My Rock On the Range Experience and Photos

posted by Paul James - 

Like most people, my wife and I have a bucket list, ours is packed with concerts and bands we want to see. One of those was Rock On The Range in Columbus. Well, this past weekend I put a check mark next to it on my list, mostly because I'll go again! 

Rock On The Range is a three day festival of hard rock. Yep, the heaviest music and bands on the market get asked to rock out 120,000 "Rangers" in 60 minute sets, on three stages, for 33 hours. It's kinda like a marathon for music freaks for all over the country. Yes, some people drive for days to attend this festival of rock. In fact, I met a man about my age who drove for 12 hours just to see Machine Gun Kelly. MGK is from Cleveland, but only plays a few shows in the U.S. this year. His son is a big fan, but unfortunately mapquest took him to the wrong place and they missed that show on Friday afternoon. I felt bad for them, but they were still having an awesome time.

Ann and I love all types of music, including hard rock. We especially love the shows. The production, if you will and Tool provided that on Sunday night. It was like watching Pink Floyd to the third power! The lasers, video, over the top lighting was something I had heard about but was seriously wowed.

I went to the show anticipating Breaking Benjamin, Greta Van Fleet, Stone Temple Pilots, Godsmack, Three Days Grace, Alice in Chains, Avenged Sevenfold and Stone Sour. They all rocked hard and put on great shows.

I've been blessed to have seen hundreds of concert performances, but in my 36 years of going to LIVE shows I have never seen a man in a wheelchair crowd surfing or a very drunk festival goer drink vodka from a Camelback bladder that was in a garbage can at the entrance. And that is only a few of the "Never Before Seen" moments. One day over a drink, I'll tell you a few more. Honestly, I had a wonderful time, even though we had a 4 hour storm delay for 87 drops of rain, but to be fair there was a lightning storm a few miles away and Mapfre Stadium is all aluminum.

Here are my Rock On The Range Award Winners:

Best Overall Performance: Godsmack

Best Production (Lights, Video, Sound, etc.): Tool

Best Throwback Band: Greta Van Fleet

Best Crowd Engager: Godsmack

Biggest Surprise Performance: Black Veil Bride

Best Side Stage Performance: From Ashes To New

Weirdest Show: Baby Metal

Loudest Show: Avenged Sevenfold

Most Crowd Complaints: A Perfect Circle

Best Rapper: Machine Gun Kelly

Paul James

Paul James

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