Rock on the Range: The good, the bad and the deathly intriguing

From the May 17, 2012 edition


Qualitatively speaking, these are probably the best five bands at Rock on the Range.

Foxy Shazam (8:30 p.m. Friday, Second Stage)

Ballsy, melodic, shameless glam from Freddie Mercury’s long-lost sons

Cypress Hill (5:55 p.m. Saturday, Second Stage)

West Coast hip-hop that’s hard and heavy enough to fit in the burliest of rock fests. I’m even kind of feeling their recent dalliance with dubstep.

The Darkness (2:30 p.m. Sunday, Main Stage)

The British arena rockers’ appeal goes way beyond “I Believe In a Thing Called Love”; great songwriting transcends irony.

Down (4:35 p.m. Sunday, Second Stage)

Pantera’s Phil Anselmo fronts this long-running supergroup; his howl may very well drown out the main stage performers.

Megadeth (6:45 p.m. Sunday, Main Stage)

Mustaine’s boys edge out Anthrax as the thrash legends of the day, but only barely.


If we had to guess, we’d guess these sets will be disappointing.

Falling In Reverse (1:45 p.m. Saturday, Second Stage)

Motley Crue, The Offspring and All-American Rejects all have their merits, but mixing them is at least as disgusting as the “potion” I made from various liquids and seasonings in my parents’ kitchen when I was eight.

Slash (5 p.m. Saturday, Main Stage)

I know what you’re thinking. Slash rules! And while I wouldn’t begrudge anyone the chance to see him play the solo from “Sweet Child O’ Mine” like I did at last month’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction, I also wouldn’t willingly subject anyone to Alter Bridge singer Myles Kennedy, who’s doing a tepid Axl impersonation for Slash these days.

Incubus (9:45 p.m. Saturday, Main Stage)

These guys were my favorite band for most of tenth grade, but their set last summer at the LC was like one elongated snore.

Redlight King (12:30 p.m. Sunday, Second Stage)

Of all the people to rip off, why choose Everlast?

James Durbin (3:15 p.m. Sunday, Jagermeister stage)

This is no anti-“Idol” bias; I’d just prefer to see Adam Lambert.


Come on, you’re curious.

Hairball (9:30 p.m. Friday, Second Stage)

A rotating cast of lead singers recreate the most recognizable sounds of the hair-metal era. (And sights — oh yes, there are costumes.)

Attack Attack (3:15 p.m. Sunday, Second Stage)

If you’ve never seen the polarizing Columbus outfit live, it’s quite the spectacle.

Volbeat (3:50 p.m. Sunday, Main Stage)

Danish dudes channeling old-time rockabilly, thrash and Misfits. As Santa Claus might say upon encountering anthropomorphic M&M’s: They do exist!

Mastodon (5:10 p.m. Sunday, Main Stage)

This is more of a case study on the fans: How does this hipster-approved metal behemoth go over at Rock on the Range?

Marilyn Manson (8:15 p.m. Sunday, Main Stage)

His duet with Johnny Depp did little to dispel the notion that he’s washed up, but who isn’t wondering what the former parent-scarer will have in store?