Rock on the Range Day 2 – Columbus Crew Stadium – May 17
The second day of Rock on the Range 2009 featured more of what I’ll call “Bring Back Glam” friendly bands. You know: Motley Crue, Avenged Sevenfold, Charm City Devils, Shinedown and Buckcherry. In other words: the day kicked much ass.
Oh, and I totally hung out with Tommy Lee and Mick Mars in their dressing room, but we’ll get there.
So, the day started early with some greasy breakfast food, some voicemails from a few publicists and Hoobastank. Once inside the festival, we went on a pilgrimage to find festival hoodies (it was cold, people!) Alas, everything long sleeved was sold out.
You know what? Saving Abel does not suck. In fact, the crowd for them was darn huge and people were singing right along. I don’t know if I’d consider the band Glam exactly, but they are not alternative or heavy either. Maybe just middle of the road rock. At any rate, they were fun enough.
Sometimes fun things happen when you are in the right place at the right time. I had an appointment to meet with a relatively new band named Pop Evil back in the media area. I trek along and wait and find out the band was bumped earlier and I guessed I missed them. But lo and behold, I’m offered a sit down with Josh Todd of Buckcherry.
So, Josh and I talk about all things Adam Lambert, how he’s tired as hell and likes to box and jump rope to stay in shape. When I watch Buckcherry live several hours later, I see the boxer in Josh clear as a bell. Good times.
So I kill some time, check more voicemail and then I watch Baltimore-based Charm City Devils. Since I’ve had 24 hours to reflect on their show, I’ve decided it was pretty great. CCD were on the smallest of the three stages, but that’s ok. The newest band signed to Eleven Seven, Charm City Devils will hit the road with Motley Crue this summer for Crue Fest 2. The band only has one CD – their debut – which is out in a few days. “Let’s Rock n’ Roll (Endless Road)” was the theme to announce the last Crue Fest, but I digress. So, I talked to the band after and that was a hilarious conversation that deserves its own article. I mean, there was a little hugging, some blood and talk of migraines. I’ll leave it at that for now.
Shinedown are awesome live. This was my third time seeing them and at each show they get a little tighter and the crowd gets a little more crazy. The band did play a lot of stuff off The Sound of Madness, but there were older tunes thrown in as well.
If you saw Buckcherry on Crue Fest last summer – or have seen them period – you know the band really loves to play live. They are the definition of a workhorse band: always on the road. I asked Josh if Buckcherry would be on the road another six months and he said more likely another year – so you’ll have plenty of chances to check them out. My only issue with Shinedown and Buckcherry was the sets were crazy short. Tons of songs cut because of set times – but I must say this: I have never been to a festival that is dead on accurate when it comes to set times like Rock on the Range. If a band is posted to play at noon, they are on stage at that time no matter what. I love when things run smoothly. So anyway, Buckcherry does their most famous songs and closes with “Crazy Bitch” as they do but Josh cut his long part of that to make time. Still, good times all around and the sound was much improved over day one.
Now it’s time for the Mick Mars/Tommy Lee dressing room story. Perhaps I should clarify: I was in Mick’s dressing room – Tommy was in there as well for press. I’ve always wanted to shake Mick’s hand, and that’s exactly what I did. He was happy and very animated, just like Tommy. We talked about ROTR, Crue Fest 2, The Dirt movie and some other epic randomness that always befalls a conversation involving anyone in Motley Crue. While waiting for my interview, Nikki Sixx and Kat Von D totally scoped the crowd for Avenged Sevenfold. Avenged Sevenfold went on about 15 minutes before my interview and it sounded like the world was falling apart – and I mean that in the best way possible. I’ve seen them before, so I knew they were good – but my Glam – A7X had everyone whipped up into a green tizzy. Seriously, the pit for Avenged was way more violent than it was for Slipknot. While waiting for my Motley interview, I was close enough to the emergency exit to watch as medics pulled bloody kids from the barrier. Those same kids ran around and got right back in!
Motley played their usual set. If you saw the winter leg of the Saints of Los Angeles tour – then you saw the show the band did at Rock on the Range. Push comes to shove, Motley Crue will not allow anyone to out-pyro them and they had giant flames shooting way above the stadium by the time the set was over. It was an interesting mix, watching older fans interact with teenagers seeing Motley for the very first time. The crowd was full of fans wearing Motley shirts – and that’s a good thing. A lot of the people in the crowd didn’t seem to know much of the new stuff, but no matter. Perhaps hearing “Shout at the Devil” and “Dr. Feelgood” live helped some younger kids convert to Motley? We can hope.
Photo key: Jason Null, Jared Weeks (Saving Abel), Josh Todd (Buckcherry), John Allen (Charm City Devils), Emma Anzai (Sick Puppies), Eric Bass (Shinedown), Shinedown Crowd, Vince Neil (Motley Crue).