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Written By Debbie Bowman  Photos By Missie Tong & Jared Perkins
Rock On The Range continues its six-year rage
Imagine a heavy metal heaven where you can see bands like Slash, Rob Zombie,
Marilyn Manson, Megadeth, Incubus and Anthrax—just to name a few—all in one
place, surrounded by thousands of friendly black clad tattooed, pierced metal heads
and scantily dressed girls with flowing beer and Jagermeister.

That is exactly what Rock On The Range 2012 was.

May 18, 19 and 20  in Columbus, Ohio at the Crew Stadium was the sixth annual
Rock On The Range. It has quickly become one of the hottest metal festivals in the
world. This year they featured a total of 44 bands throughout the weekend spread out
among three stages.

Tickets started around $100 for the weekend. Package deals were available such as
the Vehicle Camping Package for four people. It included one vehicle space, four
general admission tickets, Friday night tickets and four official ROTR festival t-shirts.
The cost: $759. They sold out of these packages this year.

Smoking lounges provided air conditioned relief for the heated rockers. They were
open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. They required an ID which was scanned for validity,
asked what you usually smoke and then asked that you sign a waiver.

There was a bar in the vending area with a Hangover Recovery vendor close by.

There was a huge line for the JVC tent, with fans waiting to register to win one of the
JVC mini iPod docks they were giving away every hour and the JVC WiFi Camcorder
grand prize, given away once a day.

There was also a really long line for wristbands. Field seating wristbands could not be
obtained once inside the festival.

F.Y.E. provided a tent for autographs; some fans got signatures from Emphatic,
P.O.D., Adelitas Way, Theory of a Deadman, Bobaflex and Halestorm among other
ROTR artists.

Vendors sold $4 waters, $8 beers, $10 Jager shots and $6 hamburgers or hotdogs.

Now to the music! Moshin’ and crowd surfin’ proved to be the way to rage at the
Range. I have never seen so much crowd surfing. Some parents even put their kids
up on crowds!

Columbus’ own Noise Auction (NA) started out the weekend on the Jagermeister
Stage as the Alrosa Villa Battle Of The Bands' winner. They killed it! As Megan Hart
from Pocomoke City, Md. said: “They are high energy with a good classic rock tone.”
Carlisa Stewart from Worthington, Ohio was seeing the band for the second time and
proclaimed, “they are so cool!” An enthusiastic mosh pit started quickly in the middle
of the crowd.

I was standing close to Katie Morrison when she caught Se7eN’s guitar pick, on top
of her cell phone! I asked a few more people what they thought of NA. Doug from
Cincinnati, Ohio said, “My band Livid has shared the stage with these guys. Great
musicians, great band!” Matt Woodley from Carleton, Mich. said, “Great show!” and
his wife Melissa said, “my husband has played with several local bands. These guys
rock!!”

I went to check out Adelitas Way. Pretty good crowd. The singer, Rick DeJesus,
was wearing a flannel shirt, despite the heat that had fans dropping like flies. He
encouraged the crowd to “light up those joints and smoke some f’n herb.”

You know, for me, seeing a new band is like meeting a new guy. I know in the first 10
minutes if they are going to be part of my life. Adelitas Way obviously has tons of fans
who love them, but I only stayed about 10 minutes.

I passed through Halestorm on the main stage just as singer Lzzy Hale was telling her
audience: “We have our new record coming out. You know what I like about putting out
a new album? I get to see you guys! It’s a religious experience.”

Chevelle and Theory of a Deadman both provided awesome energy despite the heat.  
Every person was some shade of red--fans and bands alike--dripping with sweat.  
Crowd surfers were being dropped all over the place. One boy I saw go down at
Theory of a Deadman looked to be only about twelve-years-old.

Slash with Miles Kennedy and The Conspirators was electric. The crowd was
becoming packed in and went wild when they played “Sweet Child ‘O Mine.”

