FIVE TO SEE:
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.
FIVE TO SKIP:
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.
FIVE TO PIQUE YOUR INTEREST:
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?