Photos by Kirk Kline
Dear Rock on the Range,
I have totally developed a serious love/hate relationship with you over the past two years, this year was way better than last year and I had the best fucking time/the worst fucking time. I met a lot of straight up cool motherfuckers and a lot of straight up uncool motherfuckers.
Rock on the Range 2010 also solidified my belief that there are two kinds of people in this wonderful world we live in-Dudes that get it and motherfuckers that straight the fuck up do not. Guess which campground I camp at???
One thing about ROTR that you may not realize is that it is a destination music fest and I sure you’re all familiar with the phrase “what happens in vegas stays in vegas” right? Well that seemed to be the general mentality of the hordes of people that traveled 8+ hours to Crew Stadium to drink their faces off in the sun for 12 hours at a time, two days straight. It was a pretty big mess, dudes were already falling out by 2:00 on day one, needing medics attention and like i said, the attitude of the “rangers for life” was: WHHHOOOOOOO, FUCK YEAH MAN, PARTY, YEAH, BURRRRP, GET OUT OF MY WAY, BURRRRRP, WHERES MY BEER, YEAHHHH. (I totally freak out in large crowds and feared for my life on a number of occasions) It was basically amateur night for two whole days and myself, for the most part, was just an outside observer. I mean, I was stoked as heck to see Mastodon, Helmet and Deftones-gotta say none of ’em disappointed.
Pictured: Violent Soho
I started off the ROTR gauntlet over at one of the two side stages, this one in paticular being sponsored by Kicker audio, the other being sponsored by Jagermeister. The first act of the weekend was Australian dudes with long ass hair, Violent Soho. I noticed the crowd size and as much as I didn’t need to start pounding $8 beers that early in the day, I knew in my mind that I had no choice and went ahead and pulled the $8 trigger. I was totally expecting to not dig Violent Soho at all, but was willing to give them a chance for a few reasons. 1. There was nothing better to do, 2. Foreign bands fucking bring it and 3. They are on Thurston Moore’s label, Ecstatic Peace. These cats rock the loud/soft dynamic pretty well and I guess I heard a little Pixies and Nirvana. Another thing about them is that they know how to rock those fabulous manes they have and it made for a relatively entertaining set to watch and wasn’t a bad kick off to the weekend.
After the set ended I wandered back to the media tent to scope things out, because I had some time to kill. Maaaaaan it was a fucking sauna, but there was free bottles of water and thank the good lord for that. I ended up in the “Backstage Artist lounge,” where sponsors give away “cool shit” to the performers. I ended up finding some Columbus love back there as Lucky 13 Hair Salon were stationed back there giving rad cuts and a Columbus clothing company called Badcock Apparel had tee shirts that I would likely never wear. (Seth from Badcock hooked me up with the one I would be most likely to wear even though I wasn’t supposed to take anything). If Big Johnson and Affliction is your thing, check it out.
It was time to check out the mess that was the Main Stage and Puddle of Mudd happened to be performing. Not exactly sure why people like this band and for some reason they decided to play two cover songs-an AC/DC track and “the Joker”. I mean if my catalogue was as weak as theirs, I suppose I would play as many covers as possible too. Enough about those dudes.
Pictured: Mistress Juliya and Columbus Gold girls
This is when the day got cool as fuuuuck, and it honestly had not a thing to do with Columbus Gold. It was time for some motherfucking Helmet maaaaaaaan. That is what Mistress Juliya was doing, letting the crowd know the Helmet were about to destroy and if I may, THEY SURE THE FUCK DID.
You can tell by the look on Mr. Page Hamilton’s face that he knew the crowd had know idea what was about to happen. I also kind of feel like Rock on the Range wouldn’t even exist if it weren’t for Helmet-that’s certainly not to say that they’re nu metal, but a lot of those cats copped their steez and made mad bank.
For real though, what Helmet song would you want them to play, because they played it and played it with nonchalant ferocity. In the Meantime, Wilma’s Rainbow, Ironhead, Unsung, Just Another Victim, Milquetoast, See you Dead-maaaaan these cats OWNED and straight schooled, all the while Page being 50. Dude looks pretty good for 50. Shit was so tight.
Pictured: myself and Mistress Juliya
So like after Helmet killy killed, I got to hang with Mistress Juliya of Fuse TV for a quick sec and I gotta say she was cool as fuck, it’s a shame we didn’t get to pound beers, but there’s always next year.
How do you follow Helmet???? Deftones know how and they did and did it and did it well. Deftones are one of those bands that are near and dear to my heart, I’ve seen them a bunch of times and every time was better than before. I was particularly stoked because Sergio Vega is now playing bass for Chi Cheng, who was in a horrible car accident (sending best vibes ever). Sergio Vega used to play bass in the now defunct Quicksand and they are one of my favorite bands in the world and to see them together was fucking magic, once again, pretty sure half the kids there had no idea what was going on. Honestly, Deftones essentially lost me on there eponymous release and it seems like the set drew heavy from that and albums released after (i could be wrong, beers beeers beeeeers). One thing I do recall is them jamming Passenger with the Rise Against dude and rockin Change (In the House of Flies). Shit was so good/so tight.
