Rock on the Range gets off to blazing start

The geek, the chic and some of the freaks from all over the Midwest came out in droves this past Saturday for day one of the sixth annual Rock on the Range festival held at Columbus Crew Stadium.

While most were anticipating to hear from band’s like Adelita’s Way, Shinedown, Five Fingered Death Punch and Incubus on the main stage – they were not expecting temperatures in the high 80’s, good old Ohio humidity and a blazing sun that seemed to be melting everybody in its wake.

The extensive heat did not seem to bother Rick DeJesus lead singer of the Las Vegas based Adelita’s Way. DeJesus came out for the band’s 45-minute performance, which started at noon Saturday in a long-sleeved flannel shirt.

DeJesus said his band came out of the blocks ready to “explode” and if the crowd got crazy enough he would jump off the stage and let the crowd of close to 10,000 people bodysurf him around the stadium.

“Last time we were here, we played on the Jagermeister stage, so to be here now on the main stage is just an honor,” he said.

Besides, DeJesus, the band consists of Keith Wallen on electric guitar and backing vocals; Robert Zakaryan on lead guitar; Derek Johnston on bass; and Trevor Stafford on drums and percussion.

Adelitas Way was formed in 2005 and broke into the mainstream in 2009 with their song “Invincible,” which was  the official theme song for the World Wrestling Entertainment’s WWE Superstars show on WGN America. They released their first album, a self-titled debut, on July 14, 2009 and have since toured with Shinedown, Guns N Roses, Chevelle, Theory of a Deadman, Seether, Three Days Grace, Breaking  Benjamin, Puddle of Mudd, Staind, Alter Bridge, Sick Puppies, and Halestorm.

By the end of the band’s set, DeJesus had the crowd in the palm of his hand, even though he looked like he had taken a shower with his clothes on, as the crowd simultaneously head banged to the songs “Criticize” and “Sick” off the group’s latest album “Homeschool Valedictorian.”

Beside Adelita’s Way, the main stage on Saturday featured performances by Halestorm and Theory of a Deadman.

Tyler Connolly, lead singer of the Canadian-band Theory of a Deadman, had the crowd of close to 5,000 people singing in unison with him to songs like “The Bitch Came Back” and “The Truth Is.”

The British Columbia group even covered legendary rocker Eric Clapton’s hit “Cocaine” which had the sober and the drunk playing air guitar in homage to one of rock and roll’s greatest artists.

The group Chevelle followed Theory of a Deadman to the stage and the one of rock’s top guitarists; Slash hit the stage with his new band with lead singer Myles Kennedy hit the main stage at 5 p.m.

The former Guns and Roses guitarists performed songs off the band’s new album released earlier this month, but did not leave the stage without playing a classic. The group performed the GnR classic “Night Train” which had the crowd howling where the stood.

The main stage festivities concluded on Saturday with performances by Shinedown and Five Fingered Death Punch.

The band Incubus closed out day one of Rock on the Range’s main stage Saturday night.

Incubus is from Calabasas, California. The band was formed in 1991 by vocalist Brandon Boyd, lead guitarist Mike Einziger, and drummer Jose Pasillas while they were enrolled in high school and later expanded to include bassist Alex “Dirk Lance” Katunich, and Gavin “DJ Lyfe” Koppell; both of whom were eventually replaced by bassist Ben Kenney and DJ Kilmore respectively.

To date, the group has sold more than 13 million albums worldwide, with more than eight million in the United States alone. During its 20-year plus career, Incubus has received both critical acclaim and commercial success, reaching multi-platinum sales, as well as releasing several highly successful singles.

Mark A. Claffey/Columbus Wired

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