Rock on the Range 2011 Day 2

By Chip Tamplin

Published on Monday, May 30, 2011

Missed our Day 1 coverage? Check it out here and then continue below to check out Day 2.

[DAY 2]

Pop Evil:

Much like Alter Bridge, I’ve just never been able to get into Pop Evil no matter how hard I’ve tried. I love their live show and energy, but their music still just bores me. It’s not bad, there’s just no spark.

Despite playing fan favorites like “100 in a 55” and closing with “Hero”, they were just too bland for me to get too into. With that said, they have phenomenal stage presence for a relatively new and young band. Vocalist Leigh Kakaty has phenomenal stage presence, by far one of the most impressive front men at the festival while guitarists Dave Grahs and Tony Greve brought a great balance to one another; one being more mellow and meticulous while the other was more in your face and melting your face with solos.

Despite my inability to like the band on CD I thoroughly enjoyed their live show and would highly recommend them.

Vocals: 9
Crowd Response: 8.5
Overall Sound: 9
Band Activity: 10
Overall Rating: 9.5

Saving Abel:

Saving Abel was another band that had somehow managed to make their way from second stage up to main. Despite a relatively good turn out for a band early on in the main stage rotation, Saving Abel didn’t really do much to earn the spot. While they sounded good, their energy was left at home and the crowd didn’t really respond too well to it.

Even when the band played a fan favorite like “Addicted”, the crowd wasn’t really feeling it too much and neither was I.

Vocals: 9
Crowd Response: 7
Overall Sound: 9
Band Activity: 8
Overall Rating: 8.5

Setlist: (setlist might not be exact)

1. Hell of a Ride
2. Stupid Girl (Only in Hollywood)
3. Drowning (Face Down)
4. The Sex is Good [Acoustic]
5. Miss America
6. Addicted

Evans Blue:

Canada’s-own Evans Blue broke their ROTR cherry early Sunday afternoon to a relatively big crowd. Though I wasn’t too familiar with the band before their set and debated checking out Art of Dying on the second stage, I was eventually persuaded to check out Evans Blue instead.

Not really sure if I liked the choice, but hindsight is 20/20. While their set wasn’t bad, vocalist Dan Chandler didn’t seem overly comfortable on stage and had little to no stage presence. Most of the other members did their best to make up for it, but to no true avail.

They didn’t sound bad, but their live show left a lot to be desired.

Vocals: 7
Crowd Response: 8
Overall Sound: 8
Band Activity: 8.5
Overall Rating: 8

Setlist: (might be slightly off)

1. Through Your Eyes
2. Say it
3. The Pursuit
4. This Time It’s Different
5. Cold (But I’m Still Here)
6. Sick of It
7. Erase My Scars

All That Remains:

This was my second time covering All That Remains at Rock on the Range and fourth time overall and the band has never disappointed. While I’ve never been a big fan of the bands music, their stage presence is phenomenal, especially vocalist Phil Labonte.

Behind huge hits like “Two Weeks” and “Forever in Your Hands”, the band put on one of the most explosive sets of the day and definitely earned their upgrade from second stage to main. Though crowd surfing had occurred before their set, it didn’t truly start until they hit the stage and they really upped the energy bar for all the bands that came after them that day.

Vocals: 9.5
Crowd Response: 9.5
Overall Sound: 9.5
Band Activity: 10
Overall Rating: 9.5

Setlist:

1. Now Let Them Tremble
2. This Calling
3. The Last Time
4. Forever In Your Hands
5. Some of the People, All of the Time
6. Won’t Go Quietly
7. Hold On
8. Two Weeks

The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus:

I hadn’t seen The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus in many years prior to their set at ROTR. In fact, I think the last time I saw them was back in 2006, when “Face Down” was still blowing up the airways.

While the vocals were solid, he lacked emotion that really could’ve added another level to their set. The rest of the band had relatively good enthusiasm, but due to the small dimensions of the third stage, they didn’t have much room to operate. Not an amazing set, but definitely solid.

Vocals: 8.5
Crowd Response: 8
Overall Sound: 8.5
Band Activity: 8
Overall Rating: 8.5

Setlist: (might not be totally accurate)

1. False Pretense
2. Your Guardian Angel
3. Reap
4. In Fate’s Hands
5. Face Down

Black Label Society:

You’d be hard pressed to find someone at the festival who hadn’t heard of Zakk Wylde’s Black Label Society. The former Ozzy Osbourne guitarist eventually branched out to start his own band and has become a force to be reckoned with within the metal community.

