In This Moment Concert Review The Black Widow Tour

In This Moment Concert Review The Black Widow Tour 3 Pill Morning, Starset, and Twelve Foot Ninja

The Black Widow Tour came to the Limelight Eventplex in Peoria, Illinois. All of the bands had performed in this area before. The metalheads were anxiously welcoming Maria Brink and In This Moment to this area steeped in rock and metal music.

3 Pill Morning

3 Pill Morning

3 Pill Morning started the evening and they put on a good set. The crowd was there early to see all the bands. 3 Pill Morning performed their notable songs of Rain and Loser.  The crowd like their performance.




Next up was the cinematic group, Starset.  They took the stage with a transparent forty inch touch screen that was hooked up to their Macbook.  The band took the stage with blue lighted masks and black spandex pants except for the vocalist.  He had black glasses and a bow tie.  The band has only been around since 2013 and their album Transmissions has had two hits on it, My Demons and Carnivore.  Starset has a definite theme and a story line to go along with the album.  Dustin Bates, the vocalist of the band, told me about their upcoming novel to go along with the story about The Starset Society.  You can find more on their website here.

Twelve Foot Ninja

Twelve Foot Ninja

Twelve Foot Ninja, the eclectic rock band from Australia performed and the crowd did like their set.  Their sound is so different moving from rock to reggae.  The singer performs in a ninja outfit sans the hood.



Click to view In This Moment Photo Gallery


In This Moment took the stage after an elaborate set up that included changing out light bulbs on the lighted stairs.  Tom Hane, Travis Johnson, Randy Weitzel, and Chris Howoth took the stage in black makeup as usual.  The Blood Girls who are the dancers that support Maria took the stage and then Maria Brink, the vocalist came on stage wearing her black widow outfit complete with the black wide brimmed hat.

The show was theatrical with stage prop changes and steam flowing with fans blowing dry ice.  Maria made several costume changes.  The setlist included Sick Like Me, Adrenalize, Sex Metal Barbie.  My personal favorites were performed Into The Light and Whore.  There were as many men singing along to this song as women.

In This Moment releases their latest album Black Widow on November 17th.  One of the singles Big Bad Wolf incorporates more electronic features however the live performance was definitely more metal.  The night ended with choosing one of the fans to become “infected” and an encore of Blood.  

Best Metal and Rock Songs for A Funeral

Best Metal and Rock Songs for A Funeral

Dio Casket

Dio Casket Photo from Rock Scene


One day we all leave this earth and our bodies return to the soil.  Some deaths are after a long and prosperous life and some are after too short of a life.  Some of us believe in an afterlife and some believe we end at the time of our death.  Whatever we believe, those who loved us, knew us, and respected us join together to remember us.

The rock and metal fans needed a soundtrack to our funeral.  Here are the best rock and metal songs for funeral.

16. Fly To The Angels by Slaughter

Slaughter is a ‘hair metal’ band from the great eighties.  This song is about a good friend of Mark Slaughter’s who passed away.

15. Dust In The Wind by Kansas

Dust In The Wind is a song from 1978 and is Kansas’ only Billboard top ten hit.  The reference to the biblical reference about returning to the earth.

14. Sever by We As Human

We As Human is a Christian rock band.  The song is about Justin Cordle’s nephew who died of cancer right before he turned three years old.  Watch the interview with We As Human here.   We As Human Interview.

13. I Remember You by Skid Row

This break-up song is included because the passing a loved one is the ultimate break-up.  The sadness of this song captures the heartbreak felt when someone moves on.  Sebastian Bach singing this song gives me chills every time.

12. Tears In Heaven by Eric Clapton

Tears In Heaven was written about Clapton’s four year old son, Conor, who died after falling out of an apartment building window.  The pain of losing a child is probably the worst pain in the world.  This song captures that loss in a song and puts that feeling of horrible loss to music.

11Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd

When I think of sad songs of loss, I think of the ethereal song Wish You Were Here.  The song is about alienation and feeling alone.  When we lose someone, we are alone in our grief.

10. This Is Your Life by Dio

Ronnie James Dio was considered by many as one of the greatest metal vocalists to have ever live.  This track is a song to add to the soundtrack of your life.  I imagine photographs of your life will play while this song is playing.

