Photos by Jim Gilbert, JTG Photo (from archives)
The crowd by the Jäger stage grew with every passing second as the sun over Crew Stadium was setting. They wanted more, nay they needed more live rock music. Once the sun had finally set, the background music quieted and the stage lights turned to a light blue hue with white, hinting it was the next band’s, In Flames, turn to rock the small stage. The cheering from drunk and excited Rangers increased immensely as each band member made their presence known one by one, starting with Daniel Svensson (drums), Peter Iwers (bass), Niclas Engelin (guitar), and Björn Gelotte (guitar). The last to appear was their frontman, Anders Fridén. In Flames was more than ready to show the concertgoers of Rock on the Range what they had up their sleeves.
They started the set with the first and title song from their latest record, Sounds of a Playground Fading, followed by the next two from the same record, “Where the Dead Ships Dwell”, and “Ropes”. “I think it’s a song that we all kind of liked from the beginning, music wise, rhythm wise. Dynamically, it’s a really cool song, also a song we like to play live and since it is a live song, we consider it a live song, we wanted to incorporate how other people see it like especially the audience or fans or that people that go to our shows, so we asked them to help in making the video. It’s going to be interesting for us to see it through,” said Gelotte to Upstate Metal’s Kate Drexel in the Media Tent earlier that evening, when asked the story behind the single.
The rest of the setlist consisted of quite a few songs from their older records, mostly from their latest one. In Flames ended their set with “Deliver Us” and from their 2006 record, Come Clarity, “Take This Life”. For a first time performance at Rock on the Range, they sure did one hell of a job and gained a lot of new fans. “I guess our booking agent sorted it out. No, actually, maybe, I think they wanted to add what we do to the lineup, to get our diversity to what’s going on here. We love playing in the U.S., in general. This is the fifth time on this album so we did four tours, and now we’re doing this really short tour. We did a warm up show in Chicago yesterday, and today, we’re doing Rock on the Range, then we go to Mexico”, explained Björn to Drexel, after asking about how they got to be a part of this incredible festival.
All in all, they showed Ohio what this heavy metal Swedish band is made of and In Flames picked a fantastic setlist. Their vibe was mind blowing and they are a must see band, if one has not seen them already.