This morning Right Arm Entertainment and AEG Live announced the initial lineup for the seventh edition of Rock on the Range, and it's almost certainly the strongest batch of bands in the festival's history. The 13-year-old me from 1996 absolutely thinks so.
The most exciting news: Soundgarden tops the bill, marking the grunge greats' first Ohio show in two decades. Also among the headliners: Alice In Chains, still charging ahead with new material after Layne Staley's death, and Smashing Pumpkins, who'll hopefully be more generous with the old-school hits in a festival setting.
Bush is playing too, in case you didn't catch them opening for Nickelback last year. Korn's set will feature the return of guitarist Brian "Head" Welch, who had departed the band after converting to Christianity. Lamb of God reprises its gig last month at LC, while Volbeat returns after practically owning the fest last year. And power-pop greats Cheap Trick, who were just here opening for Aerosmith, will show the rest of this bunch what real dinosaurs look like.
They've also added a comedy tent to be curated by the Funny Bone. More info on that later.
In the meantime, here's the full initial lineup: Soundgarden, Alice In Chains, Smashing Pumpkins, Korn, Bush, Stone Sour, Three Days Grace, Papa Roach, Cheap Trick, Bullet For My Valentine, Volbeat, Lamb Of God, Skillet, A Day To Remember, Buckcherry, Halestorm, Hollywood Undead, All That Remains, Device (with David Draiman), Steel Panther, Sevendust, Sick Puppies, Asking Alexandria, Pop Evil, In Flames, Clutch, In This Moment, Black Veil Brides, The Sword, Ghost, Motionless In White, Red, Deuce, Middle Class Rut, Big Wreck, Oleander, Otherwise, Red Line Chemistry, Young Guns, Thousand Foot Krutch, Mindset Evolution, Tracer, Beware Of Darkness, Heaven's Basement, American Fangs, Love And Death, Gemini Syndrome and more.
Presale tickets are on sale at RockOnTheRange.com. Official on-sale is Friday, Feb. 1 at 10 a.m. VIP packages, hotel/ticket bundles and camping packages are available.
So... I think this is the year I really do Rock on the Range. Who's coming with me?