Rock on the Range 2013

By Chip Tamplin

Published on Thursday, May 23, 2013

It’s still crazy for me to imagine that this was my sixth Rock on the Range. I still remember my first Rock on the Range experience (which was the first show that I ever covered). I’ve had the opportunity to cover so many amazing bands over the years – not just at Rock on the Range, but everywhere and it’s truly crazy for me to think that I’ve been doing it for this long.

While I pray every year for the festival organizers to please, PLEASE stop booking 20+ repeats a year, my prayers are constantly unanswered. But I guess if they can at least choose the better repeats I can tolerate it. Rock on the Range is still the most fun I have every year.

Otherwise:

While I quickly caught the beginning of England’s Young Guns, Otherwise was the first band I really watched at Rock on the Range 2013. One of my friends had strongly recommended me seeing them at previous shows, but this was the first time I actually got to and I’m really sad it took me this long. What a great band – so much energy and excitement on stage. I love bands like that. Vocalist Adrian Patrick sounded phenomenal while bassist Vassilios Metropoulos was a force to be reckoned with on stage. If you get the opportunity to see Otherwise in the future (and with their rigorous touring schedule you probably will) take it!

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

Set list:

1. I
2. Die for You
3. Lighthouse
4. Vegas Girl
5. I Don’t Apologize (1,000 Pictures)
6. II
7. Silence Reigns
8. Scream Now
9. Soldiers

 

Halestorm:

Thanks to our good friends over at Ear Plugs Required, I had the opportunity to cover Halestorm, despite not being approved for a main stage pass. As always, Halestorm never disappoints. Drummer AreJay and and his older sister and lead vocalist Lzzy Hale lead the band in energy and makes for one hell of a live show. Their shows sadly didn’t vary at all over the three festivals, but they’re good enough to get by, even with repetition. Lzzy was having some bad issues with her mic throughout the first four-five songs, but it got slowly better as the set progressed.

Vocals: 9
Crowd Response: 8
Overall Sound: 9
Band Activity: 9
Overall rating: 9

Set list:

1. Freak Like Me
2. Love Bites (So Do I)
3. It’s Not You
4. Rock Show
5. Straight Through the Heart [Dio cover]
6. Mz. Hyde
7. I Get Off
8. Here’s to Us
9. I Miss the Misery

 

Motionless in White:

Motionless in White tends to be one of the more odd-bands-out wherever they go. Despite that fact, they have by far one of the most dedicated fan bases around. I’ve noticed the last few festivals they’ve played their fans have tended to show up for them and only them, which is quite impressive considering the price of admission. Not a big fan myself, but I love their energy, especially from vocalist Chris Cerulli. No matter where they go, their fans will follow and that says a lot about them.

Vocals: 9
Crowd Response: 10
Overall Sound: 8.5
Band Activity: 9
Overall rating: 8.5

Set list (partial):

1. Devil’s Night
2. Abigail
3. America
4. Immaculate Misconception

 

Bullet for my Valentine:

Another main stage band I was fortunate to shoot through our friends at Shockwave Magazine. As I said in my reviews from Welcome to Rockville and Carolina Rebellion, I’ve been so impressed by how much Bullet has improved their live shows lately. While, as a whole, I was disappointed with their new album Temper Temper, those songs do transfer well to the live format, especially “Breaking Point”. Great live band.

Vocals: 9
Crowd Response: 10
Overall Sound: 9
Band Activity: 8
Overall rating: 9

Set list:

1. Breaking Point
2. Your Betrayal
3. Waking the Demon
4. Riot
5. 4 Words (to Choke Upon)
6. Temper Temper
7. Tears Don’t Fall
8. Scream Aim Fire

 

Black Veil Brides:

Not a fan of Black Veil Brides, but their live sets are definitely a lot of fun to shoot. One of my all time favorite photos was during their set at Rock on the Range a few years prior, ironically enough it was of their guitarist Jinxx who didn’t perform with the band at this show.

Vocalist Andy Beirsack has great stage presence and a pretty solid voice. A few times he left the stage to play with the crowd. He even took a bite out off a fans BVB poster (pictured below). Solid set. Their fans were crazy.

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

Set list:

1. I Am Bulletproof
2. Shadows Die
3. Wretched and Divine
4. Rebel Yell [Billy Idol cover]
5. Fallen Angels
6. In the End

 

A Day to Remember:

A Day to Remember was 100% the reason why I decided to go to Rock on the Range this year. They’ve been my favorite band for about three years now and even though I’ve seen them a few times since then (including their performance at ROTR in 2011), I was just so amped up for their set.