9. Torn To Pieces by Pop Evil

This heartfelt song recently released by Pop Evil is about the death of singer, Leigh Kakaty’s father.  The lyrics “I’m torn to pieces, I’m broken down, I still see your face when you’re not around”.  

8. Heaven by Otherwise featuring Ash Costello


Otherwise Photo from Rock Revival


Ash Costello of the band New Years Day is featured singer on this song about the loss of relative of the Patrick brothers in this band.  The song is similar to Tears in Heaven in that it asks the question if I could visit heaven, could I stay or bring you back to me.

7. Angel’s Son by Sevendust

Angel’s Son is a dedication to James Lynn Strait who died in a car accident.  Lajon Witherspoon talks about how when he went into the studio to write this song, the words did not come to him until he was there and he felt as if they came directly from the inspiration.

6. Cancer by My Chemical Romance

For those among us who are affected by the “C” word.  This song goes right to the heart of the matter and it affects us all.  My Chemical Romance(MCR) grew out of the ashes of the 911 tragedy.  Gerard Way and Matt Pelissier formed the band shortly after the attack as an answer to give hope to many.  Their musical genre has given rise to many other artists who has music with a message.   MCR is currently defunct to the chagrin of their fans.

5. Five Minutes by The Defiled

British rockers The Defiled became the first band to ever perform on an iceberg.  This song is about loss.  The words to this song are poignant and concise.

4.  All Who Remain by Beware of Darkness

Beware of Darkness is a rock band from Santa Barbara, California.  All Who Remain says “When you leave this life, the world will be a darker place  for all who remain”.  When someone dies, your surviving loved ones feel this way.  The survivors are the ones who need the funeral.

3. Into The Light by In This Moment

In This Moment

In This Moment Photo from Facebook by Jeremy Saffer


Maria Brink of In This Moment explains that this song is about the sadness of losing people physically and knowing that the spirits will still be connected.  Maria Brink showcases her vocal talent in this pure song.

2. Blackbird by Alter Bridge

“Let the wind carry you home, blackbird fly away.  May you never be broken again.”  The guitars are phenomenal in this track.  Alter Bridge is a hard rock band from Orlando, Florida.

1. Say Hello To Heaven by Temple of The Dog

Temple of The Dog is a band created as an homage to Andrew Wood who died of drug addiction.  Andrew was the singer for the band, Mother Love Bone, the precursor to Pearl Jam.  Chris Cornell (Soundgarden) was friends with Wood and approached Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament to create an album and they formed Temple of The Dog, along with Matt Cameron, Mike McCready, and Eddie Vedder.  The heartfelt pain in Chris Cornell’s voice along with the guitar wail are why this song is number one on the list.


Songs that did not make the list Don’t Fear The Reaper by Blue Oyster Cult, The Show Must Go On by Queen,  Shadow of The Day by Linkin Park

Resources: Wikipedia, Blood At The Orpheum by In This Moment,, YouTube

Thousand Foot Krutch Concert Review

Thousand Foot Krutch Concert Review with We As Human and Righteous Vendetta

~Majestic Theater, Madison, Wisconsin  October 12, 2014

The Christian hard rock triad of newcomers Righteous Vendetta, powerhouse touring band We As Human and staple Thousand Foot Krutch rocked the Majestic Theater in Madison, Wisconsin.

The venue was an intimate one.  I love the intimate venues for the feelings they evoke in a show.  It truly feels like you are special guests in a small theater with a show just for you and your friends.  The week prior we had just seen Thousand Foot Krutch at Louder Than Life festival.


Righteous Vendetta

Righteous Vendetta


The night started with Righteous Vendetta and they are fairly new to the scene.  Their latest release, an EP named Defiance, is a truly great play. They are a blend between a metalcore band and a rock band.  Their set consisted of songs from Defiance including the title track and Hard To Breathe and some older songs such as This Pain.  Many in the crowd had not seen this band before and they were well received.  You can learn more about the band by watching our interview with the vocalist, Ryan Hayes here:


