It really should have been called Rock in the Rain. One of the largest arrays of concerts to ever hit Winnipeg literally splashed down at the Canad Inns Stadium last night. But Canada’s various showcase of talents acted like an umbrella for the thousands of roaring fans soaked in Saturday’s weather.

The rain was the biggest news of the concert. It never stopped, but neither did Winnipeg. Concert go-ers looked like they were having more fun in the rain than they would on a +30 scorching heat, sunny day.

Our photographer Huy and I arrived at the stadium around 6:30pm, an hour late of schedule. We actually spent more than an hour running around the city looking for rain ponchos. It turns out, so did everyone else in Winnipeg. The Walmarts on both Kenaston Blvd. and St. James were completely sold out. Eventually, Huy and I decided to pull hero and just tough it out. They did sell rain ponchos at the stadium, but we never got a chance to see how much they were going for. My grey Old Navy hoodie took a beating but survived the constant down pour throughout the night.

I was prepared for the rain. My Rock on the Range outfit consisted of a hoodie, a hat, 2 pairs of socks, a pair of old runners, and some beaten down jeans. Canad Inns laid out a white plastic platform throughout the whole field to protect it, it also prevent a mud party from erupting in the stadium. When I first took step onto the soaking wet white platform I immediately thought I would slip and fall. Surprisingly, the white plastic was made of great material that let my rugged runners grip on even when it was wet from all the rain and spilt alcohol.

When there’s alcohol, there are fights, and Rock on the Range was not an exception. Various fights did break out in the middle of the field but security was on top of things. There was plenty of security staffed to provide concert go-ers with a safe environment. Concert go-ers were not allowed back into the Stadium once they have left.

The Stadium had two stages, a main stage on the Bomber field, and a second on the south side. The south stage did not have the plastic platform mentioned above, so it was very VERY muddy. There were also PLENTY of port-a-potty’s all over the stadium to prevent any accidents on the field. Various big screen projectors were scattered to provide the nose-bleeders with a great shot of the bands.

Watching people crowd surf was a new one for me. Every single performance had a bunch of people surfing the crowds. Ranging from guys, to girls, old men, to young teens – they all wanted to ride the Winnipeg wave. It was hilarious… these people would literally jump up, lay down and roar while starring at the raining sky. They’d eventually fall into the media pit in front of the stage with assistance from security. They would then get up, and walk back to the back of the crowd like nothing had happened – and do it all over again.

Due to our rain poncho problem mentioned above, we only made in time for the last 3 performances; Anvil, Rise Against, and Billy Talent. We were also hoping to do a live feed of these photos from the Stadium but I forgot to bring my SDHC memory card reader. I personally would like to thank and applaud the organizers of Rock on the Range and the Canad Inns/True North staff. The concert fell right on time with a strict schedule. As soon as one band ended on one stage, another was already playing on the other. Rock on the Range showed that Winnipegers are ready to rock, rain or shine. I now understand why more and more big named artists are coming to Winnipeg – because we have the best fans in Canada.

Hit the jump for some amazing photos taken by our photographer Huy.

Rock on the Range: Anvil
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Rock on the Range: Rise Against
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Rock on the Range: Billy Talent
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