The sixth annual Monster Energy Aftershock festival brought together more than 50,000 hard rockers and head-banging fans to a sold-out Discovery Park in Sacramento on Saturday, October 21 & Sunday, October 22, 2017. It was a massive weekend of music that included incredible performances from heavyweights Nine Inch Nails, the prince of darkness Ozzy Osbourne, A Perfect Circle, Hip Hop super-group Run The Jewels, Underground Hip Hop hero Tech N9ne, Stone Sour led by Slipknots Corey Taylor, Highly Suspect and more then two dozen other great bands. The weather was perfect, sunny both days, not too hot and the fans came out by the thousands making this year one of the biggest to date. “The goal is to grow the festival to 40,000 people a day for three days”, said Danny Hayes CEO of Wimmer Presents and producer of the festival. Currently, Aftershock is tapped out at 25,000 people per day, but given the demand, it seems that the festival is well on it’s way to doubling those numbers in the coming years and a third-day addition would be more than welcome. Both Saturday and Sunday had its share of highlights for us. Saturday was a bit of a throwback day to the 90’s with classic rockers like Stone Sour who had an intense set, but doubtful you would consider anything less from a band led by Slipknot vocalist Corey Taylor. The highly anticipated Highly Suspect entertained an early crowd, with a set that got cut a bit short but still seemed to go over well during the early hours. They are definitely on their way to becoming headliners if they keep putting out great albums like their last one, “The Boy Who Died Wolf” – just an amazing album from start to finish and was awesome to catch some of the tracks live! Tech N9ne killed it, one of the best acts of the day and considering they are a hip-hop group, showed how diverse the crowd really is at Aftershock. Another highlight for me was A Perfect Circle. As a big fan of Tool, I love everything Maynard puts his vocal touch too, he’s a musical genius and I knew they would not disappoint. Of course, the night belonged to NIN who always brings the intense energy. Reznor brought his A Game, screaming at the top of his vocals pitch perfect and with an insane light show to match the intensity of their music. Sunday started out a bit slow, but quickly kicked into full gear with stellar sets by Halestorm, who were approaching the end of their tour and they sounded fresh with piercing and emotionally driven vocals by Lzzy Hale. Getting close to the stage during Five Finger Death Punch was a feat in itself, so we opted to stay a bit back in the VIP areas, but still, their energy came through loud and clear. This is the 3rd time the band has played the festival and lead singer Ivan Moody led fans through ferocious versions of “Lift Me Up”, “Wash It All Away” and “Bad Company”. The night would not be complete of course without the prince of darkness himself, Ozzy Osbourne. Probably the oldest rocker of the festival, but definitely the most anticipated, he looked amazing, sounded even better and was my favorite act of the weekend. Of course, performing with Zakk Wylde for the first time in years was a huge bonus. The Black Sabbath front-man brought the heat with a 90-minute set that included solo hits, “Bark At The Moon”, “Crazy Train, “Mr. Crowley”, “Shot In The Dark” and of course a few Black Sabbath numbers which rounded off things nicely. If Ozzy is looking to retire soon, he’s doing it in style and definitely going out on top, as this was an incredible performance from a veteran rock God and what a way to close out the weekend!
In addition to the music, Aftershock featured artist signings and meet & greets at the Monster Energy Experience and The Music Experience, loads of cool art installs, hip vendors and attractions, some great food trucks and stalls on hand for the hungry and lots of merchandise to seal the memories for the diehard rock-heads.
All in all, it was an amazing festival experience, hats off to the organizers for making great use of Discovery Park as it was jam-packed, but it never felt overly crowded. The VIP areas were definitely a high-note for those that could flip the extra bucks and well worth it for prime views of the main stage and good relaxing seating areas all around, so save up your money for next year and go big.
Looking forward to seeing what Aftershock has in store for its 2018 edition!
For more info go to: www.aftershockconcert.com