Headliners gonna headline

UPDATE: Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell has died at the age of 52, according to a representative. In a post on the Rock on the Range site organizers wrote, "We are devastated to hear about the sudden passing of Chris Cornell last night. He was a true hero to music, the voice of a generation. ... [He is] now watching down on us as we celebrate and honor him all weekend long." The band was scheduled to headline Rock on the Range at Mapfre Stadium on Friday. 

Some years the undercard of Rock on the Range has all the best bands. Not so this year. While there are some rockers in tiny type that fit a certain niche (Taking Back Sunday for emo, Live for ’90s nostalgia, Primus for bassists), 2017’s non-Korn headliners are the must-see acts.  

Soundgarden

9:40 p.m. Friday

Even though no one from Soundgarden would get on the phone with me, I’d still recommend catching one of the grunge bands that managed to transcend the era and scene from which it emerged. Chris Cornell will go down as one of the great rock vocalists, and his tenure in Soundgarden outshines his solo and Audioslave material.

Metallica

8:45 p.m. Sunday

“Metallica Board of Directors Debates Whether New Riff Will Have Negative Impact on Shareholder Value” stated a recent headline in The Onion, which was doing fake news before it was #fakenews. It’s true that ever since Metallica’s Napster lawsuit in 2000, the metal legends haven’t always endeared themselves to music fans. Nevertheless, if you go to Rock on the Range without hearing at least one “Yeah!” from James Hetfield, yer a big dummy.

Deafheaven

5:05 p.m. Sunday

Deafheaven’s sound is heavier than heavy but nearly impossible to categorize, which may explain why the band is equally beloved by graying metalheads and mustachioed hipsters. Don’t miss ’em.