We As Human

We As Human

Next to take the stage was fan favorite, We As Human.  We As Human have made the circuit with Carnival of Madness in 2013 and played several Christian and rock festivals in addition to supporting several tours.  That being said, many of the fans were there to see We As Human and knew all their songs.  They played all of their hits from their eponymous album that was released in 2013 including Sever, Strike Back, Take The Bullets Away, and others.  Their song, Sever, is about Justin Cordle’s nephew Tyler who died of cancer and that night was his birthday.  So we had a little celebration for him.  You can learn more about that song and more by watching our interview with Justin Cordle and Justin Forshaw here:  Interview with We As Human


Thousand Foot Krutch

Thousand Foot Krutch, click for gallery


Thousand Foot Krutch engulfed the small stage with their large drum kit, lights and the personality of front man, Trevor McNevan.  The mood was like family getting together to celebrate the evening.  Their set started with Give It To Me.  The set was energy filled and everyone sang along to their latest hit Born This Way.  The night ended with an encore of three songs including Fire It Up. 

Truly a great night where this amazing lineup of Christian rockers gave their fans a great experience.  Each band met with fans after the show and gave many a night to remember for months to come.



Best of Louder Than Life Festival

Best of Louder Than Life Festival Louisville, Kentucky

Judas Priest

Rob Halford of Judas Priest

The inaugural Louder Than Life festival happened in Louisville, Kentucky the weekend of October fourth and fifth. The festival was further proof that rock is not dead but alive and well. The weekend had a tremendous lineup that had not been seen ever. The headliners included Korn, Judas Priest, Five Finger Death Punch, and Kid Rock. That does not even mention Papa Roach, Limp Bizkit, Alter Bridge, Volbeat, Bring Me The Horizon, Theory of a Deadman, and A Day To Remember. The best in rock and metal are just up the alley of the fans in this area of the country. Fans traveled from Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia and Florida. We met a pair of fans from Alberta, Canada and they won Best Rock List’s award for furthest traveled. The weather was colder than normal during this time of year as a cold front moved in from Canada. Maybe with those furthest traveled fans. Two major main stages were next to one another with four large projection screens on either side of the stage. A third stage was located at the other end of the grounds with food, experience, and merchandise vendors in between. The fans were out in force on Saturday despite the cold temperatures. There were issues with adequate facilities and food vendors. No one expected the tremendous force of fans that showed up. The food vendors were selling out of items but the beer and whiskey flowed plentifully. This festival had the most breasts of any festival I have been to. They were everywhere, young, old, big, small, flashed and out on display the whole time. Better than the breasts was the wheelchair surfing. I witnessed the most wheelchair surfing at a concert. There was one brave woman who kept getting separated from her wheelchair but that did not stop her from going again and again.  On the menu was gourmet ribs, brisket, pulled pork, burgers, tacos, noodles, and desserts including gelato and bourbon cupcakes. There was also additional food including a foot-long corndog vendor that everyone was on the hunt for when one passed by.

The best performances of the festival: 


Korn wowed everyone with their musical performance. Their first eponymous album has been out for twenty years and they are still making great nu-metal. Their last album The Paradigm Shift was released 2013. Their performance consisted of a stage set-up with a simpler lighted backdrop. It consisted of a sick microphone stand.  Their set included Hater, Falling Away From Me, Coming Undone, Freak on a Leash, and Never Never. The crowd was approximately 25,000 in attendance to their set. Considering they are a calmer energy, the fans sang along to almost every song of their set.

Limp Bizkit

Limp Bizkit has been considered a controversial band in the past but their performance showed their fans’ devotion and staying power. Their style of rap combined with nu-metal strikes a real chord of nostalgia with Generations X-ers who were in full force at Louder Than Life. Fred Durst thanked everyone for their support and was very humble.

Judas Priest

Judas Priest has been making metal music for more than forty years. Rob Halford’s complaints about his voice holding up was not evident in his performance on Saturday night. He had several wardrobe changes and I have to say I like this pitchfork inspired coat the best. For my first time seeing Judas Priest, I was in awe of the legendary Rob Halford and seeing staple songs like Breaking The Law and You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’.

A Day To Remember

Many of ADTR’s fans were in force and sold their parents on Kid Rock and Five Finger Death Punch to get them to bring them to the show. A Day To Remember is the perfect blend of pop-punk and metal genres. Their story is a classic David and Goliath with the band fighting back against a heavy-handed record label. The band has gained support by speaking out about how they were treated as people. The album, “Common Courtesy” speaks for itself. Their songs Sometimes You’re The Hammer, Sometimes You’re The Nail speak to how they want to be treated. The crowd was ready for crowd surfing and there was steady stream of people riding the hands of the crowd. Their usual show antics were part of their set including shooting t-shirts with a cannon, toilet paper rolls thrown out into the crowd which every female was reaching for to make up for the lack in the port-a-potties. And at the end, a huge confetti blast was launched to the crowd.