His band puts on one hell of a party. Opening with one of their biggest songs off 2010’s The Order of the Black, “Crazy Horse”, Zakk came out in his normal biker attire with one noticeable addition – an Indian headdress. After the wind became too hard to manage and the headdress imploded (pictured below), he eventually nodded it off.

After an alcohol (free)-fueled set, it’s safe to say that Black Label Society were definitely worthy of a top 5 finish for set-of-the-day. It’s also safe to say that Zakk Wylde is one of the most insanely talented guitarists on the planet.

Vocals: 9
Crowd Response: 9
Overall Sound: 9
Band Activity: 10
Overall Rating: 9.5

Setlist:

1. Crazy Horse
2. Funeral Bell
3. Overlord
4. Parade of the Dead
5. Godspeed Hell Bound
6. Concrete Jungle
7. Stillborn

A Day to Remember:

Aside from Saturday’s opened Trust Company, A Day to Remember was my main reason for covering the festival. I’d gotten the opportunity to cover one of their shows a year ago, but I hadn’t really discovered my love for them yet, so this was the first time I’d truly been able to enjoy them (and photograph them with proper lighting).

Vocalist Jeremy McKinnon is able to convey his deeply personal lyrics in a way that makes the crowd feel the pain he does. Few vocalists have the ability to do that. While playing several songs off their newest albumWhat Separates Me from You, the band also played a ton of great classics including “The Danger in Starting a Fire”, “A Shot in the Dark” and “The Plot to Bomb the Panhandle”.

A Day to Remember clearly had the second best crowd of the side stages, only surpassed by Hollywood Undead. A good portion of the crowd was true A Day to Remember fans, with a few they clearly won over during their set. Those who were iffy early on were definitely won over when the band started into their heaviest song “2nd Sucks”.

A Day to Remember was not only a top 3 performer of the day, but the whole weekend as well.

Vocals: 9.5
Crowd Response: 9.5
Overall Sound: 9.5
Band Activity: 10
Overall Rating: 10

Setlist:

1. Sticks & Bricks
2. The Danger in Starting a Fire
3. A Shot in the Dark
4. All I Want
5. You Be Tails, I’ll be Sonic
6. Why Walk on Water When We’ve Got Boats
7. I’m Made of Wax Larry, What are You Made of?
8. 2nd Sucks
9. The plot to Bomb the Panhandle
10. The Downfall of Us All

Bullet for my Valentine:

Though I would consider myself a relatively big BFMV fan, I’ve just never been a big fan of them live. I love their sound both on CD and live, they have a lot more energy live now compared to a few years ago so I fail to see why I am not more impressed by them than I am.

Guitarists Matt Tuck and Michael Paget are both incredible guitarists and Tuck’s vocals were tops of all the times I’ve seen them. Bassist Jason James added great background vocals and was constantly fist pumping and screaming at the crowd. Despite all this, and the obvious love from the crowd, I just wasn’t feeling their set. Perhaps it was the heat, or their mediocre set list, but it just wasn’t happening.

Normally, if I like a band the set list doesn’t really matter much to me, but BFMV picked an awful set list for this show. Leaving off songs like “4 Words (To Choke Upon)” and “Hand of Blood” for mediocre songs like “Alone” and “Pleasure and Pain” from their new album.

Still, despite my dislike of the set list it was still a great performance from a great band.

Vocals: 9.5
Crowd Response: 9.5
Overall Sound: 9.5
Band Activity: 9
Overall Rating: 9.5

Setlist:

1. Your Betrayal
2. Pleasure and Pain
3. Waking the Demon
4. The Last Fight
5. Scream Aim Fire
6. Tears Don’t Fall
7. Alone

Hollywood Undead:

As I’ve said in the previous reviews of the band, I’ve never really been able to take Hollywood Undead too seriously. They seem like a more talented Insane Clown Posse, but after they released their second albumAmerican Tragedy a month ago I’ve seen this band grow to a much more mature level (though their lyrics don’t necessarily tell the same story). With the addition of new vocalist Danny, the band has gone down a much more mature path and it shows – a lot.

Though their set was a pretty 50/50 split between their debut Swan Songs and American Tragedy which made for a great show for both the die-hard fans in attendance and the more casual/new fans.

Vocally the group was pretty top notch from beginning to end. There were a few moments where certain members were better than others, but overall a phenomenal performance and their best yet. The band created one hell of a party to close out the second stage for the year.

