Rock on the Range: Can't-miss acts

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Columbus might not seem like a hotbed of heavy metal musical activity, but since becoming the host of Rock on the Range music festival, diehard metal fans from all 50 states, Canada, Mexico and even Europe have made their way to the city.

As for metal musicians, playing an ROTR stage "has become a rite of passage," said Joe Litvag, the show's co-executive producer.

An army of more than 65,000 rock fans will take over Crew Stadium this weekend for the fest's fifth anniversary. Three days, three stages. Here are the acts they should be sure not to miss.

Lez Zeppelin

7:45 p.m. Friday

These latter-day saints of Zeppelin are ferociously talented females who precisely cover the legendary band's hits. Bow down (head-banging counts) and kick off the weekend by giving thanks to some of rock's most ground-breaking gods.


6:25 p.m. Saturday

Glenn Danzig officially counts as metal royalty, so this is one of the can't-miss acts of the festival. The former Misfits frontman's namesake band is a little dark for that 6:25 start time, but the daylight start is a fair trade to be able to crowd closer at the secondary F.Y.E. stage.


8:25 p.m. Saturday

Forgive them for that awful crop of "nu metal" that they spawned - some of which will be appearing elsewhere on the bill. They've aged better than that sound has, and there's still a lot of energy in their live show. Jonathan Davis will no doubt bust out the bagpipes, too.

Avenged Sevenfold

9:55 p.m. Saturday

AX7's guitar layering is amazing live, and they always deliver adrenaline-jolting theatrics, but expect a particularly charged set this Saturday. Rock on the Range was the last American show the guys played together before the death of their drummer and brother in inked-up-arms, Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan, in December 2009.

A Perfect Circle

10 p.m. Sunday

Enigmatic Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan will take a break from his winery to rejoin his second biggest project. APC will be playing their first live date before kicking off a nationwide tour, with the current live incarnation featuring former Smashing Pumpkins guitarist James Iha and former Nine Inch Nails drummer Josh Freese.

Rock out:

Crew Stadium

Friday-Sunday, May 20-22

1 Black and Gold Blvd., North Side