Whether you paid hundreds of dollars for a 3-day pass or took advantage of the $1 per day flash sale (I picked up Saturday and Sunday tickets for a grand total of $2 … no service charges, no taxes!), there’s a ton of great artists to check out. While Rock on the Range tended to favor hard rock and metal bands, Sonic Temple’s a little more of a mixed bag. Sure, the lineup is pretty full of bands that make up the 99.7 playlist, but there’s a decent number of bands that are more likely to be earning spins on CD102.5. With that being said, the headliners (Friday – System of a Down; Saturday – Disturbed; Sunday – Foo Fighters) are likely what moved the most tickets but if you plan on being in for the long haul, we’ve got some undercard/lower on the bill suggestions.
Radattack – Wave Stage (12:45 – 1:15)
No way can we leave these Columbus kids off the “must see” list and they’ve graduated from the campus club scene to festival slots. After Sonic Temple, you’ll be able to catch Radattack at the Bunbury Music Festival and Nelsonville Music Festival, both taking place in June.
Cleopatrick – Wave Stage (2:50 – 3:20)
This young duo from Ontario is cut from the same cloth as Highly Suspect who, if you examine their DNA reveals traces of early-to-mid ’90s alternative rock and grunge. Doing more with less, like Royal Blood and Local H before them, Cleopatrick makes a lot of noise when you realize it’s just two guys banging out the music.
Zeal & Ardor – Echo Stage (3:55 – 4:25)
Feels like every couple of years there’s a band that’s described as a “metal band for people who don’t like metal” (Torche and Ghost are two recent bands that I’ve heard described this way). Zeal & Ardor’s sound is often described as a mix of “negro spirituals and black metal” which is unique and different and appealing to those who may not necessarily read Decibel Magazine.
Black Coffee – Monster Energy Stadium Stage (1:55 – 2:25)
Another local band that is poised to become a permanent fixture on arena/stadium stages. An opening slot on a Greta Van Fleet or Rival Sons tour wouldn’t feel at all out of place for a band rooted in ’70s classic rock with hints of ’80s arena metal. There’s as much Van Halen as Bad Company in the band’s foot stomping rock.
Fever 333 – Monster Energy Stadium Stage (3:00 – 3:35)
If Greta Van Fleet is this generation’s Led Zeppelin, Fever 333 is this generation’s Rage Against the Machine (with some Linkin Park thrown in). On one hand, it’ll be awesome to see these guys tearing up a huge stadium stage and hopefully getting the field ticket holders bouncing around and going crazy. On the other hand, seeing Fever 333 on one of the smaller stages would have been absolute mayhem.
Mark Lanegan Band – Wave Stage (5:00 – 5:40)
Listen, I’m an old guy who was in his early 20s when he attended the very first Lollapalooza in 1991. By that point, Screaming Trees (fronted by Mark Lanegan) had already released 5 albums. If I’m looking for “my people” at Sonic Temple, I suspect this will be the performance where I find them. (Bonus points if you’re excited to see Jimmy the Cab Driver in this video)
Teenage Wrist – Echo Stage (11:40 – 12:10) / Demob Happy – Wave Stage (11:40 – 12:10)
For me, the absolute hardest decision to make all weekend, and it’s the first bands up on Sunday. Teenage Wrist would have been selling out the Newport Music Hall if only they had been around in 1992. The LA band’s shoegazing sound fits right alongside bands like Swervedriver, Ride and maybe even early Smashing Pumpkins.
UK’s Demob Happy, meanwhile, rarely (ever?) tours the U.S. so this might be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to check out a band that I discovered when going down a “similar artists” rabbit hole on Spotify. Imagine the Queens of the Stone Age/Royal Blood tour resulted in a baby that was fed some Beatles music in it’s bottle.
Basement – Wave Stage (1:40 – 2:10)
Another UK-based band, Basement has put out some of my Jimmy Eat World albums in the last couple of years. Caught these guys at Woodlands Tavern last year where they played a relatively quick set which definitely left the audience (most of which I was old enough to be their dad!) wanting more. Their set at Sonic Temple looks to follow suit – it’ll be short but filled with some great emo-based rock. Probably in the top 3 bands I want to see.
The Glorious Sons – Monster Energy Stadium Stage (2:10 – 2:40)
I didn’t really plan on mentioning Greta Van Fleet three times in this preview, but my first time seeing The Glorious Sons was when they opened the sold-out Greta Van Fleet show at The Basement in 2017. When looking back over the list of bands I saw that year, The Glorious Sons were the only band I saw twice – the second time was headlining the same venue where I first saw them. Glad to see they are on the stadium stage and wouldn’t be surprised to see them move to a later time slot on festival bills by the time their next album is released.