Kid Rock

Kid Rock was the closer for the final night Sunday. His performance was highly anticipated by everyone including Chris Motionless of Motionless in White. His show was not stale as he keeps the song list fresh and does not do every hit every show. My compadres described his music as Americana music. I have to agree that his music speaks to every American as their music. His music is relatable rock music without being categorized as country.

Breakout bands

Every festival has bands that everyone talks about being ones that people discover and fans are gained in one set. Louder Than Life had quite a few of those bands. Fans for Louder Than Life came early and checked out the stellar bands in the lineup.


Crobot is band that has been around a few years but gaining notoriety as ultra-cool and turning heads at music festivals. They have been touring for a while and their latest EP with only four songs leaves fans wanting more. Crobot is from Pennsylvania but their sound is timeless. The power in Brandon Yeagley’s voice captivates the crowd. The retro look of the band and their powerful sound make them one of the breakout bands of Louder Than Life.


Avatar has been honing their image and stage presence. Their performance on the main stage really brought out their skills as performers. The vocalist Johannes Eckerström was drinking from a black gasoline can during their performance. More than just the visuals of their performance was their dark metal and their unique sound. They started with Hail To The Apocalypse. The sing-along song was Bloody Angel.

Butcher Babies

Butcher Babies

Carla Harvey and Heidi Shepherd of Butcher Babies

This was the first time many in the crowd had seen the Butcher Babies. Their gorgeous looks draw you in but their fierce vocals keep you there the entire set. Heidi Shepherd has bright red hair that looks almost looks other worldly. Carla Coates, the brunette counterpart, is the actual comic artist and author. Their name comes from their idol, Wendy O. Williams, single Butcher Baby. Their fierce metal draws in the hardcore crowd and gives girls good role models in the metal genre. Later in the day, there were about twenty people standing against the fence in the VIP area near the press tent. When I asked a fan what were all these people looking at, the reply was Butcher Babies.

Motionless in White 

Motionless in White is a band from Scranton, Pennsylvania that draws similarities to Marilyn Manson. The band has a gothic look that has become mature over the years. Their sets consists a little about the costumes but more about the music. Their songs are melodic and the lyrics are thought-provoking. Many fans were surprised by their look as the vocals are strong and melodic. They performed two songs from their latest album “Reincarnate”. Chris thanked the fans for their support as well.

The theme of many of the performances of Louder Than Life Festival were of gratitude by the artists who have persevered throughout decades and those who are just starting their journey in the rock and metal worlds. The first year for the festival met with some logistical problems like enough toilets and soda. The alcohol and rock kept flowing and so the fans will be back again next year.

For Today Concert Review

For Today Concert Review with The Color Morale, Palisades, and Authors 

Mattie Montgomery and For Today came to the small Midwestern town of Bloomington, Illinois.  Since they hail from a small Midwestern town, Sioux City, Iowa, they are familiar with a similar scene.  The Castle Theatre is an intimate setting with angels adorning the balconies.  The theater is nearing one hundred years old and it has seen some great performances over the years.

The night began with Authors.  Authors is a metalcore band from Indianapolis, Indiana.  They had a respectable performance and were high energy most of their set.  There was a moment when singer, Alex Goodman, kneeled on the ground for a good minute.  There is speculation that he may have been praying at the time but who knows the real reason.












The next opening band was Palisades.  They are a post-hardcore band with electronic mixes in their performance.  They may be considered one of the best electronic hardcore bands.  Palisades’ set was high energy that kept the audience engaged.  They met with fans after their set.  Singer, Lou Miceli, described how they designed each of their t-shirts and other merchandise.  Bassist, Brandon Sidney also has sick style that is incorporated into the band’s attitude as well.