Black Stone Cherry played their new single “Black Eye Roll.” Guitarist Ben Wells was
especially impressive with his massive energy and sweet Elvis guitar. The crowd
screamed along as they covered “Rehab.” I especially liked their original, “Blame It On
The Boom Boom.”

I tried to catch the SOiL show, but for some reason they were on the third, smaller,
F.Y.E. stage and it was packed! Every inch of not only the field but tunnels, stairs and
fence space on the second level of the stadium was packed with fans. The energy
was extremely high and the band sounded phenomenal.

Attack Attack! had a hyper crowd! There was intense energy going between the band
and the fans. From the very first song fans were jumping, moshing and surfing. They
told the crowd: “this is our home town! This is Columbus, Ohio! Show me right now
what Cbus is made of!!” They played their new song “Motivation” along with “Sensual
Man Chocolate” and “Smokahontas.”

Five Finger Death Punch completely packed the stadium floor and stands. Lead
vocalist Ivan Moody said, “Before we came out here they said they doubled security for
us because we have the most violent fans here. I said we’re just having a good f’n
time! So everybody turn to the person next to you and shake their hand.”  Moody
asked for applause for our military and played “Bad Company” for the troops.

When he saw kids being put up to crowd surf he stopped everything. “Where are the
kids? I don’t want them getting hurt! You guys are F’n up! Get them up on stage!”  The
crowd brought up six boys, one only about two-years-old (I was later told that he was
Ian’s son) and got really upset when he asked “where’s the little girl? Where the f is
she? Is she injured? Get the EMTs here right now!” I never saw her, but hope she is
okay. The band belted out a couple of songs for what he called the next generation of
mf’rs. He then played a little round of ‘Ivan says’ with them.

Sunday evening provided a dream line up all by itself on the main stage: Megadeth,
Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie. These guys made it worth the price of admission all
by themselves.

The sound during Megadeth sounded bad to me, too much vibrato while he was
talking made it difficult to understand vocalist/guitarist Dave Mustaine when he was
talking, but I did get this. He said, “When I was with my last band (talking about
Metallica) I used to look through phonebooks to find someone with my last name
because it’s so unusual. And the only place I ever found it was Ohio! So, thank you
family!”

They played favorites like “Hanger 18,” “Peace Sells,” “Head Crusher,” and
“Symphony of Destruction” to a crowd of at least 50,000. The screens displayed their
video for the new single “Public Enemy #1,” Dave said it was his favorite video
because his best friend Dave Elfson is in bed with a monkey. The band obviously
enjoyed the crowd as much as the crowd enjoyed them, pausing at the end to pose
for pics with the crowd as a backdrop before leaving.

Marilyn Manson kept his set interesting by occasionally changing outfits. He paid a lot
of attention to the crowd in front of him, frequently kneeling mid stage to sing to them.
He spoke a little bit about his hate for heroin before singing “Personal Jesus” and
“Sweet Dreams.” He also performed “Tourniquet” and brought out the old
Antichrist
Superstar
-era pulpit. I had never seen Marilyn, but am a big fan. I enjoyed his
performance, but I have to say I was a little let down that the set wasn’t nearly as
edgy or racey that I’ve heard his shows could be.

And then there was Rob Zombie. Absolutely guaranteed to melt your face! I had
moved from the floor to the stands and it was all an amazing sight! The people packed
shoulder to shoulder and front to back in front of the stage with arms in the air and cell
phones glowing, played right into the whole atmosphere.

Graphics and clips from movies like Planet of the Apes and Frankenstein played on
the multitude of screens behind them. Images of fire and real fire all over the stage.
Fireworks. Ten-foot tall robots and creatures wandered the stage—as if the energetic
band wasn’t enough to watch.

And then there was Rob. “People ask me where’s the best place to play? Where are
the best crowds? I love everybody, all the crowds. It was great two years ago, it’ll be
better tonight!” He did not disappoint.

