Rock on the Range 2014 live blog: Saturday
Happy Saturday, all. Nearly 12 hours after Guns N' Roses closed out Friday night, the Saturday session has begun here at Crew Stadium. Monsoon-like rains soaked opening sets on the Ernie Ball and Jägermeister Stages from Stars in Stereo and the Fox Rocks Winner.
No worries, though. Blue skies are starting to open up as we have Fuel, Chevelle, Slayer and Avenged Sevenfold headlining Saturday at Rock on the Range.
The rain has stopped for now as Fuel just took the MONSTER Energy Stage and the field starts to fill up.
Side note: While it has been noticeable during Crew matches, credit to club Chairman and Owner-Operator Anthony Precourt and Crew Stadium General Manager Ryan Smith for expanding the stadium concourses. In past years, the concourses have been miserably congested, but this year its easy to walk around the stadium without feeling like you're packed in like sardines. Huge upgrade.
I spent the past couple of hours roaming around the Crew Stadium grounds, starting with Texas Hippie Coalition on the Ernie Ball Stage. With a name like that, why wouldn't I go check it out? I then caught some of Pop Evil's set on the MONSTER Energy Stage. The Michigan-based band closed with a cool gesture of bringing Marines on stage for a rousing applause.
Texas Hippie Coalition led me to begin thinking about the best band names at Rock on the Rage. Here's my top three:
3. Twelve Foot Ninja
2. Butcher Babies
1. One OK Rock
The Pretty Reckless, who's received a lot of radio airplay for their recent release Going to Hell, is currently playing on the Ernie Ball Stage. I'm really impressed with their sound and tightness as a band. Far removed from her roles as Cindy Lou Who in The Grinch and Gossip Girl, Taylor Momsen is rock's next great frontwoman. She has the growl and charisma of Joan Jett, mixed with (obviously) movie-star good looks. It's no surprise The Pretty Reckless has been the biggest draw on the Ernie Ball Stage (left) today.
Also, a shout out to the Crew Stadium ticket operations staff of Jason Decker and Allison Walker for letting me handle some customer service duties this afternoon. I just really enjoy talking to people and it's nice to help them out when they have questions.
I'm off the catch thrash legends Exodus wrap-up their set on the Jägermeister Stage.
Suicidal Tendencies is 25 minutes into their set on the Ernie Ball Stage. They're a band I was really looking forward to seeing this weekend. I've always been a fan of their LA-inspired funky punk metal. Like Living Colour yesterday, they bring a little bit different element to Rock on the Range, and their on-stage energy is second to none.
Up next on the MONSTER Energy Stage is Slayer. I'm looking forward to checking them off my musical bucket list.
Slayer's "Reigning Blood" is ringing through Crew Stadium as they close their set on the MONSTER Energy Stage. The thrash metal institution has filled the entire field level and most of the stadium bowl. Lead guitarist Kerry King ferociously picks through screaming solos as bassist Tom Araya shouts Slayer's in-your-face lyrics. The band just revealed a banner backdrop in tribute to rhythm guitarist Jeff Hanneman, who passed away last year. Gary Holt, who played an earlier set with Exodus, doing justice to Hanneman's signature traded solos with King.
Also, you never know who you'll run into backstage. Darry McDaniels, more commonly known as DMC of Run DMC, appeared during Pop Evil's set and professional wrestling legend Chris Jericho has been seen checking out tonight's bands after performing with his band, Fozzy, earlier in the day.
Avenged Sevenfold kicked-off its headlining set about seven minutes ago on the MONSTER Energy Stage as they hit the sing-a-long "Bat Country." I've gotta say, so far, Avenged Sevenfold has the most impressive stage set and pyrotechnics. Massive risers line the drum kit, while faux-stone cathedral-like stuctures act as a backdrop with huge video screens and a wall of fire. Entertaining show so far.
Avenged Sevenfold just closed Saturday night at Rock on the Range with a bang... Literally, many, many bangs. The band's set was filled with pyro and concussion effects as guitarists Zacky Vengeance and Synyster Gates traded solos throughout the night in the best set of the evening on the MONSTER Energy Stage.