The Color Morale also supported For Today.  They are from the area as well hailing from Rockford, Illinois.  Their newest album “Hold On The Pain Ends” was recently released on September 2, 2014 and was number one on Billboard hard rock album chart.  Garret Rapp, the singer was enthused by the crowd.  One fan in particular got to live out his dream by being given the microphone to sing along to almost every song.  The fans fed off their energy and really got into the moment.

The Color Morale

The Color Morale










The headliner, For Today, took the stage to great energy.  The openers warmed up the fans for a high energy show.  The set list included “Break The Cycle”, “Seraphin”, “Fight The Silence”.  Mattie Montgomery talked about how so many people told him to tone it down to sell more records but he chose to keep the music hard.  The sub-genre of Christian metalcore is expanding.  The passion felt by For Today band resonates with the fans.  Their Christian message of positivity is received well in today’s metalcore scene.  There is a cartharsis in a metalcore show where you lose your mind by getting into the pit and letting the music take over.  This concert delivered the best metalcore.

For Today

For Today


For Today

For Today



Halestorm Concert Review


Halestorm Concert Review

The evening was cool on the Mississippi River at the Port of Burlington in Iowa. The opening band was a female fronted rock band named Kaleido from Detroit, Michigan. The beautiful singer, Christina Chriss, had a great voice, was full of energy and really worked the crowd. Their style definitely reminded me of Halestorm’s earlier work.

Halestorm took the stage just as the sky was getting dark.  The band is not on a full road tour at this time so their fans were missing them.  Lzzy Hale commented on missing the live show performances as well.  Halestorm draws in young girl fans to every show.  Many young girls  aspire to be a rock star like Lzzy Hale, the singer, guitarist and keyboardist for Halestorm.  Their style of hard rock with metal influences draws in all rock fans.  The drummer, Arejay Hale, is renowned as a phenomenal drummer.  He was the winner of the Revolver Golden Gods best drummer in 2013.  Halestorm won a Grammy in 2013 for their song “Love Bites (So Do I)” for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance.

Halestorm opened the show with a familiar song, “I Miss The Misery”.  The energy for the show kept everyone moving on their feet.  It even woke up one of the elder fans who was dozing earlier in the VIP seated section.  When Halestorm was playing, he woke up and was even dancing.

There was an abbreviated drum solo by Arejay Hale.  He showcased his talent by drumming with his hands.  His energy and skills as a drummer are impressive.  Joe Hottinger, guitarist and Josh Smith, bassist were both great as well.

Watch “Don’t Know How To Stop” here:

The setlist stayed upbeat and only slowed down once for “Familiar Taste of Poison”.  Toward the end of the set, they provided fans with a new song listed as “Mayhem” on the setlist. The fans are highly anticipating their forthcoming album.   Watch the performance of the new song on our Facebook page.


The night was cool and comfortable and Lzzy Hale stood out as looking phenomenal.  She is a powerful, magnetic and talented front woman.    Her voice matures as time passes and it becomes fuller.  The strength in her voice grabbed you and did not let go the entire night.  The final song of the evening was “Here’s To Us”.  Their show was great and cannot wait to see Halestorm again.

Watch “Mayhem” here and like us on Facebook for even more exclusive content.



Sevendust Acoustic Concert Review



Sevendust Acoustic Concert Review

Sevendust is on tour performing an acoustic show in support of their album Time Travelers & Bonfires released April 1, 2014.  Time Travelers & Bonfires peaked at number one on Billboard’s Hard Rock Album chart.  Sevendust formed in 1994 and renamed themselves three times prior to settling on Sevendust inspired by the insecticide.

After twenty years, the band has transformed and matured.  Their latest album speaks to the place in their lives as fathers and family men.  The show was on Father’s Day at the historic Castle Theatre in Bloomington, Illinois.  They recognized roadlife and being away from their families as difficult. The band started the evening with “Trust”.  Lajon Witherspoon told us the story of searching for a local restaurant, Rosie’s Pub, that he visited previously and wanted to visit again.  He was disappointed when it was closed on Sunday.  He was directed to another local establishment that was open Elroy’s.  He met a friend there who was celebrating his 21st birthday and Lajon gave him VIP tickets to the show to celebrate.

The band and the fans were feeling the energy of the music as the evening progressed. The show was a bit more subdued than their electric shows however the energy was very powerful.  The lyrics were clear and the storytelling behind them shown through.  Fans were singing along to every song with encouragement from the band.  One mega-fan, who had seen Sevendust twelve times, was impressed by the acoustic show.

