The beautiful and warm Gibson Ranch was the scene for the 2015 Monster Energy Drink Aftershock. Not only does Aftershock always boast on of the best lineups of any festival in America, the gorgeous NorCal location allows for all kinds of attractions and activities making this the most well-rounded fest you could attend as well. The festival officially sold-out the entire weekend with over 25,000 in attendance each day.
The top of the bill for Saturday boasted some big big names, to be true. Headliners Slipknot are possibly the preeminent metal concert experience in the world right now, just based on the spectacle of their stage show and the epic music they bring. They also had a lot of people checking out their Haunted Scream Park for constant Halloween scares all weekend long too. Other big musical hitters such as Shinedown, Marilyn Manson, Breaking Benjamin, Seether, Bring Me The Horizon and Black Veil Brides had fans drooling, packed in crows of people, and offered up a little something for everyone from across the range of active rock and metal genres. Especially with BMTH and Black Veil Brides, you are really seeing the future of music unfold before you, and the youth of the fans was served in the audience.
As much as Saturday had some “hall of fame” worthy acts, there was a lot of up and coming talent on early in the day such as the Beartooth performance, and strong showings from Red Sun Rising and September Mourning too. There will come a time when some of these headline bands wont be around anymore and the next generation of stars needs to rise up now. Some of them were on hand at Aftershock this weekend.
Saturday was a really a day to explore the festival grounds. Tons of people took in the great food options (BBQ, Tex Mex, Burritos, Pizza,and Vegetarian choices looked astounding), Tequila tastings from six major purveyors of fine spirits and NXT wrestling. The balance between fun for families and grown folks was strong, and a real testament to why this fest has been able to last so long and get better every year.
If you weren’t totally destroyed by Saturday’s overload of the senses, Sunday also had a list of great bands to see and hear and fun things to. Early in the day two more killer bands helped set things off in the always fun Dance Gavin Dance and the surprising Pink Slips. The Pinks Slips are a band you need to check out as we expect to see them higher up on the bill on fests like this for years to come. After checking out issues, it was time to see Sevendust rip up the East Stage. They are a live band like few others and they played a short, yet heartfelt set.
All Time Low and Yelawolf really set the stage for later in the day. Stone Temple Pilots led by Chester Bennington (Linkin Park) for what would turn out to be one of the last full show for them together, played all the hits to huge crowd response. Fan may be conflicted about Chester’s time in the band, but he did justice to the history of that band
Coheed and Cambria was next, playing behind their new record, and they leaned heavy on new songs. Despite the festival and the over atmosphere of the place, it didn’t seem like their crowd was in the house. Or maybe they were waiting on Jane’s Addiction to hit the stage. Jane’s, like STP knows the fans want the big hits and that is what they brought. Perry Ferrell and Dave Navarro, despite their many public scraps, seem just made for each other as poet/conduit and axe-slinger duos go.
Defotnes were the next to last act of the weekend and true hometown heroes as they are right from Sacto. The band put on a great show with front man Chino Moreno running all over the stage and moving his body as much as his silky, elastic vocal range. With a new album coming in 2016, it would seem this band is destined to headline a future Aftershock fest. Bringing the epic weekend to a close, Faith No More brought the botanical theme of their recent Sol Invictus (Reclamation/Ipecac) tour with them. Playing the massive hits such as ‘Be Aggressive’, ‘Epic’, ‘Midlife Crisis’ and ‘Easy’, sprinkled among new songs and deep cuts, the band showed why their reunion so worthy needed and the accolades so deserved. Until next time Aftershock, well be back!