Hung loose for a bit after Deftones-didn’t stick around long though-no interest in anymore of the acts. Also, fuck Godsmack.
Saturday, I was super excited to check out Finnish Metallica cello cover band Apocalyptica (they released an album with a drummer and guest nu metal singers and fucked it up) and I totally busted my ass to get there by 12:25 (made it there at 12:45 because I got way looooose the night before) and maaaaan, two things. 1. Like I said foreign cats do not fuck around. 2. I really started to hate the day. It was so.fucking.hot. I was bleeding sweat and it was unfuckingbearable. As much as I wanted to jam to cello dudes, I just couldn’t do it. I went to chill in the shelter/sauna that was the media tent (quick shout out to KXFX from Santa Rosa) and get my bearings and slam some agua.
Once I regrouped and took a million deep breaths, I had to decide between checkin Circa Survive or Year Long Disaster. I gotta tell you, if there is anything I’m good at, it’s making bad decisions and maaaaan I do it well. I opted to scope out Circa survive and well, they fucking suck, like harrrrd. Super bullshit pseudo post emo tripe, but I mean-life lessons learned hard, amirite???
Taproot are from Ann Arbor and I dug one of their tracks a whole bunch back in the day, so I figured I’d give them a shot and I gotta tell you, they surprised the shit out of me. These dudes brought.it.hard. and shit got rowdy, like mad circle pit, singer dude totally jumped off stage and got in the mix. Sometimes bands that got them moves look like they practice them, like some kinda contrived bullshit, but these motherfuckers meant it hard and did it well. They have a new record on Victory. I don’t really know what that means, but It’s prolly the best rec that they have put out in a minute (using best loosely).
Pictured: cute chick I caught making eyes at me before Mushroomhead
So like Mushroomhead. Cleveland Represent (or something).
I had to decide between Mushroomhead and super dork Rush lovers Coheed and Cambria (worst band name). I chose Mushroomhead and maaaan they put on a fucking show. Can’t say for a second I’m ever going to listen to them again by choice, but I will say they were doing the Slipnot thing before Slipknot were and dudes totally worked the stage and the crowd LIKE BOSSES. I noticed that the monitors were covered in plastic and inquired to another photographer what the deal was. He was like, “well, you see those toms right there? they’re filled with water and we’re about to get soaked” (or something). I mean we didn’t get soaked, but we did get a lil wet. One of the meanest sets of the weekend for sure.
I basically missed the Slash set, but I was fortunate enough to make it out in time to see him rock Sweet Child O’ Mine hard. Dude from Alter Bridge was doing vox for the set. Whatever, I saw sweet child and Mistress Juliya and I basically tweeted the exact same thing at basically the same time (#meanttobe).
Soooo like, I was ready for Mastodon hard at this point in the day and they did not disappoint. I saw dudes a couple years back when for some reason they opened for Cursive and I was totally less than impressed. That was before “Crack the Skye” and I gotta say, dudes have done work since. They owned Sunday like Helmet owned Saturday and once again, pretty sure them kids in the crowd had no idea, but after that set, there was no way they couldn’t. My only complaint was that for some reason they saw it fit to not play Oblivion-WHATEVER MASTODON. For realsies, best set-dudes fucking killlllled.
Pictured: Rob Zombie
Gotta say, I wasn’t sure what to expect from Rob Zombie. I never got the chance to see White Zombie and I don’t love love love Rob’s solo stuff, but let me tell you-This motherfucker DID IT. He was like, whatever every other band here, Imma let you finish BUT THIS IS HOW YOU DO IT. I mean seriously dude wasn’t playin, shit was so cool. Him and his band were painted up all mean style and the stage set up made me think of some Ministry Psalm 69 kinda thang. Dude played all them songs you hear on the radio and also Thunderkiss ’65, which pretty much made my night. If there is any advice I can offer, if you even have a passing interest in Rob Zombie, YOU NEED TO SEE HIM LIVE. NO SHIT.
Pictured: Limp Bizkit
Limp Bizkit time. Maaaaaan I don’t even know. I may or may not have seen Limp Bizkit more times than I care to mention and I may or may not think Three Dollar Bill, Yall$ still holds up. What I will say I this shit got crazy retarted, whatever that means. Rap rock, rape rock, nu metal, whatever whatever. I was pretty ripped by the time these dudes came on so like….yeah. I mean Fred Durst was busy being Fred Durst all night, Wes Borland is pretty much the man (I did it all for the money!) and Lethal was straight cuttin it up. I mean, I really wish they would have played more Three Dollar cuts and If my beer soaked brain remembers correctly, all we got was fucking Faith. They played Break Stuff, the song featuring such lyrical genius as “I pack a chainsaw, I’ll skin your ass raw”, They played Nookie (I did it all for the money!), that song Eat you Alive, with once again more lyrical brilliance, “Damn you’re so hot”. I mean the crowd fucking loved it and the Limp B-I-Z-K-I-T gave them what they came for. I don’t even know maaaaaaaaan.
R O C K O N T H E R A N G E