Written by Emilie Rae / Photo Credit to Robin Ervolina
The day was finally here! Day one of Rock on the Range was upon us. I, like many people already in Ohio, awoke to several messages on my phone alerting me to the tragic passing of Chris Cornell. My excitement quickly turned to sorrow for the loss of a truly talented man.
But as they say, the show must go on. As people started showing up and getting ready for the day, we started getting excited about all the other amazing talent on the bill. Because it’s not possible to be at both side stages, choices have to be made. Our photographer, Robin Ervolina, hit Goodbye June‘s set first. “These guys are one of my favorite acts. Hailing from Nashville, their brand of rock is honest and heartfelt. It’s a don’t miss if you get a chance to check them out on the tour circuit.” I started out with local favorites Beartooth, and things got Aggressive right from the gates! Fan favorite I Prevail played a heavy set keeping fans talking about them all weekend. I personally then made my way over to the Zippo Stage to see The Amity Affliction. Then all hell broke loose. Literally, storm sirens started telling us to evacuate and seek shelter immediately. I’ll admit, I first thought it was part of Amity’s intro, but after hearing it 10x over without even a note of music, we knew it was time to go. I grabbed my crew and headed back to the campground to hunker down through the storm. I’ll be the first to admit that I wasn’t upset about having extended time to spend with friends. After all, we can’t control the weather, so we might as well make the best out of it. And boy did we ever! Some of the best times of the whole weekend!
At about 7pm, they started letting us back in. All the bands (minus The Amity Affliction) did get a chance to play, though the schedule got bumped around a bit. I made sure not to miss one of my all time favorites, Motionless in White, light up the zippo stage. I enjoyed it so much, I came out of ‘retirement’ for a good crowd surf!
The night just continued on full force from there. We enjoyed a fantastic set from Bush on the mainstage, hauled back to Zippo for Sum 41, then ran back to main for Chevelle. After that was a killer performance from Live before moving into a very beautiful and touching tribute to Chris Cornell. It was a pretty incredible thing to be a part of. Robin recalls, “Fans stood somber as Corey Taylor played tribute songs behind the curtain. At the center of the stage were two guitars dressed in twin beam spotlights. On the big screen Chris Cornell stood tall as clips of his life flashed before our tear-filled eyes.”
So in total, day one was not what we expected in so many different ways. But as music fans, we bonded together as the big dysfunctional family that we are, and made the best of a truly somber situation and some crazy Midwest weather. There was no rain to take our shine that day!