Before the performance of “Angel’s Son”, Lajon recounted the story about writing the song.  It was in remembrance of their friend, Lynn Strait, who died in a car accident on December 11, 1998.  He said Clint Lowery had written the guitar and Lajon went into the studio and had no words to go along with the song.  As he was there, the words came flowing into him from another world.  Lajon Witherspoon tells the story with tears in his eyes and many fans tear up too.

An Evening With Sevendust concluded with everyone drained, not from the mosh pit, but the emotions evoked from the intensity of the music.  Go see this passionate show if you have the opportunity.


Don Jamieson’s “Hell Bent For Laughter” Album Review

Don Jamieson’s Hell Bent For Laughter (Metal Blade Records) Album Review

Don Jamieson, comedian and co-host of VH1 Classic “That Metal Show” has released a sophomore comedy album called Hell Bent For Laughter (Metal Blade Records).  “That Metal Show” is the longest running show on VH1 Classic which Don compares to ‘being the smartest one on Honey Boo Boo or the handsomest one on Duck Dynasty’.  Don’s previous album Live and Hilarious debuted in the top ten on the Billboard comedy album chart.

Hell Bent For Laughter melds two things that I love, comedy and metal. The very title and album cover is an emulation of Judas Priest’s album Hell Bent For Leather.  Don Jamieson talks about not only metal artists but pop artists as well.  Artists he discusses are Guns N Roses, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Metallica, Fall Out Boy, Kiss, Motley Crue, and Lady Gaga.  I was taken aback at the daring of the politically incorrect topics. I interviewed Don about the boldness of his quips and he explained his thoughts on it to me.  We also discussed the upcoming plans of “That Metal Show”. Find my interview here with Don here: Interview with Don Jamieson

As a nightclub comic, more than simply offending others, Don is also self-deprecating. After hearing the album, I wanted to give him a referral for a good therapist.  He talks about the size of his penis, his signature lamb chop sideburns, and how his girlfriend is way too hot for him.  This album covers sex, drugs and rock and roll in great detail and how a compass can help your sex life.  While his is not the most cerebral comedy, math is a theme that is touched upon throughout the album.  He pays homage to the magical vagina and talked about what we all on this site love; hard rock and metal music.

You can download Hell Bent for Leather here: Metal Blade Records

Find out more about Don on his website:

    Don’s Twitter

    Don’s Facebook

   Don’s MySpace

   Don’s YouTube


Best of Rock On The Range 2014

Best of Rock On The Range 2014

Of Mice & Men's Austin Carlile

Of Mice & Men’s Austin Carlile

The comaraderie of rock music unites us all. Even if we do not like the same bands, we love great rock and metal music. This festival is one of the largest festivals in the Midwest with the biggest bands and is in its eighth year.

Best Fan Experience of Rock On The Range

Rock On The Range (ROTR) gets bigger every year with more incredible bands.  This was my first year as a Ranger, the term for participants of Rock on The Range.  The most essential item this year was a rain poncho but a plastic bag worked pretty well also.  The rain on Friday and Saturday did not stop Rangers from getting out and getting to the shows.  The Ernie Ball and Jagermeister second and third stages were all in great walking distance to the main stage.  The main stage at Rock On The Range is the best out of any festival I have been to.  Many festivals have lots of bands on lots of stages and you might be twenty thousand people back.  In Crew Stadium, there was plenty of great seating and sight lines to the stage and the audio was great as well.


Crowd during Five Finger Death Punch

Crowd during Five Finger Death Punch

This year’s lineup for 2014 featured Killswitch Engage, Guns N Roses, Slayer, Avenged Sevenfold, Five Finger Death Punch, and Kid Rock. With over sixty bands playing, you could discover plenty of new bands. Columbus is an ideal location as rock and metal fans abound in the area. I drove almost six hours to get here and lots of fans drove that far to see this incredible festival. The highlights for me were meeting artists and personalities from bands I had met in the past like Stars in Stereo and We As Human as well as meeting new ones such as Sirius XM DJ, Jose Mangin, comedian, Don Jamieson, host of That Metal Show, DJ Ashba of Gun N Roses and Sixx A.M. and Austin Carlile, singer from Of Mice & Men.

