With A Bang
Sleeping With Sirens
Foo Fighters Photo Op
Sonic Temple Vendors
Falling In Reverse
May 30, 2023
Another successful Sonic Temple Festival is in the books.
Over 120,000 fans attended the now four day music festival to check out over seventy different artists and bands.
I attended three of the four days and got to see fifteen different bands perform on three different stages. It was perfect weather for the festival, which fans of Sonic Temple, formally known as Rock on the Range, know that the rains usually come down at some point during the weekend. But that was not the case this past weekend.
There were plenty of food options, three free water stations, and plenty of other vendors to satisfy the wants and needs of all of those in attendance.
When you attend festivals, you expect to pay more for food ($10 for one slice of pizza, $20 for chicken mac and cheese), but the one thing where I felt really ripped off was the parking. It cost $40 a day to park on the grounds of the festival. For $40, you should at least be a little close to the main entrance. However, that was not the case at all. It took fifteen minutes to get to and from the venue from where we parked. I think $20 is a more reasonable price for the distance you have to walk.
Overall, the crowd was fantastic, as they were really into each band that was performing. There were plenty of mosh pits and crowd surfing in front of all three stages.
My nineteen year old daughter and I got towards the front of the pit for Dorothy. They sounded great and Dorothy Martin has a powerful voice. Half way through their set, the band stopped because there was a medical emergency for a fan in the audience. I saw people make and "X" with their arms to alert security that their was a problem. Security in the front also made the "X" to alert the band and they did stop. What a great thing to see people and artists helping each other.
When we made our way over to check out Sleeping With Sirens, we actually got up on the rail. Several thousand fans packed the Soundwave Stage to see these pop punk rockers. Halfway through their set, the same thing happened. "X's" went up in the crowd and the band stopped so that person could get some help. I've never witnessed this once in my forty years of attending concerts, but to have it happen twice, back to back was very unusual. After the Travis Scott incident a few years ago, artists now realize that the most important thing is the safety of the crowd. I'm glad to see this working when needed.
Saturday was another perfect day for the festival.
We got to see Falling In Reverse, Avatar, Rob Zombie, Puscifer and KISS.
Rob Zombie hit the stage at 7:20 and had his full stage production. He told the audience that he hasn't played while it was light out "in twenty years." The band sounded great as usual but it was odd not seeing John 5 on guitar. Instead, Mike Riggs was on stage holding down the riffs.
Another observation Zombie made was that everyone on the floor was into the band, rocking out and crowd surfing. He said, "you know what I love about this crowd? No cell phones!" It really was like an old school show.
KISS said their goodbye to Columbus after spending fifty years on the road. This has been the longest farewell tour that I have ever seen. The band had all the great lights and pyro that you come to expect from a KISS show. However, they did cut four songs from their usual set to accommodate their time allotment.
Sunday ended the festival and we got to see The Pretty Reckless, AWOLNATION,
Jawbreaker, Deftones, Sublime With Rome and Foo Fighters.
It was a return to Sonic Temple for the Foo Fighters as they played this festival in 2019. However, they brought along a new drummer, Josh Freese who replaced the iconic Taylor Hawkins who passed away last year.
This was only the third show that the band has played together with Josh.
Yes, it was a little different. The band jammed together more than usual extending songs both in the middle and at the end. Josh also uses a double bass which provided a much more pronounced back beat.
But the band just flat out rocked.
From the opening tune, "All My Life," Dave Grohl had the crowd in the palm of his hand.
There were a couple of small mistakes and Grohl told the crowd that "we're still figuring this out." He also noted that the band is different and that some of the older songs may have a different meaning.
The three new songs from their soon to be released But Here We Are lp fit perfectly into the set.
We also got all of the classics like "The Pretender," "Learn To Fly" and "This Is A Call."
When Dave introduced the band and got to Josh, he told the crowd you many not know him, but you know the songs he's played on. With that, the band went into Devo's "Whip It," Nine Inch Nails "March of the Pigs" and Puddle of Mudd's "Blurry."
Grohl also paid tribute to Taylor Hawkins by playing the only song that Hawkins had written and sang on with the Foo Fighters, "Cold Day In The Sun."
In a surprise, the band broke out "One Of These Days." This song was difficult for Dave to sing during the Taylor Hawkins tribute concert because of the lone "one of these days, your heart will stop and play it's final beat." The band had not played it on their first two shows, but I am happy they played it here.
The show closed with "The Best of You" and "Everlong."
It was a great way to close a fantastic festival.
Review and photos (by cell phone) by Greg Drugan