Aftershock Day 2: Faith No More, Jane’s Addiction, Deftones + More Close the Fest
You may have had tough days at work, but you've probably never had a "stuck swinging over the stage by the hooks in your back" day.
We'll come back to that point a little bit later. Early Sunday (Oct. 25) at Monster Energy Aftershock 2015 belonged not to the Offspring, but to some pretty famous offspring. Deftones frontman Chino Moreno's son, Jakobe, and the rest of Death Rogen kicked off the festivities with a blistering skatepunk set of two minute (or less) songs. They were followed by the Pink Slips, fronted by Grace McKagan, AKA Grave, AKA Duff McKagan's daughter. The band's flavor of post-punk/synth pop is reminiscent of early '80s Los Angeles, which pretty much set the tone for Sunday. It was alternative day at Aftershock, but make no mistake: There was still plenty of metal on the bill.
Austin's the Sword turned in a heavy set as did Red Fang, but the day's big surprise was One Ok Rock. With their tight playing and energetic stage presence, if this Japanese four-piece gets even half the traction of BabyMetal they should be huge. One Ok Rock (the name is a pun on "one o'clock") are a can't miss band live.
Highly Suspect, Sleeping With Sirens, and All Time Low gave the younger end of the crowd plenty to rock about, but as the day progressed the bill favored the more seasoned headbangers. Coheed and Cambria's ten song set included only three cuts from their latest album, The Color Before the Sun, the balance of their time spent on the songs you know and love. Sevendust's set list was equally strong on crowd pleasers, but the undisputed kings of the singalong were Stone Temple Pilots. Although STP were slotted mid-bill, their set list was easily the most familiar to the 20,000 strong crowd, who kept frontman Chester Bennington harmonic company throughout their hour-long set.
Death From Above 1979 lulled the crowd out of its "Hey, I know this one" comfort zone. The Canadian noise rockers have only released two albums in a career that spans 14 years, five of which were a hiatus. The point here is that "Who's this next band coming up?" was a common and not unfair refrain throughout the crowd, but Sebastien Grainger (drums, vocals) and Jesse Keeler (bass) quickly removed all doubt as they tore through a remarkable set. Lead bassists are rare animals, but Keeler deftly filled whatever space Grainger (and the occasional sample) left him -- a very impressive set.
The moon rose over the festival's east stage, the house lights dimmed, and the familiar spoken word opening from Ritual de lo Habitual echoed through the sound system:
Señores y señoras
Nosotros tenemos más influencia con sus hijos que tu tiene
Pero los queremos…
Creado y regado de Los Angeles
And with that, Jane's Addiction were off and running on a ten song set that reached as far back as their Triple X debut but stuck mostly to the band's two best known albums, Nothing's Shocking and Ritual de lo Habitual. Frontman Perry Farrell entertained the crowd with a bizarre story of getting high and wrecking his car with a legless drug addict and scatted his way through crowd favorite "Been Caught Stealing," and that wasn't even the strangest moment in their set.
During "Whores," two dancers swung 10 or so feet above the stage like trapeze artists, but here's the catch: each was suspended from hooks through piercings in their backs. As the song wound down, one dancer was lowered to the stage but the other dangled above Dave Navarro's head. The crew batted at her for a couple of minutes before Farrell joked, "Look at the bright side, Dave, you have her for another song," and the band launched into show closer "Jane Says" while the swinging dancer made the most of her situation. Show biz!
Hometown heroes the Deftones were without question the fan favorites, the biggest hard rock band to come out of California's capital city since Tesla. With a new album on the way, Chino Moreno and the band looked happy to be home and back onstage. Like Jane's, theirs was a career spanning set, and in some ways a life spanning one: Moreno's son, Jakobe, joined the band on stage for show closers "Engine No. 9" and a cover of Cypress Hill's "How I Could Just Kill a Man."
The Deftones' home field advantage probably should have been taken into consideration when organizing the bill. After their set wrapped up, many in the crowd headed for the parking lot, but those who stayed (and there were thousands of them) were treated to a fantastic set from Faith No More. Since reuniting in 2009, the Bay Area band has been on a tear that reached its apex with this year's Sol Invictus. Mike Patton's voice remains a mighty instrument, and the band's blend of deep cuts, hits and covers went over well.
Overall, the 2015 edition of Aftershock was a raging success. The bigger venue and fall dates kept both tempers and temperatures cooler than previous years, and the entertainment was second to none. Sure, there were some sound problems early Saturday and the parking/traffic situation wasn't the best, but overall the festival went off almost without a hitch. We just hope that Jane's Addiction finally got that poor girl down.
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