Photos by: Jim Gilbert, JTG Photo
Friday, May 17th was the beginning of the memorable event known as Rock on the Range. Starting on the main stage, aka The Monster Stage, was Love and Death. Let’s just say, they started the Fest right.
After waiting for hours on end in the late afternoon warm, bright, and sunny weather of Columbus, OH, the eager Rangers entered Crew Stadium, immediately making their way to the Monster Stage’s two sided barricades, one on the left and one on the right. The music played in the overhead speakers and the mixed chatter of the Rangers intensified the anticipation. Finally, the music was cutoff and the loud cheering commenced, this was the beginning of one hell of a weekend. Eerie music began to play in the overhead speakers, then one by one, the band members entered the stage, starting with Dan Johnson (drums), Michael Valentine (bass), JR Bareis (guitar), and last but not least, a man with long dreads in his face, head down and arms crossed his torso, walked slowly onto the stage, Brian “Head” Welch. Rangers threw up their horns and cheered excitedly at the sight of Korn’s guitarist. “ROCK ON THE RANGE! ARE YOU READY?!” he shouted in his metal growl, grabbing the mic stand roughly, after Johnson began to bang on his drums, starting the beat of the song. “Paralyzed” was the first to be played, the first to start the moshing, and the first to have a concertgoer in a Spiderman suit crowd surf, other fans doing so as well. The familiar headbanging to the beat of the songs warmed up the crowd for the rest of the weekend. By the time “Meltdown” started, JR Bareis began to work his magic with the guitar and had the crowd jumping to the beat of the song. Next was “I W8 4 ‘U”, where Welch encouraged the fans to start circle pits, to which some of them started. Then Head pulled out traffic cone hat and his guitar, indicating their next song, the cover of Devo’s “Whip It”. The mosh pits continued, the crowd surfing intensified, the craziness known as Rock on the Range was in full effect. Next, Head put his guitar away and walked up to the mic. “Rangers…WAKE UP SLEEPY WIDE AWAKE!” he yelled, as the band played the next song, “The Abandoning”. Afterwards, he took the mic from the stand and asked the fans if they were ready for the upcoming bands, after listing each of their names, joked that they were all cancelled. Then he proceeded to pop out one last song, “Chemicals”. The crowd became crazier than usual because it was the song that they all knew since its release. By the end of the song, the band left the stage, but everyone knew it would not be the last time they would see Head on stage, hinting they will see him play with Korn.
All in all, the setlist was fantastic, the vibe from the crowd and the band was out of control, and it was one hell of a way to start Rock on the Range. Love and Death certainly made their mark that day.