Rock on the Range 2017: Metallica’s Triumphant Set Closes Out Day 3 [Photos]
After two days of enduring weather delays and seeking refuge from the rain and storms that had harassed the Rock on the Range festival grounds since Friday, the attendees gritted out one more gloomy day with a fest-closing headlining set by Metallica to look forward to and plenty of rock and metal throughout the day.
Day 3 of Rock on the Range called for another eclectic balance for the heavy music fan with As Lions hitting the stage earlier in the day. Singer Austin Dickinson, son of Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson, was charismatic onstage as the band was among the earliest highlights of Sunday's lineup in addition to Radkey and Dorothy, two other groups who ensured the crowd would remain lively regardless of how exhausted they may have been by this point.
The day got a bit heavier as Suicide Silence, Every Time I Die and Deafheaven represented the more extreme facets of the fest, all with a style radically different from each other. Suicide Silence are natural pit-starters as their breakdown-intensive sound saw plenty of fists and elbows whirling about, setting up Every Time I Die perfectly as their two-step-inducing attack saw the pit take a different approach. Deafheaven's dreamscape brand of black metal offered something unlike any other act over the weekend, surely winning over some new fans.
Up next were Rival Sons who spent most of last year opening for Black Sabbath, making it rather fitting that Zakk Sabbath, Zakk Wylde's Sabbath tribute band, came up after them. Father Zakk delivered the classics in style, giving way to two of the day's most frenetic acts, Nothing More and The Dillinger Escape Plan. It isn't a proper Dillinger set unless fans fear for the well-being of animalistic frontman Greg Puciato and he put himself in danger per usual, scaling the scaffolding along the side of the stage.
Amon Amarth sent the festival crowd back in time with their Viking-themed stage complete with a Norse ship. Their anthemic offerings may differ from those of the more radio-friendly Biffy Clyro, but the crowd held both bands on high regard, recognizing the power within the craft. The Pretty Reckless and Primus gave us two more highlights, especially with Taylor Momsen's emotional dedication to Chris Cornell. Then it came down to the last two performances of the night.
Volbeat, currently on tour with Metallica, fell victim to the weather as rain cleaved their set, leaving fans to wait an hour before they would return to the stage and deliver the final two songs in their performance. As they left, it was time for the biggest attraction of the weekend: Metallica.
The Bay Area legends played a full set thanks to an extended curfew once again permitted by the city for the third consecutive night. Metallica broke out four songs off Hardwired... To Self-Destruct, which would serve as the only post-'Black Album' material for the night. The group bombarded fans with classics like "Creeping Death," "The Unforgiven," "Harvester of Sorrow," "Whiplash, "Fade to Black" and more as well as the household hit "Enter Sandman," which closed out Metallica's set as well as the 2017 Rock on the Range festival.
Even with the dark shadow of Chris Cornell's death hanging over the entire festival, Rock on the Range demonstrated why it is one of the most successful and attended rock fests in the United States. Each day was plagued by weather, but credit the organizers for scrambling to get almost all of the sets in while looking out for the safety of the fans.
Check out our photos from Day 3 of Rock on the Range in the gallery above and we'll see you again at Rock on the Range next year!