Last but not least, the always bittersweet day three of Rock on the Range arrived. We woke up knowing it was Metallica Day, but also that it was the last day. There were several great acts billed out leading up to the grand finale, so we skipped the sleep in and hit MAPFRE Stadium with stars in our eyes and mud on our shoes.
I started out a little late, but super heavy, with Every Time I Die. It was the perfect pick-me-up. I had been super curious about Biffy Clyro after hearing tons from European friends. I can say I get the hype! They put on a great set. Nothing More is always a crowd favorite and the amount of energy they bring to the stage never wanes.
Personally, I was super stoked to see The Pretty Reckless. For various reasons, I had yet to see them live. I’m in love with everything Taylor Momsen. She sounded flawless and delivered a touching tribute to Chris Cornell.
Stepping things up a notch, we moved over to the Zippo Stage for some Dillinger Escape Plan. Those guys never cease to amaze me with their intense sets. They are always so fun to watch and just keep killing it year after year.
By now, it was getting a little later in the day and the anticipation was starting to build for the mighty Metallica. A perfect intro in the final act was a high energy set from Volbeat. About five songs in, you guys won’t believe this, it was announced there was lightning in the area. We were pretty used to that damn alarm at that point, so I immediately grabbed my group to find a dry spot within the stadium before everyone thought to do the same. We waited out another intense storm and were able to get a couple more songs from Volbeat.
The time had finally arrived. The moment over 40,000 people had been waiting months for. When Metallica took the stage, the whole stadium erupted. I opted to take a view from the stands to just watch the crowd and I’m so glad I did. Seeing that many people come together in unison for one of the greatest bands of all time was a beautiful thing. Due to the inclement weather, they played on past the 11 o’clock curfew to dish out hit after hit. Shockwave Publisher Robin Ervolina has another perspective to share.
I have never crowd surfed, but I decided if I was going to do it for the first time, it would be to Metallica. I made my way as close to the stage as possible, which wasn’t that close, but as people began surfing over my head, I knew it was close enough. I chickened out for “Atlas Rise” but when they launched into “Now That We’re Dead,” I knew it was now or never. I gave the universal sign for “Put me up!” and my feet left the ground. I made it about 3/4 of the way to the stage when another crowd surfer landed on top of me. Rock on the Rangers are the best people in the world. They separated me from my interloper, and launched me back into the air. Unfortunately I was launched so hard I met a hole and landed on my ass. My ego wounded, my ribs possibly broken, I made my way out of the crowd and enjoyed the rest of the set from the beer tent. To say I have no regrets is an understatement. Metallica played an incredible 18-song set list, playing late into the night to an ecstatic crowd.