Images by Johnnie Crow
Words by Melissa Butterfly
Brotherhood, flower power, and true love for rock music at a global level was a constant theme throughout this year’s Monster Energy Aftershock Festival. The Danny Wimmer Presents production paid a special tribute to the loss of the great and infamous rock artist, Vinnie Paul, who was not only a rock badass in his own right, but the backbone for so many others. His influence and inspiration has impacted so many rockers, both musicians and fans alike at all levels in their musical journeys, and the early passing of this great legend was a huge heartfelt loss for all.
Aftershock, in its 7th year, rocked on in Sacramento, California at Discovery Park on October 13 and 14, 2018. This year’s festival included a full 2 day line-up rocking 3 platforms, which included the Monster Energy Stage, Discovery Stage presented by Cyco Flower, and Capital Stage presented by Kolas. This west coast festival has gained popularity over the years given its awesome lineups — this year it was at full capacity and sold out early on with a record of 60,000 rockers in attendance.
In addition to the three stages, there was a lot to be discovered by festival goers in Discovery Park. From artist meet and greets and autograph signings, to a plethora of local craft food and beverage vendors to shopping, giveaways, and exhibits, there were plenty of sights to be seen and entertainment to be had by all ages, including the different interactive Fan, Music, and Student Experiences. One newbie festival attendee, Nicole, drove over 12 hours one way from Spokane to Sacramento and said that being a huge rock fan, the meet and greet alone was well worth the trip. Mario, a local Sacramento rocker, loves this event and looks forward to it every year.
The weekend lineup across the board was a blend of 38 awesome artists from iconic to new acts including System Of A Down, Deftones, Alice In Chains, Incubus, Godsmack, Shinedown, 311, Slash featuring Myles Kennedy And The Conspirators, At The Drive In, Seether, Jonathan Davis, Action Bronson, Bullet for My Valentine, Underoath, Black Veil Brides, Asking Alexandria, Sevendust, Everlast, Gwar, Emmure, Stick To Your Guns, Dance Gavin Dance, Monster Magnet, Red Sun Rising, The Fever 333, Dorothy to VIZA, Law, The Jacks, Hyro the Hero, Dirty Honey, Provoker, The Dose, Wage War, Slothrust, All Them Witches, Plague Vendor, and Amigo the Devil. There was lots of variety and they all rocked on in their own powerful rights and badass way. VIZA, Jonathan Davis, Incubus, and System Of A Down also brought global beats adding to the diversity and international flare of this California festival with their eastern melodic vibes.
As Vinnie Paul’s Hellyeah was originally on the lineup, Saturday included “The Vinnie Paul Tribute”, which was a momentous collaboration hosted and curated by SiriusXM’s Jose Mangin, and anchored by Hellyeah’s Kyle Sanders on bass and KYNG’s Pepe Clarke playing Vinnie Paul’s own Hellyeah drum kit. The tribute featured a revolving cast of guitarists and vocalists playing songs from Damageplan and Pantera. Jonathan Davis, Godsmack’s Sully Erna and Tony Rombola, and Shinedown’s Zach Meyers collaborated on an epic version of Pantera’s “Walk.” Other performers included Sevendust’s Clint Lowery and John Connolly on Damageplan’s “Save Me”; Jose Mangin, Chris Broderick (Act Of Defiance) and Eddie Veliz (KYNG) on Pantera’s “A New Level,” Frankie Palmeri of Emmure and Stephen Carpenter of Saturday headliners Deftones on Pantera’s “Becoming”; and GWAR’s Blothar and Pustulus Maximus reimagining a Pantera classic, “Mouth For War.” The event began with recorded video from many rock legends who shared what Vinnie meant to them as a man. This was an epic and heartfelt tribute to say the least and the boys definitely honored this true rock legend.
Saturday was the day for heavy music, featuring everything from Sevendust and Asking Alexandria to Monster Magnet and GWAR. There were 4 headliner-level shows to close out the 2 main stages, including full sets from Shinedown, Godsmack and 311. Local legends Deftones closed Saturday night with an awesome show not only for Aftershock fans, but for their Sacramento hometown.
Newcomer Amigo the Devil kicked off Sunday with a rocking folklore performance engaging the crowd with his storytelling. The eclectic, soulful vibe continued throughout the day, with bands like Everlast, Dorothy, Incubus and Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators. Alice In Chains closed out the second stage with their usual power and emotional release. Sunday’s headliner, System Of A Down, kicked off their 20 year anniversary tour and gave an eclectic performance knocking it out of the park.
The full schedule was non-stop and even though this festival was at capacity, fans were set with a great spot to rock on whether in the vast General Admission areas or realigned VIP oasis between the two main stages. Many festival goers strategically hit the three stages, while others stayed at their favorite spot and rocked on. The layout included gardens, flowers, and cool areas to hang-out and chill and kick back in between sets and there were many libations to be had. Whether it was hanging out with the general population sipping on a Monster Energy drink, special Deftones craft beer or a Phantom Bride IPA at the Belching Beaver Bar or enjoying a California wine in the VIP Caduceus Cellars & Merkin Vineyards Wine Garden, which is owned by Arizona resident Maynard James Keenan, co-founder of international recording acts TOOL, A Perfect Circle, and PUSCIFER just to name a few cool Aftershock collaborations. Discovery Park is also full of majestic old trees with huge leaves and one courageous fan was seen sitting atop a tree branch, which undoubtedly made for an awesome birds eye view!
2018 marked the biggest year ever for Aftershock and those messages of global unity, brotherhood, and love made it a complete weekend with the Aftershock rock family. Many types of families were present and the awesome and diverse fan base is a global family that keeps rock music alive. Hopefully, Aftershock will keep the vibes rolling and carry on for years to come.
For more information about this festival, check out the following Social Media sites:
For a slideshow of Aftershock Festival 2018 Saturday artists, see below:
For a slideshow of Aftershock Festival 2018 Sunday artists, see below: