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Motley Crue
photo Johnnie Walker
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Motley Crue Kicked Off Their Final Tour in Grand Rapids With Problems [Video/Photo]

Wednesday night in Grand Rapids was a bit rough for Motley Crue, as they kicked off their Final Tour at the Van Andel Arena.  The show was plagued with technical problems throughout, and oddness.

After the third song, Tommy apparently blasted a hole in the kick drum...I'm sure it had nothing to do with FBHW Producer Joe's stunt that morning.  Positive.

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Alice Cooper at Van Andel July 2, 2014
photo Johnnie Walker
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Alice Cooper Rocks Grand Rapids at Van Andel Arena [Video/Photos]

Motley Crue and Alice Cooper hit the Van Andel Arena last night to kick off Motley's Final Tour in Grand Rapids!

Alice Cooper and his amazing band opened the show with a fantastic set of Cooper hits, one after the other, without any really stopping!

Alice and the gang ripped through the set at a fast pace, never slowing down and never letting up. The sound was great, the band was on fire and Alice brought out several of his famous props and effects for the show!

It's not a Cooper show if he doesn't cut off his head, get in the electric chair, sing in a straight jacket, and let his guitar players rip it up!

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Gojira ‘Explosia’ Live at Rock on the Range 2014 [Video]

Let me start this by saying, "I freaking LOVE Gojira"!  I've been so excited to see this band, I would have paid for tickets to Rock on the Range JUST to see them!  

It would have been a weird thing to do, admittedly, buying tickets to a huge show for only one band, and I still would have checked out as many as I did ... but you get what I'm saying.

This French band has been building their followers over the last few years, and among them, tons of well-known musicians.  This band takes the rhythmic and percussive things that a lot of bands are doing in different directions.  They use odd time signatures, weird sounds, cool tapping riffs, and odd song structures to blow people away.

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Mastodon “Black Tongue” Live at Rock on the Range 2014 [Video]

So many bands at Rock on the Range 2014, so little time!  This was the first year they expanded the event to three days, and there were 60 or so bands over the weekend!  I ran around checking out all the bands I had to see, and I still only managed to see maybe 40 of the 60.  I promise I'll try hard next year.

One band I wanted to see, and did, was Mastodon!  I've been listening to Mastodon since I first got the Remission album when it came out, and watched the bonus DVD on there.  Wicked stuff!

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Killswitch Engage “Always” Live at Rock on the Range 2014 [Video]

There were so many bands to see at Rock on the Range 2014, it's taken me a few weeks to get through all of the videos I recorded at the shows...and all bands are so good, it's still fun to watch them!  Check out Killswitch Engage from the first day of ROTR, kicking ass with the return of original singer Jesse Leach!

The song is "Always", from their newest album, Disarm the Descent, the first with Jesse back in the band, and the song is really good, of course, and rocks live!

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Heaven's Basement
Heaven's Basement's Aaron Buchanan (photo Johnnie Walker)
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Heaven’s Basement Singer Does Clapping Crowd Handstands at Rock on the Range [Video]

Heaven's Basement is a great English band, and you've heard the songs "Fire, Fire" and "Nothing Left to Lose" here on GRD.  You might have even seen them at Rock on the Range this year!

If you did, then you got to see a really cool crowd surfing thing the singer Aaron does, where he jumps into the crowd, does a handstand, and then leads the clapping during the song!

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Suicidal Tendencies ‘Possessed to Skate’ Live at Rock on the Range 2014 [Video]

I've never had the chance to see Suicidal Tendencies live before Rock on the Range 2014, and I was stoked to finally get my chance!  They're one of those classic bands, that even if you're not the biggest fan in the world, you have to check out.  Mike Muir is an absolute maniac on the stage, and I don't know where he gets the energy or the stamina to move around the stage as much as he does!

Maybe as he gets older, he'll skateboard around the stage...that would be awesome!

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Avatar’s ‘Vultures Fly’ Live at Rock on the Range 2014 [Video]

I wasn't too sure about seeing Avatar before Rock on the Range began this year, since I hadn't really been super excited about some of the things I'd seen online from the band.  I can happily claim to have been wrong about this band.  The Jagermeister stage area was freaking PACKED with people for Avatar, and when they took the stage, I learned why.

They're a really good live band, and they brought a lot of energy to the crowd, and blasted through a great set!

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Lee Altus
Lee Altus and Johnnie
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Exodus ‘Toxic Waltz’ Live at Rock on the Range 2014 [Video]

Another band I was really excited to see at Rock on the Range this year was Exodus!  I've seen them a few times, and they always kick serious ass live!  The dual shredding guitars of Gary Holt and Lee Altus (of the fantastic Heathen, too) really make Exodus a force to be reckoned with.

I first saw them before Lee joined the band, and since he's come on board, the band has gotten even better!  And luckily, I got to see Lee Altus briefly after their set and geek out with a picture!

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Introducing a Great Band Called Crobot Live at Rock on the Range 2014 [Video]

One of the bands I go the chance to learn about at Rock on the Range 2014 is Crobot.  Don't ask about where the name comes from...it's a story about Crowbars and Robots, and I think a robot girlfriend in the garage...weird story.  Probably best left unanswered.

These guys hit the Jagermeister stage on the second day of Rock on the Range and not only surprised all the people in the crowd with how good they are, but got some serious metalheads wearing Slayer shirts moving and enjoying the show!  That's saying something.

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(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
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Metallica “The Frayed Ends of Sanity” Live for the First Time Ever [Video]

When Metallica's ...And Justice for All album came out, I was blown away by the music.  The long, crazy songs, the time signature changes, the pure epicness of the entire album was (and still is) freaking amazing!

There are a couple songs on the album that I don't feel have gotten the love they deserve, and "The Frayed Ends of Sanity" is one of them.  This is one (if not the only) song in Metallica's catalog that they've NEVER played live.

Until last night!

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Lacuna Coil “Our Truth” Live at Rock on the Range 2014 [Video]

Lacuna Coil is a great Italian band I've been listening to since their Unleashed Memories album, and was totally blown away by songs like "Senzafine", "Heir of a Dying Day", and "When a Dead Man Walks", back in 2001.  I've gotten the chance to see them a few times, and they've always delivered a great set, with tons of energy.

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