour trek to Columbus, Ohio. Our eleven hour trip quickly turned into a fourteen hour expedition that included lunch in downtown Chicago and far too many bathroom breaks just so we could get out and stretch. Even with the extremely long trip, we arrived in Columbus bright eyed and bushy tailed. We were ready and excited for Rock on the Range.

So much happened over the three days of the festival that it would take me forever to write about everything so I’ll do a quick rundown of each day.

Friday, Day 1- 

Bands We Caught- Beartooth, Thrice, Bush, Sum 41, Chevelle, Live, Chris Cornell tribute

Rain- The storm was en route to the stadium right after Thrice’s set. Staff evacuate the stadium in time to get everyone out before the torrential downpour but, due to my stubbornness and our desire to drink, we still ended up getting completely soaked when we tried to run to the nearest bar. After a couple of drinks there and no sign of the rain letting up, we went back to the hotel to dry off and get some food in us. The show resumed a couple of hours later and every single band slated to play still played. Quite a feat for a festival of this size!

Best Band of the Day- Bush. I have to be honest, I don’t think I’d ever call myself a huge Bush fan but they sounded absolutely amazing. I knew way more of their songs than I thought I would.

Chris Cornell Tribute- Soundgarden was supposed to be the headliner of the night but unfortunately, their singer had passed away on Thursday morning. The mood was somber in the stadium as they played through live footage of the late Chris Cornell. Corey Taylor (Slipknot, Stone Sour) took the stage and performed two of Chris’ songs. It was a truly beautiful moment and something that I was more than honored to be able to experience. Not being able to see Soundgarden was absolutely devastating but the touching tribute made it obvious that Chris’ spirit would stay alive forever.

Saturday, Day 2-

Bands We Caught- Fire From The Gods, Sylar, Alter Bridge, Turnstile, Skillet, Atilla, Seether, Whitechapel, Papa Roach, Taking Back Sunday, The Offspring, Korn

Rain- After Friday’s rain, we had become our own meteorologists and, when we woke up and realized that there was a storm headed our way out, we decided to take our time getting up and find somewhere for some brunch. Just as we loaded into the Uber to head out for the day, all of our phones with off with the notification that the day had been delayed a couple of hours. After one too many bloodies and mimosas, the gates were opened and the day went on as planned. It was smooth sailing the rest of the day until the end when another storm was headed our way. Unfortunately, they had to cut Korn’s set about 20 minutes short but we escaped from the stadium before the storm hit. In our drunken stupor, we had the Uber drop us off at the bar up the street from our hotel and, when it was time to walk back to the hotel, it was storming pretty good so again, we got back dripping wet but happy.

Best Band of the Day– Korn. Obviously. I had never been able to see these guys and they were definitely a bucket list item for me.  They sounded exactly like I remembered them sounding like back when I would obsess over their albums and their energy was exactly how I wanted it to be. Sure, I was a little bummed that their set got cut short due to the impending storm but I got to see them play some of my favorite songs and that was enough for me.

Sunday, Day 3-

Bands We Caught- Nothing More, Dinosaur Pile-Up, Every Time I Die, Biffy Clyro, Suicide Silence, The Pretty Reckless, Dillinger Escape Plan, Primus, Amon Amarth, Volbeat, Metallica

Rain- The day was smooth sailing. All of the storms that were on the radar seemed to be missing Columbus so we were optimistic that we would finally get a dry day. Wishful thinking. Volbeat stopped abruptly during their set and voice came over the loudspeaker that they would be suspending performances for the time being. I hadn’t even noticed how dark the sky had gotten but it was freaking dark. Before we knew it, the sold out crowd that had been awaiting Metallica was stuck in the middle of an intense rain storm complete with rain and lightning. Niki, Mike and I tried to stick it out as long as we could but eventually succumbed to the rain and made our way into the concourse of the stadium. After a little bit, with the rain lightening up a bit, we heard the speakers come back on and Volbeat resume their set exactly where they had stopped. We were soaked, freezing and miserable but we were about to see Metallica so none of that mattered.

Best Band of the Day- Being able to see Metallica was an absolute treat but, if I’m being honest, I’m not a huge fan of their music. That being said, their production value was off the charts and the way the crowd reacted to them made them the best band of the day. I’m not going to start listening to Metallica on a daily basis but if they ever came to the Twin Cities again, I would definitely go check it out.

Shoutout- My buddy Ross is currently on tour doing sound for Nothing More. Being so far away from home at a completely sold out festival yet seeing a familiar face on the main stage was unreal. I’m so happy for this kid and can’t wait to see what else he has coming up! Great job Ross!

The car ride home was full of coughs, sniffles, sneezes and wheezes. I’m sick as a dog and feeling a bit miserable but I wouldn’t change it for anything. Rock on the Range was nothing short of an adventure. I saw bands I never thought I’d be able to see, bands I had no desire to see, and bands that I’ve loved for years. Even with the rain, this weekend was absolutely perfect.

I will be back to Rock on the Range next year. Join me?

 

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