Rock on the Range Live Blog: Day One

Crew Insider documents all the action from ROTR

Rock on the Range

Photo Credit: 
Greg Bartram

Taking a break from writing about soccer, TheCrew.com's Cody Sharrett is diving into Rock on the Range this weekend at Crew Stadium. Keep checking back for up-to-the-minute posts at ROTR from our Insider.

11:33 P.M. - My desk in the Crew Stadium offices

Day one of my first Rock on the Range has come to close. All in all, Cheap Trick was the highlight of my Friday. Nothing against Korn or Buckcherry, but it's just cool to see a band that's in its fifth decade sharing the bill with contemporary acts-- and more than holding their own while doing so.

I'm looking forward to coming back tomorrow to check out comedian Jim Florentine, The Sword and Smashing Pumpkins among others.

10:47 P.M. - MONSTER Energy Main Stage

Korn is closing its set with their biggest hit "Freak on a Leash," a song that's known for its music video as much as its chorus. It's crazy to think that on the teen pop sanctuary that was MTV's Total Request Live in the late 1990s, the video went head-to-head--and sometimes topped-- the likes of Britney Spears and *NSYNC.

I'll have a full recap of Korn shortly.

10:22 P.M. - MONSTER Energy Main Stage

... And the bagpipes are out! He's not wearing a kilt this time, but Jonathan Davis leads his band into the nursery rhyme-inspired "Shoots and Ladders."   Knick-nack-paddy-whack give the dog a bone.

9:53 P.M. - MONSTER Energy Main Stage

With a little cymbal tapping, a still-eerie guitar riff, a thumping bass lick and lead singer Jonathan Davis' screeching inquisition of "ARE YOU READY?!?" Korn kicks off Friday's ROTR finale with "Blind," the opening track of their 1994 self-titled debut album.

9:04 P.M. - MONSTER Energy Main Stage

I'll admit it: When this year's Rock on the Range lineup was announced and I saw Cheap Trick on the bill, I was a little puzzled. After all, what exactly do the "I Want You to Want Me" rockers have in common with bands like Korn and Buckcherry?

And then, I remembered: EVERYONE loves Cheap Trick.

In fact, the band makes sure you know that everyone loves Cheap Trick by showing everyone from Kwik-E-Mart manager Apu from The Simpsons to Mike Damone from the Cameron Crowe classic Fast Times at Ridgemont High singing along to the band's hit "Dream Police" on the video screens that accompany the stage setup.

At age 60, Robin Zander still has the timeless voice heard on the band's classic albums like 1979's Cheap Trick at Budokan. Iconic guitarist Rick Nielsen remains a constant ball of energy on stage with his array of checkerboard patterned Hamer explorers and amplifiers. Almost 35 years after its release, "Surrender" is still a classic live singalong.

Cheap Trick was great, and I hate to complain... But I'm just a tad bit disappointed they didn't play "Mighty Wings," a standout track from the immortal Top Gun soundtrack.

Korn is up next to finish off Friday night here at ROTR.

7:35 P.M. - MONSTER Energy Main Stage

While I wouldn't call myself a Buckcherry "fan" by any means (it's not really my style), they put on a great show. Capturing their audience's attention right from the get-go with their 1999 hit 'Lit Up', the band entertained throughout its 45-minute set. Lead singer Josh Todd is an outstanding frontman, a rarity in modern rock. He commands every square inch of the stage and has the pipes to back it up.

Besides last year's post-match Flogging Molly show at Crew Stadium, I had never watched a show from backstage before tonight. It's kind of crazy to be standing there and then all of a sudden someone like Fieldy from Korn walks by.

Cheap Trick is up next. I'm looking forward to seeing the timeless rockers.

6:10 P.M. - Crew Stadium Plaza

I've spent the past hour or so just taking in the Rock on the Range atmosphere, from the Jägermëister Stage to the MONSTER Energy Main Stage to the vendor and sponsor village. It's really a one-of-kind event. There's a number of music festivals around the country each year like Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Coachella, etc., but ROTR is the only one that caters specifically to the alternative and metal-loving crowd in America. That's the best way I can describe it. It's truly a unique experience.

Buckcherry is up next on the MONSTER Energy Main Stage, stay tuned.

4:35 P.M. - MONSTER Energy Main Stage

Korn Guitarist Brian "Head" Welch walks out onstage to proclaim--in case the crowd was unsure-- "This is not a One Direction show" as his Christian metal project Love and Death breaks in the main stage here at Crew Stadium. I'm looking forward to seeing him perform with Korn tonight after he took a seven-year hiatus from the group back in 2005.

4:16 P.M. - Jägermëister Stage

I just caught a bit of X Factor 1's opening set on Jägermëister Stage. I was happy to hear a metalled-up cover of the Rolling Stones' 'Paint It Black' in the Columbus-based outfit's arsenal.

Also, I'm enjoying the free MONSTER Energy drinks.

3:00 P.M. - Crew Stadium Plaza

Rock on the Range 2013 is underway! After waiting in line all day, fans are starting to pile into Crew Stadium for the Friday kickoff show. X Factor 1 is the first band to play this year's ROTR, they get things started at 4:00 P.M. over on the Jägermëister Stage.

1:41 P.M. - My Desk in the Crew Stadium offices

Good afternoon, Rangers! (Or is it 'rockers'? I like Rangers, it sounds less cliché.)

I just arrived at Crew Stadium to experience my first Rock on the Range. I've heard plenty of good stories of past ROTRs from fellow Crew co-workers and I'm excited to witness Crew Stadium's busiest of weekend of the year for myself.

Aside from a couple of Vans Warped Tours (if that counts) I attended in my teenage years, this will be my first taste of a true rock festival atmosphere.

Gates open in less than 90 minutes for tonight's lineup highlighted by Korn, Cheap Trick and Buckcherry. I can't believe the amount of people already lined up at the gates!

Stay tuned for more updates here on TheCrew.com.