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Commentary: Metal, hard rock highlight Columbus’ annual Rock on the Range

Courtesy of Century Media

The summer music festival season is closing in fast, and as a result many official lineups have finally been announced. These festivals are scheduled to take place in the coming months in all areas of the country, and your particular tastes in music will likely determine your music festivals of choice. Each week, I’ll weigh in on an upcoming festival.


Traveling isn’t always feasible when it comes to summer music festivals, and luckily it isn’t necessary with Columbus’ very own Rock on the Range. Though this event features many musical acts in the same genre, it is scheduled to showcase notable acts falling under the labels of hard rock and metal. If you’re planning on staying around the area, this is a great piece of Columbus not to be missed. Here are some artists worthy checking out when you go. 


Cheap Trick

I would never be able to forgive myself if I missed the chance to see this classic band, and I don’t think you should miss it either. Popularity gained solely for “I Want You to Want Me” aside, Cheap Trick has been around for several generations, and its music has held its own throughout time.

It’s best not to go to this show if the only song you’ve heard is the one mentioned above, so give “Dream Police” a listen to broaden your musical horizons and determine if seeing this band would be a good fit. It also might be a good idea to listen to the entirety of the band’s “Authorized Greatest Hits” album to get a taste of what makes Cheap Trick such a classic rock group.

Cheap Trick is scheduled to perform May 17 at Rock on the Range.


Black Veil Brides

I know what you’re thinking, and you can judge me all you want, but I am going to hold true with my recommendation for seeing this band. Black Veil Brides calls upon inspiration from the great glam-rock bands of the past, and any man who can pull off a face full of makeup better than I can earns my respect. I’m not sure why there is so much hatred toward this band, and I don’t really care. The music is good, the live shows rock, and that’s all that matters.

If you’re still on the fence about seeing this show, listen to “In The End” and just take in the electric guitar solos and rumbling voice of lead vocalist Andy Biersack. If you don’t immediately feel like you’ve been transported to the 1970s, you’ve missed the point. Otherwise, get your devil-horned hands ready to rock. 

Black Veil Brides is scheduled to perform May 18 at Rock on the Range.


In This Moment

Of course I have to highlight a female-fronted metal band, and there is no better choice than In This Moment. Lead vocalist Maria Brink brings pure power and strength to the music with her voice and provides a new twist on the standard metal genre. There’s just something so refreshing about hearing a girl scream her angst out to the tune of gritty guitars and pounding drums.

The band’s most recent single “Blood” is a solid track to help you get a taste of the music. It showcases a modern metal sound without trying too hard to make a statement, something that is all too common in the world of rock music today. In This Moment’s 2012 album, also called “Blood,” is full of great tracks like that one, so just take your pick and prepare to mosh your face off.

In This Moment is scheduled to perform May 19 at Rock on the Range.


Unfortunately, Rock on the Range is also scheduled to feature Hollywood Undead and Buckcherry, two bands that I consider huge pimples on the face of rock ‘n’ roll music. I recommend you avoid these sets at all costs. Both are slated for performances on May 17. 

Rock on the Range is scheduled for May 17-19 at the Columbus Crew Stadium. Weekend tickets are available for $119.50, or in single-day variations – Friday tickets are available for $39.50 and Saturday or Sunday tickets are available for $69.50. 

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