Monster Energy Aftershock Festival Hits Sacramento

Photo Credit: Bryce Fraser
Dave Mustaine, front man for the band Megadeth preforming at the South stage during the Aftershock Fest at Discovery Park.

Jeff Gonzales, writer
Shiftsync Media

Music triggers memories like few other things. The power of these memories can make even the worst band hold something personally special.

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Photo Credit: Bryce Fraser
Jonathan Davis, Lead singer for Korn preforming on the South Stage during the Aftershock Fest at Discovery Park.

At Aftershock on Sept. 14, I remembered this.

Arriving a little late does not change much when your publisher has a press pass waiting for you. Walking past the ling line reminded me of the many times in years gone by I glared at someone doing what I was doing now.

The gates opened to an array of vendors and Monster Energy signs everywhere. I followed the crowd to the stage to watch as “Otherwise” began their set.

With the crunch of the guitar and the pounding of the drums, the bassist of the band bounded from the stage and started the first pit of the day. The crowds cheered as a handful of guys followed suit. The pit itself was weak but made for a good start to the day.

The next group to perform was “In This Moment” the dark orgy of metal sated my old school goth sensibility. The bloody and blond lead singer made my black heart skip a beat as I hung out with the band later in the day.

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Photo Credit: Bryce Fraser
Skillet band members from left, Jen Ledger drummer and vocals, and Korey Cooper Guitar, preforming on the North Stage during the Aftershock Fest at Discovery Park.

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Photo Credit: Bryce Fraser
Brent Smith lead singer for Shinedown, preforming their Carnival of Madness tour including stage dancers with flaming sticks that occupied the Aftershock Fest on the North Stage at Discovery Park.

After the set I headed back to the press area to talk to “girl on fire.” The down to earth manner of the band was refreshing at an event with big name headliners like “Korn” and “Mega Death”.

Making my way back to the main area I was in time to be unimpressed by the juvenile thrash metal of “Steel Panther.” The dick and fart humor of the band didn’t impress, and with a sound that seemed like a want to be “slayer” with overt sexual references I merely wandered the inebriated crowd waiting for the end of panther and for “POD” to start their set.

As I made my way through the crowd I jumped backward just in time as a drunk puked where I was standing seconds before. It was still early, but to be expected with the abundance of drink and pot that floated around the space.

“POD” came on stage to a roar from the crowd with a heavy sound that made me crave the depths of a mosh pit and brought back memories of the first time I saw them many years ago in New Mexico.

The show up and running now I went back and forth between the press area and the stage with frequent trips in places I shouldn’t be to chat with various members of the bands that where playing

Jacoby Shaddix, Lead singer for Papa Roach preforming on the North Stage during the Aftershock Fest at Discovery Park

Jacoby Shaddix, Lead singer for Papa Roach preforming on the North Stage during the Aftershock Fest at Discovery Park.

With the Christian rock band “skillet” ending their set with a thank you to Jesus, the irony of “Testament” pounding out their evil sound was not lost to me.

“Buckcherry” and “Papa Roach” played next. The latter local group had an obvious following in the Sacramento fan base. But it was the mind wrenching noise of “Mega Death” that demonstrated the raw power of what metal should be.

As the famous 80s band finished their set the thickness of the crowd was beyond navigation. I found a spot close to the front and like most people who shouted for “Korn” at the end of each “Shinedown” song I waited.

With generous people passing joints and pipes being around me I pushed my way forward as “Korn” took the stage. This third time watching them perform I felt the memories of shows long ago trickle through my mind.

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Photo Credit: Bryce Fraser
Maria Brink lead singer of In This Moment, preforming on the North Stage at Discovery Park.

Playing old songs like “shoots and ladders” and new songs not yet released I let myself enter the concert wholeheartedly. Gone was the journalistic integrity is I slammed against my fellows around me, back was the young man who measured the fun of a show by the number of bruises.

Although my teenage angst had left me long ago, there is something about music that makes even bands that I no longer love live life anew.

!!!Check out more photos of day one and day two on our Facebook Page!!!

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