The band brings it all the time, but festival shows seem to be on a whole other level. The entire band just went off the second they got on stage to start into the brutal 1-2 punch of “Violence (Enough is Enough)” and “2nd Sucks” and didn’t end until the final note of “The Downfall of Us All”. Even after the band had left the stage, fans were still chanting, “we’re not leaving”, trying to convince the band into performing an encore.

Unfortunately security kicked us out after two songs (rather than our normal three), but I had the unbelievable experience of watching the remainder of their set from the side of the stage (pictured below). Such an amazing show and easily one of the best crowds of the weekend!

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

Set list:

1. Violence (Enough is Enough)
2. 2nd Sucks
3. My Life for Hire
4. A Shot in the Dark
5. I’m Made of Wax Larry, What Are You Made Of?
6. All Signs Point to Lauderdale
7. Have Faith in Me
8. All I Want
9. Why Walk on Water When We’ve Got Boats?
10. The Plot to Bomb the Panhandle
11. The Downfall of Us All

 

Red:

I can’t emphasize enough just how awesome Red is live. Red was one of the first bands I ever shot way back in 2008 at my first ever show – Rock on the Range 2008. While I also covered them at Welcome to Rockville, this was on a whole other level. Pyro machines behind them were awesome and made for some of my favorite shots of the weekend.

Front man Michael Barnes was phenomenal and left everything on the stage. I couldn’t believe how insane their crowd was for how early in the day they were. Great to see and I can’t recommend them enough.

Vocals: 9
Crowd Response: 8
Overall Sound: 9
Band Activity: 9
Overall rating: 9

Set list:

1. Feed the Machine
2. Perfect Life
3. Let Go
4. Death of Me
5. Die for You
6. Release the Panic
7. Breathe into Me

 

Ghost (B.C.):

For the past few weeks I had heard how I HAD to cover Ghost (who have to add B.C. to their name in the US because of copyright claims to the name Ghost). When they first came out all but the singer had matching religious robes and masks. While they are a band, it’s essentially just vocalist Papa Emeritus II and then The Nameless Ghouls for the remainder of the band.

After seeing them, I did some research and learned just how important anonymity is to the band. No one knows their true identities and the band takes that very seriously. Aesthetically, Ghost B.C.. was incredibly pleasing but their music did not fit with the bands image in my opinion. I came into the set imagining some crazy black metal style, but that was definitely not what we received. In fact, they were mellower than most of the rock bands there.

They were still very good and entertaining but nothing like I expected, definitely worth seeing at least once.

Vocals: 9
Crowd Response: 6
Overall Sound: 8
Band Activity: 4
Overall rating: 7

Set list:

1. Infestissumam
2. Per Aspera Ad Inferi
3. Con Clavi
4. Year Zero
5. Ritual
6. Monstrance Clock

 

Bush:

Once again, a special thanks to our friends at Ear Plugs Required for letting me shoot for them. After the ill-fated end to Carolina Rebellion, it was great for a do over with Bush. Vocalist Gavin Rossdale was definitely one of the more energetic band members and managed to sound fantastic throughout their set. Plowing through a lengthy set, I was definitely pleased with Bush and Rossdale especially.

Vocals: 9
Crowd Response: 9
Overall Sound: 9
Band Activity: 9
Overall rating: 9

Set list:

1. Machinehead
2. Testosterone
3. The Sound of Winter
4. Everything Zen
5. Loneliness is a Killer
6. Come Together [The Beatles cover]
7. Little Things
8. Glycerine
9. Comedown

 

Lamb of God:

Though not the last band of the weekend, they were the final band that I was able to cover. I’ve covered Lamb of God a few times over the years but this was unlike anything I’d experienced with them. Due to the insanity their fans bring, it didn’t come as any surprise to us that we wouldn’t be able to cover all three songs.

Lamb of God has always been great live, but this was just…ridiculous. When their set was over I’m genuinely surprised there wasn’t a crater where the stage used to be. Clearly the trial and all that vocalist Randy Blythe was forced to go through not only didn’t make him lose a step, but brought his intensity level up to levels I didn’t think possible.

While their set was pretty much what I expected, I always love hearing “Walk with Me in Hell” whenever I can get the opportunity. Top three sets of the weekend by far.

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

Set list:

1. Desolation
2. Ghost walking
3. Walk with Me in Hell
4. Set to Fail
5. Now You’ve Got Something to Die For
6. Laid to Rest
7. Redneck
8. Black Label

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