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The Monster Energy Aftershock Festival wrapped up last weekend with Avenged Sevenfold bringing the house down in front of 25,000 roaring fans.
The only thing that could’ve made it even better was pyrotechnics. To M. Shadows dismay, there was no pyro this year due to the fire code at Discovery Park as our best guess. Despite that, the team at Danny Wimmer Presents arguably pulled off one of the greatest rock and metal lineups this festival season, booking headliners; Tool, Korn, Disturbed, Primus, Chevelle, Anthrax, The Pretty Reckless, Ghost, Zakk Sabbath, Slayer, Avenged Sevenfold and Maynard James Keenan’s latest project, Puscifer.
The sold out two day festival took place in Sacramento, CA and was a gathering of metal heads and those who love to rock. We arrived early both days to setup shop while crowds by the thousands began to file in to catch the openers before noon.
As we floated from stage to stage and conducted interviews behind the scenes, locals Some Fear None, led by front man Nathan Giguiere, were one of the emerging bands on the Capital Stage that captured our attention. Currently unsigned, this band woke up the hung over crowd with songs like “Staying On The Zero” and “Out of Our Hands” while bass player Gina Salatino was on a mission to collapse the freeway behind the stage with her heavy bass play.
Three stages were spread throughout the grounds at Discovery Park and were spaced just enough to isolate the sound quality while giving you enough time to hop from stage to stage on a short walk.
Taylor Momsen’s charisma and stage presence as the front woman for The Pretty Reckless was infatuating. She rivals only Alison Mosshart of The Kills for coolness.
Her vocals soared above the red and yellow fall leaves as she shredded on a Punisher themed guitar while playing their latest song “Take Me Down” off of their 3rd studio album Who You Selling For. Momsen is no doubt a rock star. I had a chance to chat with her for a few minutes backstage in the Monster Lounge on Saturday evening and inquired about an interview just before her burly Australian tour manager whisked her away still wearing sunglasses.
L.A. based Silver Snakes is also a band on the rise. Signed to Evil Ink Records founded by Claudio Sanchez of Coheed & Cambria, Silver Snakes helped kick things off on the Monster Energy stage on Sunday. We had a chance to break the band a few months back just after the release of their debut album “Saboteur” on Evil Ink. We caught up with lead vocalist, Alex Estrada to talk about life on the road and what’s next for the band.
In between sets, we threw down a lobster quesadilla or a veggie taco from one of the many food trucks and chased it with a Monster Energy drink or a Coors to stay fueled throughout the weekend.
The adrenaline was high and so was the dust but that’s unavoidable when you have the masses shuffling and moshing through a giant park. Besides, it wouldn’t be a rock show if it wasn’t a little dirty, dusty and grimy.
Tool was definitely one of the most highly anticipated bands of the weekend as they don’t play often. Maynard James Keenan was pulling double duty also playing in Puscifer which is a really cool side project fronted by Carina Round (Animal Noise) and Keenan. Puscifer jammed the next day in super hero costumes as Lucha Libres dove off of the top ropes of a wrestling ring that was in the middle of the stage while the band ripped on “The Remedy.” Because why not, Keenan is a musical genius and can do what he wants. We dig it.
Stripping away the super hero bravado, Keenan slithered into an all black slick suit the night before and ominously sang from the back corner of the stage. The shadowy figure reigned over the crowd as Tool’s progressive metal sounds and distinctive vocals of Keenan entranced the audience on “Schzim” and “Sober.”
There was so much great music this weekend. Korn, Slayer and Anthrax always rock. Hardcore band, Whitechapel raged. Disturbed’s, David Draiman did Paul Simon justice with their cover of “The Sound of Silence” and everyone came “Down With The Sickness.” Meanwhile, Ghost was really eerie and sinister but their music is so infectious and mesmerizing you can’t look away.
Finally, just when we thought we were running on fumes, the guitar riffs of Synster Gates brought us back to life as Avenged Sevenfold took the stage. Avenged happens to be one of our favorite bands and they did not disappoint.
M. Shadows worked the crowd between songs, Johnny Christ looked like an extra from Mad Max: Fury Road, rockin’ a 2 foot murdered out mohawk, studded leather jacket and white shades. While, Gates’ and Zacky Vengeance harmonious dual guitar solos were awe inspiring. These dudes can shred and no one else does it like Ax7, they were built for festivals like this. Rock fists rose in the air for “Hail To The King” and “Gunslinger” in remembrance of our fallen soldiers. Avenged wrapped up their set with “Unholy Confessions” after coming out for an encore and just destroyed the place.
Aftershock is by metal fans, for metal fans. Our rock horns salute you DWP and Monster Energy, keep the music loud and keep this festival going.