Now in it’s seventh year, the Monster Energy Aftershock Festival took place at Discovery Park in Sacramento this past weekend (October 13th and 14th), once again proving itself to be California’s biggest hard rock and metal festival. With two sold out days, the festival was jam-packed with major rock acts.
Day one of the festival included a handful of up and coming artists, including Viza, Hyro The Hero, and Dirty Honey, but it was the hard rock veterans Sevendust, Asking Alexandria, Shinedown, and Godsmack who drew the fans up to the front of the stage, and in some cases over the barricade. Returning to the festival this year for the first time since 2015 were hometown heroes Deftones, who packed the main-stage area with just about every single person in attendance.
Perhaps the biggest highlight of the day came early though, as SiriusXM metal ambassador Jose Mangin curated a 5-song tribute to the late Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul (whose band Hellyeah was scheduled to play the festival before his sudden death earlier this year) with a rotating cast of musicians. Members of Gwar, Shinedown, Kyng, Korn and Godsmack all took their turn on stage, with Korn’s Jonathan Davis and Godsmack’s Sully Erna closing the set with the Pantera classic “Walk.”
Day two of the festival kicked off with Dorothy, Bullet For My Valentine and Seether before At The Drive-In got the crowd moving with a chaotic set which saw vocalist Cedric Bixler-Zavala pacing the stage while throwing his mic stand, jumping off amplifiers and picking up drummer Tony Hajjar’s cymbals and lifting them over his head.
Having just released their sixth studio album, Rainier Fog, Alice In Chains’ gig was among the highlights of the day on the Discovery Stage, as the band played a somewhat brief but strong set that included a number of their biggest hits.
Closing out the festival for 2018 was System of a Down, who more than lived up to the hype generated long before they hit the stage. “Prison Song,” “Hypnotize,” and “Lost In Hollywood” were all high points, before they ended the evening with “Sugar.”
2018 was yet another successful year for the Aftershock Festival, and it is now quite apparent that it is California’s premier hard rock festival.
2018 Aftershock Festival Photo Gallery (click and scroll through for larger images):