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Rock on the Range festival: Day Two

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Rock On The Range 2014, Day 2 in Columbus, OH

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Day two for me was mainly centered around the headlining act; Avenged Sevenfold. There were a lot of other bands throughout the day that were kind of "meh" for my personal tastes so I used that as my day to explore the other parts of the festival a little bit.

We arrived a little later than we had wanted to and missed most of Wilson. They had been someone that I was kind of curious about after doing my ROTR research on all the bands that I wasn't familiar with. We didn't catch their set, but as we walked by on our way to the main stage, it looked pretty crazy. It looked like they were having a pretty good party with the folks that had braved the cold rain to come in. I'll have to pick up their record and review it for them.

We made it into the main stage to catch a band that is near and dear to my heart; Rev Theory. They are the first band that I ever "discovered" while at a Rock on the Range. Since the first time that I saw them live, I've been a fan. Energy is a huge plus when you are talking about live music. They bring energy every time they play. Their vocals could have been a little higher in the mix, but they played through that and worked the crowd hard. I was on the "Yeah!" part of the pit, so obviously we dominated the "Hell!" side. Punks.

Rev Theory Set List

1. Red Light Queen

2. Light it Up

3. Born to Destroy

4. Blow It Up

5. Something New

6. Hell Yeah

Fuel followed and fell pretty flat. Sometimes I think that the lineup can cause bands a little injustice. Fuel's style is just different than Rev Theory's and that's a tough act to follow.

After that, I had to go checkout the Texas Hippie Coalition. They were pretty solid. I'd always heard good things about them on That Metal Show and I'm glad that I went and caught their set. The second stage was packed for their set and it appeared that they had a pretty good following.

From there it was back to the main stage to catch Pop Evil. They won me over last year at Rock on the Range as a good live band. They lived up to it again this year. The reaction that they got from their hits; "Monster You Made" and "Deal With the Devil" were great. They saved the best for last, though. Lest we forget that May 17 was Armed Forces Day in the United States and that none of this would have been possible without the sacrifice of our military folk; past, present, and future. Pop Evil didn't forget that and brought a group of U.S. Marines onto the stage to an ovation from the 40,000 headbangers in attendance. Not done with their surprises, DMC appeared on stage and helped the band end their set with their hit song, "Trenches".

We went over to the third stage to try to check out Chris Jericho's band Fozzy after Pop Evil, but the Jager Stage was completely packed. We sat off to the side, listening to the band and gearing up for the home stretch.

Back at the main stage, Theory of a Deadman was next. I don't know what it is. I like some of their music, but both times that I've seen them now, I think that their sound is bad live. They had a ton of crowd participation, so those who dug it really dug it. I'm a music first kind of guy, though, and their mix was just bad. "Hate My Life" and "Bad Girlfriend" were definitely the highlights, and the title track from their upcoming album Savages was pretty good too.

After I ran into some friends from high school, we entered the pit for Chevelle. Kind of like Staind the night before, they aren't really the most entertaining band in the world, but they sounded great. It's always nice when you get the sound that you expect from a band, and Chevelle has that.

Chevelle Set List

1. Grab Thy Hand

2. The Clincher

3. Same Old Trip

4. Take Out the Gunman

5. Sleep Apnea

6. Hats Off to the Bull

7. Hunter Eats Hunter

8. Send the Pain Below

9. The Red

10. Face to the Floor

Slayer was next on the main stage. I'll be honest, I'm not a fan of Slayer. Never have been. I know this pisses off a lot of people in the metal community, but I think they are far and away the worst of the Big 4 of Thrash Metal. I think their vocals are shit and their whole anti-religion thing is old and tired. A bunch of folks whining about intolerant Christians singing about being intolerant to Christians and religion in general. Makes no sense to me, but I digress.

I will say, though, that as a metal fan that I know that they have a massive following. Their mosh pits have reputation as the most brutal in metal. I was a mosh pit virgin until last night. I found it fitting that that changed during Slayer. Twice. Against my will. It was awesome! Today, I hurt.

Slayer Set List

1. World Painted Blood

2. Hate Worldwide

3. Disciple

4. Mandatory Suicide

5. Postmortem

6. Chemical Warfare

7. War Ensemble

8. Hallowed Point

9. Seasons in the Abyss

10. Hell Awaits

11. South of Heaven

12. Raining Blood

Avenged Sevenfold finally took the stage, about a half hour later than they were supposed to, and absolutely melted faces for the next hour and twenty minutes or so. They lived up to their headlining billing and altered their set enough that I don't think anybody could have left unsatisfied, other than the fact that they didn't play long enough. I'm not sure why they don't ever play a proper 15+ song headliner set, but you do get your bang for your buck with the the songs that they do play. Literally, bang. There was tons of perfectly timed pyro and fireworks that made the whole Hail to the King stage set come to life. As a huge Iron Maiden fan, and seeing how much they've influenced the great A7X, I loved the presentation they gave. They also had the best sound of the bands that played the main stage. M Shadows vocals were spot on and the rest of the band were near flawless in execution as well. There were a lot of bands that I was indifferent to on Saturday, but with GNR and A7X already in the fold and the iconic Kid Rock coming up, this has by far been the best group of head liners that the festival has had.

Avenged Sevenfold Set List

1. Shepherd of Fire

2. Critical Acclaim

3. Bat Country

4. Hail to the King

5. Buried Alive

6. Seize the Day

7. Nightmare

8. Burn it Down

9. *Guitar Solo*

10. Afterlife

11. This Means War

12. Almost Easy

*Encore*

13. Unholy Confessions

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