Vocals: 9
Crowd Response: 10
Overall Sound: 9
Band Activity: 10
Overall Rating: 10

Setlist:

1. Undead
2. Sell Your Soul
3. Been to Hell
4. City
5. Comin’ in Hot
6. My Town
7. Young
8. Coming Back Down
9. Everywhere I Go
10. Hear Me Now

Puddle of Mudd:

Puddle of Mudd had the opportunity to redeem themselves from their overly subpar performance from last years festival, while also having the unfortunate task of replacing Stone Sour on the billing after drummer Roy Mayorga suffered a minor stroke.

Unfortunately neither of those worked out well for them. While they definitely put on a better set than the previous year, too many people were left with bad tastes in their mouths to really forgive lead vocalist Wes Scantlin for being too drunk on stage to perform well last year to give them a chance this year.

One good thing that Puddle of Mudd does is choose great songs to cover live. This year they played “War Pigs” by Black Sabbath as well as “T.N.T.” by AC/DC. Unfortunately, both covers left a lot to be desired.

Overall, better than last year but I’m hoping they’re not asked back again in the foreseeable future. Also, it seemed pretty fitting that the only time it rained over the weekend was during their set.

Vocals: 7
Crowd Response: 7.5
Overall Sound: 8
Band Activity: 8.5
Overall Rating: 8

Setlist:

1. Away from Me
2. Control
3. War Pigs [Black Sabbath cover]
4. Famous
5. Drift and Die
6. T.N.T. [AC/DC cover]
7. Psycho
8. She Hates Me
9. Blurry

Disturbed:

The only band worse than Puddle of Mudd was Disturbed. Disturbed was just awful. Not so much the instrumental aspects of the band, i.e. bassist John Moyer, guitarist Dan Donegan or drummer Mike Wengren. The blame falls entirely on vocalist David Draiman. He was find through the opening song “Asylum”, but after that it just got worse and worse. He couldn’t hit notes, his voice flailed, and at times he even missed words. I’m not sure if he’d blown out his voice and didn’t tell the crowd about it (the opposite approach of a7x vocalist M. Shadows) or if it was lingering effects from his semi-recent throat surgery, but either way he sounded awful.

While the rest of the band sounded great, Draiman’s horrific vocals ruined an otherwise good set and set up a horrible performance right before the headliner.

Vocals: 5
Crowd Response: 9
Overall Sound: 9
Band Activity: 8
Overall Rating: 7

Setlist:

1. Remnants
2. Asylum
3. The Game
4. Prayer
5. Liberate
6. The Animal
7. Inside the Fire
8. Warrior
9. Another Way to Die
10. Stupify
11. Haunted
12. Ten Thousand Fists
13. Indestructible
14. Down With the Sickness

A Perfect Circle:

Most people who decided to stay for A Perfect Circle’s set at ROTR who weren’t big APC fans to begin with clearly didn’t understand how their shows go. The major complaint I heard was “why were the cameras turned off, especially if there was no light on stage?” Maynard James Keenan, vocalist for APC and noted for fronting TOOL, has a track record of standing in the background and playing in little to no light, relying on his music to make the show, not any crazy effects or stunts.

With that said, that style of show is not for everyone and turned a lot of people off of them almost immediately. I personally thought they sounded great and even though I’m not particularly a fan of their style of playing, I was thoroughly impressed by how true to it they are.

Maynard and co. sounded great and was definitely worthy of being a headliner…even if they were the polar opposite of Avenged Sevenfold.

Vocals: 9
Crowd Response: 8
Overall Sound: 9
Band Activity: 5
Overall Rating: 9

Setlist:

1. Annihilation [Crucifix cover]
2. Weak and Powerless
3. The Hollow
4. 3 Libras
5. People are People [Depeche Mode cover]
6. Counting Bodies Like Sheep to the Rhythm of War Drums
7. Judith
8. Blue
9. The Package
10. The Noose
11. Imagine [John Lennon cover]
12. The Outsider
13. Passive

Final Thoughts:

The only real complaint I had of this year’s event was the organizers decision to move the second stage to a different area. This caused a horrible bottleneck effect that made you feel more like cattle than music fans and made it nearly impossible to get from the second stage to the main stage between bands.

Aside from that, the festival organizers really stayed true to their words of giving rock fans the best show yet in the festivals fifth year. I can’t wait to see next years line up and hopefully cover the festival for a fifth straight year.

Also check out our interviews from the festival:

Asking Alexandria
Egypt Central
Crossfade
Escape the Fate
P.O.D.
Trust Company
Hollywood Undead
Disturbed
A Day To Remember 

Day 2 Photos (Bands Listed in Alphabetical Order):

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