In just over a week, Columbus, OH’s Mapfre Stadium will transform itself into a hard rock and heavy metal walhalla for the long-awaited 2018 edition of Rock on the Range, one of the United States’ biggest guitar-centric music events. The enormous weekender will once welcome a behemoth of a line-up (with no less than six(!) headliners) as it treats tens of thousands of festivalgoers to three riff, pit and hit packed days. We’ve scoured the line-up and picked out five artists who are most definitely worth your time when they take to the stage in Ohio next weekend.
GRETA VAN FLEET
There doesn’t seem to be much stopping Greta van Fleet at the moment. The American outfit are one of very few bands whose potential to seize the rock ‘n roll throne goes unmatched, and you’ll definitely have a tough time proving people otherwise. 2018 has also been somewhat of an enormous year for them, with large European headline shows set to follow their current stretch across the homeland. There isn’t an awful lot else you can say about these four Michigan boys other than that they really know how to rock the fuck out. You should take our word for it.
THE FEVER 333
If one thing is for certain, then it’s that Jason Aalon Butler doesn’t like sitting still very much. The former letlive. frontman was barely through the mourning process with his critically successful former band before he pounced upon a new project. The intriguingly titled The Fever 333 hit just as hard – if not harder – than letlive., fusing a barrage of swashbuckling rhythms and stabbed guitars with Butler’s vicious vocals and a sense of urgency which knows no bounds, leaves no stone unturned and most certainly takes no prisoners.
It wouldn’t be a successful American rock festival without an appearance from M Shadows’ Avenged Sevenfold. The outfit, undoubtedly one of the biggest in modern American rock history, are currently undertaking another nationwide victory lap in honour of 2016’s boundary breaking (by heavy standards) The Stage, an album which sonically came as just as much of a surprise as the band’s choice to release it unannounced. It’s an album which truly comes to life on the big stage, something which you will certainly experience when they stop off in Columbus on Rock on the Range’s second day. Get those horn hands ready, but also be prepared to space out.
Two words: party hard.
No matter what the United States of America dumps upon its unwilling citizens, there will always be one band ready and waiting to deliver a thought-provoking response: Anti-Flag. Pittsburgh’s finest punkers will spread their message of discontent and promotion of unity across stages the world over this year, grouping them with ferocious riffs, pummelling rhythms and vocals which stab faster than a criminal on the run. Their set at Rock on the Range will undoubtedly serve as one of the weekend’s most memorable performances, regardless of which side you stand on.
Rock on the Range 2018 takes place at the Mapfre Stadium in Columbus, OH from 18-20 May. Limited tickets are still available in various formats, and you can get them here. Find the entire line-up below.