Rock On The Range 2017

#TBT Top 5 heaviest sets at 2017 Rock On The Range

As we approach the end of another epic summer, Explicitly Intense takes a looks back at one of the most talked about festivals in the country both for its tragedy and triumph through what was probably the shittiest weather storm of the season.

Before the doors even opened Rock On The Range suffered a major blow with the shocking loss of Chris Cornell just a day before Soundgarden was scheduled to headline the first night of the festival. May he forever rest in power. The festival did a top notch job of honoring and paying homage to the late great musician. Even more so than Corey Taylor’s emotional tribute, The Pretty Reckless literally made us all break down and ugly cry with their heart wrenching cover of Audioslave’s “Like A Stone.”  Anyone within a ten mile radius could feel the energy from the stage reverberating in our hearts. Magic and mourning met that day, uplifting and transcending us all into the collective understanding of universal human connection through love, which is the essence of music.

Despite the weather playing cat and mouse with our hopes and dreams causing the festival to be repeatedly shut down and reopened; most people (myself included) had without further ado the best time ever! Though many schedule lineup changes occurred and some bands didn’t get a chance to play at all; I saw at least part of 20 different acts out of around the 58 that were still scheduled. Each act was incredible in their own way, but on a scale of heavy to Metallicatron level of badassery, I’ve narrowed down the “heaviest sets” list to my top 5 of the festival. So without further ado, here they are:

5. Deafheaven
Obscure, bleak, dark. Delightful!

4. Whitechapel
Phil's voice summoned straight from Hell into your eardrums is enough to make you question whether or not the sky is preparing to crack open and rain fire and brimstone. Pits erupted  during the best song of their set (and in my opinion their entire discography), “I Dementia” and continued throughout as Whitechapel did not disappoint with a brute force from beginning to end.

3. Gojira
Watching Gojira tear through a set like a treacherous beast is probably the closest thing to being inside a horror movie you can experience in real life. This French death metal quartet has mastered the art of crushing souls with some of the most extreme music known to man. A must-see at any festival.

2. In Flames
Although some may consider In Flames a rock band now, they’ll always have a special place in heavy metal music history. Reaching into their lengthy rolodex of hits, In Flames served up a meaty smorgasbord of headbangers ranging from nostalgic throwbacks from their 2002 offering “Reroute to Remain” to 2011’s “Sounds of A Playground Fading” and fresh new tracks off their current release “Battles”.

1. Metallica
When the weather is forced to halt after raining all over the set before yours (props to Volbeat for playing one helluva set despite the delay), it can only be the work of the most distinctive metal band in history, the almighty METALLICA!

Every Metallica show is different but there’s something even more special about the atmosphere of a festival that gives Metallica their superpower to literally melt faces. From ages 7 to 70 everyone and I mean, everyone turned into a headbanging, windmilling, mosh pitting, crowd surfing, metalhead as Metallica roared across the stage. #MetatROTR thankfully played a full set with extended curfew permission permitted by the city. Starting off with songs off “Hardwired… To Self-Destruct”, fans were treated to cult classics like “Welcome Home (Sanitarium),” “Creeping Death,” “The Unforgiven,” “Whiplash”, “For Whom The Bell Tolls,” “Harvester of Sorrow,” “Fade to Black” and the closeout banger “Enter Sandman,” probably the most appropriate ending ever for the 2017 Rock On The Range Festival.

This year, Rock On The Range showed us exactly why they’re one of the greatest festivals in North America. They rolled with the punches, the impeccable organization of the festival allowed attendees to still enjoy an amazing weekend despite the rain delays and tragic loss of Chris Cornell; and just when you didn’t think it could get any better, Metallica brought the pyro to the party and dried up all the rain!! Hats off to Danny Wimmer Presents for Ebony Jeanette

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