Sacramento, California once again hosted the top west coast rock and metal festival in America this year as Monster Energy Aftershock took over NorCal for an entire weekend. The lineup was killer, the fest goers were chill, and the non-music events and activities were fun for all. Danny Wimmer Presents and the team at AEG Live who also put on fests such as Rock On The Range, Monster Energy Welcome To Rockville, Monster Energy Fort Rock, Monster Energy Carolina Rebellion, Louder Than Life and more do a fantastic job from start to finish, as with every fest they manage.
With 35 bands on three stages, Aftershock is all about pacing. Sure there are major bands such as Tool and Avenged Sevenfold to see, but what if you wiped out moshing all day and have nothing left for the night? Hydration and sunblock are mandatory for late summer in California on any given day, but especially at a festival.
Tool, played Saturday in a rare American festival appearance. Tool has only played a few headlining festival shows the last few years, making this all the more special. They capped off a massive lineup of top talent with the likes of Slayer, Primus, Meshuggah, The Pretty Reckless, Anthrax, Baroness and more.
One of the standout things amongst the extra activities and sponsors is the Living The Dream Foundation. A portion of all Monster Energy Aftershock ticket fees was donated to Living the Dream. LTD Foundation bridges the music industry together with fans who are fighting terminal illnesses by giving them All Access VIP experiences backstage with their favorite bands and artists. This is amazing and we urge all of our readers to support this amazing cause, doing valuable work.
Some of the early day musical highlights of day one were punk legends Face To Face, post-black metal Deafheaven, goth rockers Motionless In White, the theatrical Avatar, American Sharks, Whores, Twelve Foot Ninja, The Shrine, and Aeges.
By the time night fell and Primus and Slayer, finished the stage was set for Tool. If you think people are over Tool and are not dying for a new album from them, you should have been at Aftershock. Throngs of people traveled from all over world just to see them at this show. They played a set of hits and deep cuts and even a taste of new music too.
For Aftershock, bands that normally headline their own big shows and up and coming talents usually play early in the day. Where else can you see bands like Whitechapel, Suicide Silence, and Parkway Drive in the daytime play to wave of humans moshing and crowd surfing. Parkway Drive is always one of the best bands live as you can see.
As dusk started to creep in regular festival top line bands such as Ghost, Chevelle, and Puscifer played hits, had lots of sing a longs an brought a more theatrical flair to the fest. When you see Chevelle live you are reminded how many songs of theirs you already know. Meanwhile Ghost and Puscifer emit such crazy vibes and the odd stare that if you are in on what makes them great, you just smile to yourself.
Closing things out with the heavy hitters and frequent headline acts Disturbed and Korn, nighttime fell and so did the bodies in the pits. Both bands elicit a huge crowd reaction with their melodic rock anthems.
If Tool wasn’t a big enough draw for you the night before, Avenged Sevenfold lived up to all the hype as they rocked things to a close on Sunday night. Another Aftershock was in the books and we can’t wait for next year! Thanks to Meg Loyal Photography for these killer shots: