Now in its eighth year, the Aftershock festival took place at Discovery Park in Sacramento, California, this past weekend, debuting a new expanded three-day lineup. With a sold-out crowd, as well as some big-time headliners, the bar was set high for the massive rock and metal extravaganza.
Day one got off to a fast start with both The Pink Slips and Motionless in White among the early performers. Over at the main Monster Energy Stage, Philip Anselmo & The Illegals had the massive crowd singing along to Pantera classics like “Walk” and “F**king Hostile”, while Dropkick Murphys got the crowd moving with their Celtic punk anthems despite the near 90-degree temperature. Back at the Coors Capital Stage, Angel Du$t and Knocked Loose both played heavy sets for those who were looking for a little hardcore action in their day.
Halestorm brought a sea of people over to the Kolas Discovery Stage, and their set was highlighted by the crowd singing happy birthday to frontwoman Lzzy Hale. Up next was Lamb of God over on the main stage, and the band most certainly did not disappoint, playing a set that was just as heavy as always. Sum 41 closed out the smaller Coors Capital Stage, while a recently reunited Staind put a wrap on the Kolas Stage, clearing the way for the headliners Slipknot to close out the festivities.
Slipknot hit the Monster Energy Stage in their summer white attire at precisely 8:20 pm with “People = Shit,” and for the next hour and a half put on a frantic set that had the entire park on its feet. The 17-song performance ended with the walloping encore of “Spit It Out” and “Surfacing”, providing a high-energy ending for day one.
Day two started with Ho99o9, Sick Puppies, and Parlor Mob, before ska/punk legends Fishbone took the Monster Energy Stage. Despite playing in direct sunlight, the band put on a classic set, highlighted by “Alcoholic”, “Bonin’ in the Boneyard”, and “Party at Ground Zero”. Andrew W.K. was next up at the Coors Capital Stage, and he delivered his usual good-time party metal to the packed crowd.
Punk stalwarts Bad Religion delivered one of the day’s best sets over at the Kolas Discovery Stage, and they were followed by the one and only Marilyn Manson. At one point Manson gave the middle finger the huge crowd that had come to witness him, saying, “I wasn’t born with enough middle fingers,” before launching into “This Is the New Shit.”
Stone Temple Pilots and Bring Me the Horizon kept the energy going at the Monster Energy Stage, but then it was time for Rob Zombie to headline the Kolas Stage. Zombie didn’t disappoint, giving the packed crowd every song they could want to hear, including “Living Dead Girl”, “More Human Than Human”, and of course, “Thunder Kiss ’65”, before ending his set with “Dragula”.
Blink-182 then took the Monster Energy Stage, also giving their fans what they wanted with “Feeling This”, “The Rock Show”. and “All the Small Things”. Day two may now have been over, but there was still one more day to go.
Day three started off with Evan Konrad, Falling in Reverse, and The Crystal Method. However, it was Japanese metal/pop sensations Babymetal who really seemed to get the crowd going, with many of their uber-fans forcing themselves against the barricades to get as close to the stage as possible. French metallers Gojira were up next on the Monster Energy Stage, and they put on their usual ultra heavy set, despite playing with the sun directly in their faces.
One of the best sets of the day came from Deadland Ritual, who played over at the Coors Capital Stage. The supergroup — comprised of Black Sabbath’s Geezer Butler, Billy Idol guitarist Steve Stevens, ex-Guns N’ Roses drummer Matt Sorum, and singer Franky Perez — tore through a setlist that included Black Sabbath classics “Symptom of the Universe” and “Neon Knights.” It may have seemed odd that such big names were playing such a small stage, but the band clearly enjoyed being there, as did the fans.
It was them time for Korn to close out the Kolas Discovery Stage, and the band did just that with a frantic 60-minute set that drew the biggest crowd to that stage all weekend.
With a brand new album under their belts, festival headliners Tool took Monster Energy Stage at precisely 7:25 pm with the live debut of “Fear Inoculum”, and for the next hour and a half the band played a 10-song set that included “Jambi” “Stinkfist”, and the live debut of “Pneuma”.
When it was all said and done, the 2019 Aftershock Festival was bigger than ever, and a rousing success. It’s becoming one of the biggest California rock festivals, and with Metallica set to headline two of the three nights of Aftershock 2020, it may become the biggest.
Photo Gallery: Tool, Slipknot, Rob Zombie, Korn, Marilyn Manson and more at 2019 Aftershock Festival (click to enlarge and scroll through):
All photos by Raymond Ahner (@raymond_ahner)