Wow! Can’t believe this is the 8th year of Aftershock in Sacramento, CA. This year, the festival took place at Discovery Park and had a sold-out crowd, including huge headliners. The bar was set very high, but the music, fans and overall experience definitely delivered. Fans were dressed in metal, gothic, and alternative clothing on Friday, October 9th, all excited to see their favorite bands.
Highlights of Day One was Dropkick Murphys, who got the crowd moving with their Celtic punk rock anthems and vibes. Many people ran over to the Kolas Discovery Stage to watch Halestorm do their thing around this time. The last band to perform at the Coors Capital Stage was Sum 41, who kicked ass playing their hits. Recent reunited Staind put on a fantastic show on the Kolas Stage, including Aaron Lewis singing beautifully and tons of fire exploding behind the stage. Staind then cleared the way for the headliner Slipknot to close out the festivities. Slipknot hit the Monster Energy Stage in their summer white attire and jammed out to “People = Shit” among other hits for the next hour and a half, putting on a frantic set that had the entire park on its feet. Slipknot ended up playing 17 songs that night and finished with an encore consisting of “Spit It Out” and “Surfacing”.
The bar was set very high, but the music, fans and overall experience definitely delivered.
The first few acts of Saturday Day Two were Dead Posey, Sick Puppies, Spirit Adrift and Parlor Mob. By midday, Badflower, H09909, Fishbone, Ghostemane and Health were rocking audiences around the arena. More and more fans showed up throughout the day, as acts kept getting crazier and crazier. Highly Suspect was on the Monster Energy Stage and they were awesome. After, the crowds walked to the Kolas Discovery Stage to see Bad Religion. Punk rock will never die! They played their hits, including “21st Century” and “American Jesus”.
Andrew W.K. played next on the Coors Light stage. On one song, he started a countdown from 80 and literally counted all the way to one! Then, him and his band jammed out. Back on the main stage, Stone Temple Pilots did their thing and rocked out like it was their last show. Fidlar played at the Coors Light Stage, while Marilyn Manson performed at the Kolas Discovery Stage. The crowd went crazy, with multiple mosh pits circling. The way the spacing looked from a distance was like the mosh pits were the number eight: mosh pit on the left, mosh pit on the right and, in the middle, was a small group of people who didn’t dare move. It was intriguing to watch. When Marilyn Manson performed “Sweet Dreams”, the entire crowd was mesmerized and sang it together. Even the people moshing were calm and staring at the stage.
Bring Me The Horizon came all the way from England to perform in Sacramento that night. In the beginning of their set, lead singer Oliver Sykes didn’t feel the crowd and was disappointed from the non-movement. Throughout the show, he encouraged the crowd to jump and jump. The crowd followed suit and everyone was jumping as high as they could. Sykes then thanked the fans for all the love and support. On the right side of the Discovery Stage, there was a lady doing sign language for every Bring Me the Horizon song — it was awesome! The stage for Bring Me the Horizon was also interesting. There were two levels of floors. The first level was the drummer, guitarist, bassist and dancers. On the second level, above it, there was a large platform to walk left and right. Throughout the show, musicians walked up the stairs to the second level and jammed out! Towards the end of the show, Oliver Sykes enjoyed the energy from the crowd and asked everyone who’s excited for Blink-182?! The fans screamed in excitement. Sykes later instructed “everyone take off your pants and jacket”, referencing one of Blink-182’s albums.
Playing hit after hit, Mark Hoppus put a black hoodie on Travis Barker as he drummed the whole song of “Violence” blindfolded.
At the Kolas Discovery Stage, Rob Zombie did his freaky scene. The guitarist and bassist had a Halloween-themed mask on and Rob Zombie killed it on the vocals! In the middle of his set, a movie trailer of Rob Zombie’s new film 3 From Hell played on the screens to the side of the stage. After that, it was time for Day Two headliners Blink-182! The stage was dark and foggy, but you could see Mark Hoppus, Matt Skiba and Travis Barker walked onstage. The fans went crazy as Blink started playing “Feeling This”. Playing hit after hit, Mark Hoppus put a black hoodie on Travis Barker as he drummed the whole song of “Violence” blindfolded. It was the most badass thing of the day. Blink-182 also played “Happy Holidays” in the complete dark. It was the first time an artist played in the dark at Aftershock 2019. Mark talked about performing in Sacramento at the City Of Trees a couple years ago and always had love for Sacramento. The stage for Blink-182 had a giant screen in the back that would change videos for each song. During one, there was a Space Invaders video on the screen. I’ve never seen a video game playing during a music set!
It was fun to watch Day Three start off with Evan Konrad, Falling in Reverse and The Crystal Method. The most surprising band of the early sets that day was Japanese metal band Babymetal! Many fans forced themselves against the barricades to get as close to the stage as possible. Up next was Gojira on the Monster Energy Stage and they put on their usual kickass metal set. Deadland Ritual, who played over at the Coors Capital Stage, did their thing and engaged with the fans. Korn closed out the Kolas Discovery Stage, with a 60-minute set that drew the biggest crowd to that stage all day. Over on the Monster Energy Stage, Tool played their souls out and fans were loving it. They performed their live debut of “Fear Inoculum”. It was amazing to see and Top Shelf can’t wait to see Metallica play for two nights at Aftershock 2020!
Photography by Arik Ruiz