The undertaking of seeing each band perform, going to meet and greets, eating, waiting for the bathroom, and having fun could easily use a personal assistant.  Thank goodness for smart phones and social media.  ROTR schedules were Tweeted, Instagrammed and Facebooked.

There was not only great music but comedy as well, vendors for clothing, jewelry, and other paraphernalia.  There was a tent stocked exclusively with Dimebag Darrell gear.   Part of the fun of going to festivals is meeting new friends there.  Fans for rock and metal have a uniform of dressing in band shirt and jeans or shorts.  Rangers are no exception and good luck to you if you lost your friend because they might be hard to find in a crowd.

Fans from Rock On The Range

Fans from Rock On The Range


Best Rock On The Range Meet and Greets with Bands

FYE had the most meet and greets with everyone from Black Label Society, Butcher Babies, Lacuna Coil, The Pretty Reckless, We As Human, Fozzy, Alter Bridge, Heaven’s Basement, and Miss May I.  For the purchase of the artist’s cd or vinyl album you would get a meet and greet bracelet.  For some artists, an additional fee would get you VIP access where you could go to the front of the line.  Monster Energy had meet and greet with Five Finger Death Punch and DJ Ashba.  DJ Ashba also had signings at his tent, Ashba Swag, a clothing line.  Crazy’s Dave’s Music Experience had meet and greets with Alter Bridge, Mastodon, Of Mice & Men, Trivium, Miss May I, Pop Evil, We As Human, Black Stone Cherry, and Killswitch Engage to mention a few.


Best Performances of Rock On The Range


Carla Coates of Butcher Babies

Carla Coates of Butcher Babies
Photo Jason Squires/AEG Live

The best performances of Rock On The Range were hard to whittle down but we can say there were amazing bands in attendance.  Guns N Roses, Killswitch Engage, Living Colour, Slayer, Avenged Sevenfold and Five Finger Death Punch were all highly anticipated performances.  Phil Anselmo’s band Down was highly anticipated as well as The Pretty Reckless as this was the first time many fans were seeing them live.  Danny Worsnop’s (Asking Alexandria) side project, We Are Harlot, had their inaugural performance that was well received.

The performances I loved were Trivium, We As Human, Crobot, Gemini Syndrome, Slayer, Heaven’s Basement, Of Mice & Men, Miss May I, Butcher Babies, Five Finger Death Punch, Avenged Sevenfold, Pop Evil, Adelita’s Way, Avatar and Kill Devil Hill.

Kerry King of Slayer
Photo Jason Squires/AEG Live

Some surprises for Rangers were Phil Anselmo, former Pantera singer, joined Kill Devil Hill and Rex Brown, former Pantera bassist, onstage to perform the Pantera song ‘Mouth of War’.  D.M.C. performing “Trenches” with Pop Evil as a dedication to the armed forces.

Breakout bands from the Jagermeister and Ernie Ball stages were Crobot, Gemini Syndrome, Avatar, and Twelve Foot Ninja.  Crobot is a band from Pennsylvania and they have a timeless sound.  Their fashion is definitely seventies-inspired.  Gemini Syndrome has been around for a few years and hail from Los Angeles.  Their sound is very reminiscent of Breaking Benjamin with undertones of Tool.  Avatar is a Swedish metal band that wears makeup similar to Alice Cooper but have a darker feel than Alice.  Avatar’s videos are amazing and directed by Johan Carlén.  Twelve Foot Ninja is from Melbourne, Australia and just won the Revolver Golden Gods Award for Best New Talent.

Watch Gemini Syndrome performing “Stardust”

Trivium gave it their all on the main stage Sunday as Matt Heafy lost his voice and had to cancel some subsequent shows on their tour.  See the band’s statement here.

See Trivium performing “Brave This Storm”

My personal favorite performances of Rock On The Range were iconic Living Colour performing “Cult of Personality”, Staind performing “It’s Been A While”, Guns N Roses performing “Welcome to The Jungle”, Slayer’s entire performance, and Of Mice & Men performing “Bones Exposed”.


Watch Guns N Roses performing “Welcome To The Jungle”.

Rock On The Range was phenomenal. See all the photographs of my coverage here:

Rock On The Range Gallery

Until next year Rangers.