The newest Zombie introduced himself with a killer drum solo surrounded by fire.  
John 5 also performed an amazing guitar solo surrounded by glowing tilted crosses
and flashing pentagrams. My personal favorite songs were “Mars Needs Women” and
“Living Dead Girl.” Rob Zombie hands down puts on the ultimate show, ending the
festival in an explosive fashion.

Rock on the Range how I loved you!  See you next year!
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For The Fans, By The Fans.  Look Beyond The Mainstream.
Jaime Bias came from Charleston, West Va. for
the second year, this time to see In this Moment
and Rob Zombie. “I love In This Moment and have
never been so excited for the next album to come
out!” She first saw them at the Hottest Chicks of
Metal in 2007 and 2008. She came to Ohio just to
see ROTR. “I love Rock On The Range! It’s the
one place to see everything you could want to
hear. Everyone is friendly and awesome!”
Michelle from Michigan said, “I came for Black
Stone Cherry, Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie, Five
Finger Death Punch, a bunch  of them! Lacuna
Coil. We’ve come four times, the first one and
then this is the third year in a row. It’s great. It’s
awesome that you can get autographs. You buy
the CD and then you can get it autographed, it's
awesome! I hope they keep it going and make it
bigger and keep extending it. Keep it going!”
Wild Bill owns a haunted house called Fright
World in Buffalo, N.Y. He came to the festival with
Tonya Yanicki also from Buffalo.
Bill said, “I’ve been to hundreds of shows! This is
the first time at ROTR, it’s AWESOME!" Seeing
Volbeat, Manson, Zombie and Mastodon is what
brought him to Columbus.
Ralph Davila, a PR rep from Akron was there with
Melissa Leichliter. He said, “[this is] two times
at ROTR and love it! Pure adrenaline and
excitement! The rock community comes together
to rock to the top rock bands in the U.S.! Need
motorcycle parking though for the biker rockers!”
I came across ten-year-old EricTeixeira from New
Jersey looking a little warm. Turns out he had just
had his first crowd surfing experience at the
Falling In Reverse show (I found that ironic!).
They came for both days and he was looking
forward to seeing Rob Zombie and Marilyn
Manson. His parents seconded that. But, I don’t
think he’ll be crowd surfing again any time soon.
I actually ran into him and his family several times
Saturday and he looked like he was having a blast!
Debbie Landry from Indiana has come to Rock
On The Range five times. When I asked  her who
she was here to see this year she said: “Gosh,
who am I not here to see? My favorites are
Shinedown, Rob Zombie, Five Finger Death
Punch, oh my gosh, Marilyn…” She also told me,  
“Rock On The Range is the best festival hands
down! I got the package, it’s the way to go.”
David Pennington from Pensacola, Fla. was
with Bryan Hall, who is from Perrysville, Ohio
and owner of A Filthee Sound. Dave came to
visit Bryan just to see ROTR for the third year
in a row. This year he came to see 5FDP,
Cypress Hill, Chevelle, and Attack Attack!. Bryan
agreed, adding Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson.
When I asked Dave what he has to say about
Rock on The Range he said, “Keep it comin!”
Bryan said “Fuck Ozzfest! Now its ROTR! If you
haven’t been, go!”
While at the Halestorm show I came across two
guys completely painted yellow with red hands on
their foreheads that had ” 5FDP” painted across
them. I had to wait to talk to them because there
were one after another people wanting pictures
with them. They are Glenn Johnson and Michael
Lee from Galion. It was going to be their second
time seeing the band and their first ROTR. They
were also looking forward to seeing Rob Zombie,
Marilyn Manson and Escape the Faith. When I
asked them if there was anything they would like
to say they both said: “Knuckleheads for life!”
Melanie Armstrong from New York – “I came to
see 5 Finger Death Punch, Incubus, Manson,
Rob Zombie, Theory of a Dead Man. We’re
roughing it this weekend, we came just to see the
concerts and we’re enjoying ourselves.”