Matt, Jenna, & I took an interesting road trip (Jenna's first) to Columbus, OH for Rock on the Range. I first heard about this show while looking up dates for Avenged Sevenfold. Even after seeing them eight times, I'm always ready for another show of theirs. It turned out that they were playing at a weekend-long rock festival in the Columbus Crew soccer stadium, along with Atreyu, Slipknot, Korn, Chevelle, All That Remains, and about thirty other bands that we wanted to see.
We left around 8pm on Friday night, and didn't arrive at our hotel until around 4am Saturday morning. It was a relatively uneventful trip, except for a wrong turn onto the Ohio Turnpike, and when a sleeping Jenna was attacked by a humongous beetle. (We named him Ringo, and he stayed with us in a water bottle for the entire trip.)
The first band that we were interested in seeing didn't take the stage until after 1pm, so we had plenty of time to sleep and get ourselves together. We sat in miles of traffic to get into the stadium, but made it there in time for Jenna's first pick: Halestorm. They were decent, but I grew tired of the Joan Jett-modeled performance pretty quickly.
I caught a bit of a bunch of different sets that day, but the main ones that interested me were All That Remains, Atreyu, Chevelle, and Slipknot. Chevelle was on the main stage, and they were pretty good, but I left halfway through their set to wait around for All That Remains. Their set was short, but they were awesome, and I couldn't wait to see them again.
Matt did a meet & greet with Atreyu in the afternoon, and they all signed his ticket stub from last year's Taste of Chaos - Asbury Park, which is where he met Jenna. It was a cute idea, but somehow the two of them got into an argument over it, and were pissed off at each other for a few hours. They were over it by the time we were waiting for Atreyu to start, and the three of us got a great spot all the way up front. Atreyu was excellent, as always.
We wandered around for a bit and grabbed some munchies, waiting for Slipknot to start. It was getting really cold and windy as it got dark, and we agreed that we probably wouldn't stay for the entire set. When they finally got started, we were way back in the crowd, and I really couldn't see anything. Even the video screens were difficult to see, there were so many people. The band was tight and crazy, and the crowd was totally invested in it. That's when we found out that moshing in Ohio is more like country line-dancing combined with football practice. The kids would start standing still on opposite ends of the circle, and run at each other full force, slamming their shoulders into one-another. It reminded us of what it must look like to go cow-tipping. Anyway, though I didn't know much of their music after the first album, I'd always wanted to see Slipknot live, and they did not disappoint. Our only complaint was that whenever Corey Taylor would talk between songs, he was just too damn nice! I've always loved his voice; it's probably my favorite in rock. By the time we were shivering so much that we left, I already had a mental list of the songs I would be downloading when we got home. We headed back to the hotel to collapse, and do it all again tomorrow.
Sunday was an easy-going day, with very few bands on my must-see list. I watched a bit of Clutch, some of Hoobastank, and a couple of songs from Saving Abel. Matt & Jenna got their lips pierced during the afternoon, too. Finally, I moved all the way up front on the main stage for Shinedown, then waited through Buckcherry, and pushed my way to the rail for Avenged Sevenfold. It took hours of being crushed by the crowd, but I finally got to see my favorite band. Unfortunately, some huge guy behind me decided he needed to be where I was standing. During the second song of the set, he started crushing me against the girl in front of me, and then wrapped his fat arm completely around my face and tried to suffocate me. For the first time in my life, I tapped a security guard and asked to be pulled out of the crowd. Hours of waiting, sweating, unable to breathe, for two songs. I was pretty pissed off, practically crying, as I walked through the crowd and all the way to the back, where I met up with Matt & Jenna. I cheered up as I watched my favorite band perform, and when they were finished, we beat a hasty retreat to avoid hearing any of Motley Crue.
Back at the hotel, we gorged ourselves on Domino's pizza and breadsticks, and crashed early. We were up pretty early in the morning to eat free Holiday Inn Express breakfast, and get on the road. The ride home was equally uneventful, with Matt sleeping most of the way. At one point, Matt woke up, looked at me driving and Jenna in the back seat, and said, "How long was I out? Did you guys stay up the whole time?" No, Matt, I decided to catch a quick nap while I drove...