Aftershock Day 2: Rob Zombie, Godsmack, Five Finger Death Punch + More Close Sacramento Fest
Day two of Sacramento’s Aftershock Festival benefited greatly from a break in the unseasonal heat that drove thermometers into triple digits the prior day. It’s a good thing, too, because the Sunday lineup was incendiary. Security earned its keep all day as the rowdy crowd moshed and crowd surfed.
Festivities began on the Coors Light stage, where local favorites FallRise put on a short but very professional set. Then it was over to the west stage for Escape the Fate. Here’s where the crowd surfing began, and it didn’t let up for the rest of the day.
Otherwise were back again this year and, though it doesn’t seem possible, their set was even tighter and more entertaining than the 2013 edition, perhaps because Aftershock served as the release party for their new album, ‘Peace at All Costs.’ Adrian Patrick is a true frontman: a showman who knows how to work a crowd yet still deliver solid vocals. He had ample help keeping the crowd worked up, with bass player Vassilios Metropoulos making his way into the crowd and brother/guitarist Ryan Patrick shredding and preening with the best of them. These guys put the “star” back in “rock star.”
Los Angeles’s Kyng calls back to an earlier era of rock stars, too. Part Sabbath, part New Wave of British Heavy Metal, the material off Kyng’s new album ‘Burn the Serum’ went down well. Singer Eddie Veliz has a classic metal voice, capable of the growl but at home in the upper register. For a trio, these guys make a lot of noise -- and that’s a good thing.
The reunited Atreyu brought their metalcore assault to the main stage and the crowd responded in kind, chucking crowd surfers over the barricade like, well, crowd surfers over a barricade. They also kicked off what turned into a day of cover songs with a surprising take on Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love a Bad Name.”
We Came as Romans and Of Mice and Men kept the metalcore moving until Buckcherry could bring the sleazy Sunset Strip vibe to the stage. The band opened with fan favorite ‘Lit Up’ and a surprise: filling in for guitarist Stevie D. was Skid Row’s Scotti Hill. Hill fit right in, and the band’s party rock vibe served as something of a midday palate cleanser. Buckcherry’s contribution to the day of covers: AC/DC’s ‘Big Balls.”
Next up were punk legends Pennywise, who tossed a verse of AC/DC’s ‘TNT’ into their set along with a Minor Threat cut. Other than that, what’s to say? Pennywise always deliver, and this was no exception. Also on the punk front, Rise Against turned in a lively set of political punk highlighting their latest release, ‘The Black Market.’
And then there’s the mighty Mastodon, always challenging, always pushing boundaries. Some have criticized new album ‘Once More ‘Round the Sun’ for not being heavy enough. They must not have had their faces melted by it live, and if you haven’t you need to remedy that soon. Mastodon could be the poster band for an “If you haven’t heard it live you haven’t heard it” campaign.
The end of the evening was sort of a “choose your adventure” for music fans. Obviously somebody has to be top of the bill, but with Five Finger Death Punch, Rob Zombie, and Godsmack closing out the evening, there was something for everyone.
Five Finger Death Punch always drive the crowd into a frenzy, and Aftershock was no exception. Within minutes of hitting the stage the capacity crowd was a spinning, surfing madhouse, letting up only for the acoustic moments and their cover of ‘Bad Company.’ Godsmack always put on a tight show, too, and while their crowd tends to stay on their feet they’re no less rabid.
But when all is said and done, any stage where Rob Zombie plays is Rob Zombie’s stage. Asking any band to follow him is a fool’s errand: When it comes to showmanship, the guy is simply at a different level. With John 5, Ginger Fish and Piggy D. backing him up, the original Hellbilly whipped through classics, taunted security, and even found time for covers of ‘We’re an American Band’ and ‘Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine.’
Two hot, dusty days in Sacramento’s Discovery Park enjoying heavy music. Rumor has it that the festival’s organizers are considering adding a third day next year. Judging by this year’s sellout crowd, I’d say that’s a wise move.
See Our Exclusive Aftershock Day 2 Photos Below:
Five Finger Death Punch:
Of Mice & Men:
We Came As Romans:
Escape the Fate: