Aftershock is a great festival that attracts music lovers who travel to Sacramento from all over, and it’s easy to see why — a killer lineup year after year giving the highest level of rock and roll energy. The 2019 Aftershock Festival in Sacramento hit it out of the ballpark, after the sold-out event last year drove the decision to expand to three days.
Sunday night headliner Tool kicked off its tour supporting the band’s first album in 13 years. It played never-before performed songs “Pneuma” and the new single, “Fear Inoculum.“
Bringing back a band that rarely tours, System of a Down, proved to be a giant success in 2018 and there were more rare treats this year.
Korn gave my favorite performance, with Stone Temple Pilots and Bring Me the Horizon tied for a close second. Korn was one of those high school classics for me. Jonathan Davis, the vocalist, brought out the bagpipes and soloed his part for “Shoots and Ladders,” which is a reflection of the dark nature of kids’ nursery rhymes.
Korn was among many reunited classic bands, including Stone Temple Pilots and Blink 182, which played songs from an album soon to be released. It seemed like song after song played by STP was a classic known by the thousands who watched. The Crystal Method also rocked.
Marilyn Manson’s performance was most simply put, “weird and seemingly drug induced,” as he stumbled back onto the stage after interacting with a curious crowd. A known filmmaker, Rob Zombie, satisfied fan expectations by showing a trailer for one of his new flicks.
Big-name bands weren’t the only ones who gave impressive performances. Badflower is fairly new to the scene but rapidly gaining popularity. Singer/guitarist Josh Katz commented on his surprise at how many people came out to see the band’s show. They passionately performed some hit songs and the crowd enthusiastically sang along. Badflower released a new album in February that has been getting rave reviews.
Also showcased were new artists New Language and BRKN Love, whose lead singer hit some impressively high notes in his catchy songs. Blue Midnight gave the crowd nostalgic feelings of the Evanescence days, and New Language brought a fresh powerful energy to the stage with raging passionate songs.
With a lineup like that, there was a band for every kind of rocker.
If you want to be up close to the stage, get there early, but keep in mind, the moshers will push their way to the front, and that’s the spirit one must embrace at metal shows.
Large festivals are starting to enforce the clear bag policy, improving the safety of the grounds and the speed of festival entry. Marketers have responded by providing clear bags with their logo as a reward for joining their mailing list. The clear bag is my favorite snagged goodie of the weekend. This year the company Kolas gave out the bag.
Other sponsors like Monster Energy were there again this year. I always enjoy Monster’s new can designs and whimsical beverage descriptions. It was nice to have some free drinks on a hot day in Discovery Park, Sacramento.
Attendees are beginning to embrace the festival spirit of dressing up. I saw a banana hanging at a tree, found Waldo (actually two Waldos) and witnessed an enthusiastic shark swim through the crowd.
Aftershock’s Danny Wimmer produces some of the best festivals in the states including Louder Than Life and Bourbon & Beyond.
If you’re a rocker like me, Aftershock is one not to miss – for the first time ever, Metallica will be headlining in 2020 so get your tickets now if they’re not gone already. The festival in Discovery Park will be Oct. 9-11.
— Amanda Jacobs