Rock On The Range is coming off both its greatest triumph (finally snagging Metallica) and its greatest disappointment (Chris Cornell dying just days before Soundgarden were supposed to headline). Now the Columbus hard-rock institution has announced its plans for 2018, and although there’s really no topping Metallica, a double dose of Maynard James Keenan is a great way to try. Both Tool and A Perfect Circle are on next year’s lineup, adding a jolt of intrigue to an otherwise dour fleet of headliners including Avenged Sevenfold, Godsmack, Stone Sour, Breaking Benjamin, and the zombie version of Alice In Chains that carries on without Layne Staley.
Speaking of grunge-era heroes soldiering on without their iconic drug-casualty lead singers: Stone Temple Pilots, who headlined the 2008 iteration of Rock On The Range during one of their reunions with Scott Weiland, will be their with their new lead singer. The lineup also finds room for not one but two white rappers, Machine Gun Kelly and Yelawolf, plus Tech N9ne, who commands much of their same audience. Self-proclaimed rock saviors Greta Van Fleet are on the bill, as are Anti-Flag, Underoath, and the Used. And if you’re a regular reader of this website, you might also be interested in knowing Baroness, Andrew W.K., Quicksand, Power Trip, Code Orange, Body Count, Mutoid Man, and Babymetal(!) are playing. All told, it’s another example of this fest’s surprisingly rich and diverse definition of rock.
Next year’s Rock On The Range will go down May 18-20 at Mapfre Stadium. Speaking of which, given that the stadium’s primary tenant, Columbus Crew SC, is heavily considering a move to Austin in 2019, and team owner Anthony Precourt also owns the stadium, I wonder what that means for Rock On The Range’s future after next year. In the meantime, tickets for 2018 are available here.