FESTIVAL REVIEW: AFTERSHOCK 2017 Live at Discovery Park, Sacramento, CA – Day 2 (Sunday)
So today everyone has labeled Day 2 as metal day and as I walk in its metal head nation lined up and ready to head bang, mosh and crowd surf till the sun goes down. First up I have the choice of seeing Black Map kick things off at the Blackcraft Stage, New Year’s Day on the Monster Stage or Them Evils at the Small Capital Stage. So, I started off watching a few fierce songs with Black Map, and man!, are these guys tight! This trio has it all, lots of bottom end, great hooks and melodic choruses that drive it all in.
Had to take off early as I wanted to catch Them Evils perform as I seen that they just went on a coast to coast opening run with Zakk Sabbath, and to me that itself hold at lot of weight so I had to see them myself. Again, another Power Trio that Brought their Balls, man did these guys just kill it. Hailing from Orange California these guys were a real deal California Rock Band. The Style, the Vibe and the Sound it was all ultra-cool. Front Man/Guitarist Jordan Griffin, Bassist Jake Massanari and Drummer David Delaney put you on the Rock N Roll express as you start just riffing down each song with blazing speed and Definition, hard hitting with a lot of Raw Aggression. This band you can tell is hungry for it. Their hit song “She Got Nothing” has all the right elements and is rising to the top. “Got me Rocking” was another New Song that’s not on their last EP “Self-Titled“ that just had the crowd right nuts. Talking to them after the show they will be taking a break to record their next full length disk, then get back out on the road and support it with stops already at next year’s Monster Energy Rockville Fest in Jacksonville Florida.
Next to start off the afternoon right was Starset a Band made popular by the gaming community as the gamers would animate their own gaming videos to the sounds of Starset’s music which dipped into a huge Gaming world. These guys come out as full on star man, complete spacesuits and instruments. At first I thought I was watching a gimmick band then they started playing and they were good, very Synth Driven, melodic pulse pounding power. They brought you into their universe and you were seeing it all. Very theatrical and believable at the same time, but it had to be hot in those spacesuits. After that experience it was on for some metal with Butcher Babies on the main stage. With lead Singers Carla Harvey and Heidi Shepherd and Co they were all ready for some metal mayhem. Heavily focused on their new album “Lilith” their set was on fire as these ladies where everywhere on that stage and had everyone focused in. They knocked “Monster’s Ball” outta the park along with a cool mash up of “Igniter”, “Magnolia’s Blvd” and “They’re Coming to Take Me Home” for highlights that I loved. Title track “Lilith” shows the split between the two singers voices which is done brilliantly on stage with such rage and elegance. They wanted to show the metal community what they got on this new album and they did. Always a killer set from this bunch. Now off to see some legends on stage Suicidal Tendencies. At 51 young years of age Mike Muir still looked as Hardcore as ever. Running back and forth across the stage and when taking a break from that he’s swinging those arms back and forth like a wild man, at one point he was right up in the crowd. Being the only original member left in the band it didn’t feel that way as everyone up there was playing their little hearts out and rocking around like madmen, no stop in the intestacy of their play as each song went on the crowd seemed to get more frantic, and that ladies and gents is what it’s all about.
From Venice Thrash metal, we go over to Columbus Ohio’s own Hardcore Punk band Beartooth on the main stage and just making my way to stage I’m blown away at the size of this crowd as it’s intimidating. This is one band that doesn’t take no shit, with their first album they came out with gloves off and wow was it a punch you hard and fast album with tons of aggression, well their sophomore release of “Disgusting” in was part two of that same type of aggression well all of that played out on stage and in the crowd, today for what was for me one of the best sets of the day. Caleb Shomo got the crowd into it fast and furiously right out the gates with a huge growl and heavy raw lyrics that felt real and relatable as everyone was singing along and moshing out. Running circle mosh pits were forming on both sides of the stage. People were expelling lots of demons out there and it felt like a revival of sorts.
After my spiritual awaking, I was ready to be reborn with the help of In This Moment. With the blood legion waiting for the Ritual to begin we all settle in for a full-on show that never stopped. With High Priestess Maria Brink and her coven of Misfits they put a spell on the crown and sucked them in, with their almost tribal vibe and heavy riff driven sounds they make Maria’s Voice soar above and throughout the crowd. Their Performance of “Roots” was epic and very theatric. “Whore” was also a highlight for me. From one beautiful front woman to the next Lzzy Hale is a true OG, loved and adored by the musical community for her guitar playing, style and all around down to earthiness. Her Band Halestorm lit it up on the mainstage and I was lucky enough to watch her set from backstage. No bullshit, just straight up Rock N Roll here. Their Cover of “Still of the Night” and Solo from Joe Hottinger was fire, and Lzzy Brother Arejay is an animal behind the kit. As Lzzy just shreds up song after song all while rocking out in huge heels, she’s a beast out there and we all loved it. Members from, In This Moment, New Year’s Day and Hollywood Undead all came up to check out the show side stage and they left impressed as did I.
Five Finger Death Punch was the second last act of the evening. They were ready for it, blasting things off with “Lift Me Up”, burning through “Never Enough”, “Wash It All Away” and “Got your Six”. “Jekyll and Hyde”, “Burn MF” and then softening things up a bit with acoustic versions of “Wrong Side of Heaven” and “Remember Everything”. Then kicking us in the face with “Under and Over it” and their hit song “The Bleeding”. These guys are a force to reckon with.
And last up for the final night here at Aftershock 2017 was Father Ozzy The Man, the Myth the Legend is on the start of his Farwell tour and he brought with him his prodigal sons Zakk Wylde,Rob “Blasko” Nicholson, Tommy Clufetos and Adam Wakeman and they did not disappoint. For being 68 years young the man can still sing his butt off, and having Zakk onstage helps in so many ways not only does Zakk just destroy his guitars he is a tremendous present on stage. Not too many people can over shadow Ozzy Ozbourne on stage and Zakk looks just his equal alongside him. With a set that included old favorites like “Bark at the Moon”, “Mr. Crowley” to Black Sabbath’s Classics “Fairies Were Boots”, “Iron Man” and Band solos throughout “War Pigs” this was the way to close out a weekend of Mayhem. With a Sentimental version of “Momma I’m Coming Home” and the Encore of “Paranoid” just brought everything to a heavy climax. It was a roller coaster ride Ozzy Ozbourne took us all on and nobody wanted to get off, till you got off. Monster Energy Aftershock festival was one of the best planned music experiences I’ve had the opportunity to attend in a while can’t wait for 2018.