On the weekend of September 13/14, 2014, Discovery Park in Sacramento hosted the 3rd year of the annual Monster Energy Aftershock Festival. I was excited to be one of the KSSU radio personalities to go to this event.
Last year’s lineup consisted of Avenged Sevenfold, Five Finger Death Punch, and, one of my personal favorites, Megadeth. With such a great lineup, the festival brought in over 30,000 people.
So how did this year’s festival compare to last year’s fantastic performances and results? There were a lot more bigger named bands playing this year, as well as what seemed like more bands in general. Overall, I was very interested in going to this year’s festival, more than last year’s, which indicates we can expect bigger and better things from this festival year after year.
For Day 1, due to illness, my personal schedule consisted of headliners The Offspring and Weezer.
I was very happy The Offspring did not play a lot of their newer music; in fact, they only played You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid and went right back to older music. I remember being into the band when I was younger, so I am a bit biased when it comes to the older stuff vs. their newer stuff. They ended up playing their album Smash in its entirety as well as a few other older songs such as Pretty Fly (for a White Guy) and Why Don’t You Get a Job?. They even included the voice overlay that is included on the albums of the man that makes you imagine a guy in a robe, by a fireplace, playing The Offspring record on his old-fashioned record player (for example, Intermission allowed them a short break and was hilarious to someone who remembers it fondly). The kindest moment of their performance was when Dexter Holland (the vocalist) made sure when a person fell that people around him/her checked to make sure he/she was ok. This shows they are still human and not the egotistical rockstars many seem to become.
Weezer was on their game!!! Such a great performance! They also played quite a few older tracks, including a more intimate, more ballad-like rendition of Island in the Sun, which I thoroughly enjoyed. They also shared a song called Back to the Shack off their upcoming album. It sounded like Weezer mixed with one of my favorite So Cal bands Sprung Monkey. To make things a little more interesting, it seemed there were no pauses between songs, but bluesy fade-ins from one song to the other. This show really presented how great of musicians these guys are, especially Rivers Cuomo.
For Day 2, my personal schedule consisted of: Buckcherry, Pennywise, Mastodon, Rise Against, Five Finger Death Punch, and Rob Zombie.
Having seen Buckcherry before, I was very excited to see them again. They played a mix of new and older songs, with more emphasis on older songs. They had one of the guys from 1980s metal band Skid Row filling in on guitar, and he did a fantastic job. On top of their own songs, the band also did a slightly altered cover of Icona Pop’s I Don’t Care (a fantastic cover!) and AC/DC’s Big Balls.
Pennywise!!! Oh man, what bad things can ever be said?!?!?! They ALWAYS deliver a great show filled with antics and perfect music. They were probably the best performance of the entire festival since they were one of the most energetic and most in time bands. They did mini covers of a bunch of songs based off shirts worn by audience members, such as AC/DC’s TNT and Van Halen’s Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love. They also dedicated the song My Way of Life to the infamous Jay Adams. Being a big lover of Dogtown culture myself, I thoroughly appreciated the dedication and acknowledgment of the creative genius who passed away just last month. And, of course, they ended the show with Bro Hymn.
Rise Against, like Buckcherry, did a good mixture of new and old songs, with an emphasis on older songs. At first, I was a little harsh on the band. I saw them a couple years ago at Warped Tour, and they were phenomenal! This performance left more to be desired from Tim McIlrath. The rest of the band was perfect and in time, however vocalist Tim seemed to be having a little trouble. However, when he talked between songs, I noticed that he sounded to be a little sick. Poor Timmy!!! After that, I was very understanding (having been a vocalist at one point in time), and thought he did a very good job for being sick.
I am a Way of the Fist type of girl when it comes to Five Finger Death Punch, however, their set was really solid!!! A lot of newer stuff was played, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I think the most precious moment of the entire concert was when vocalist Ivan Moody pulled a couple of families with kids on stage to get water, watch from a better view, and even join in on a song. Awwwwwwww. How sweet is that???? The only suggestion I have for their performance was to not go off stage faking everyone out that they were done playing, just to come back FOUR TIMES! One time is fine, four times is not, especially when the Rob Zombie stage right next to their stage is lit up looking like it’s ready to go any time.
Rob Zombie was flawless! They started with a fantastic cover of American Band by Grand Funk Railroad. During their set they even did a mini cover of James Brown’s Sex Machine, which I have to say, I think I like it better than the original. With lots of red lights, monster-themed backgrounds, and a hellacious drum solo at one point, everything desired from a Rob Zombie show as delivered.
Make sure you check out my show Roll Outta Bed With Brittany on kssu.com Tuesdays at 11am. I play a lot of the same stuff that was at Aftershock as well as other genres.