Bad weather was not an issue in Sacramento over the weekend, and it had well been over a month or even more possible since any amount of precipitation had fallen on Discovery Park, and by now masks or anything to cover your mouth and nose were a hot item. Many of the booths, especially Fxck Cancer, that were selling them, were sold out almost instantly. Some festival-goers had to resort to buying headbands at a random booth, but if you were a fan of music, did it even matter when Gojira, Babymetal, Chevelle, Deadland Ritual, Korn, were going to perform shortly with Tool closing out the night to end 2019s Aftershock Festival?
Darren Rao traveled to the Aftershock Festival from London, UK. He said it took 16 hours by tube, and airplane to get to San Francisco, and then BART and Flexbus to finally end up in Sacramento. “I think the lineup looked strong across the board. I go to festivals for bands and want to have plenty to see each day. I pretty much had groups I wanted to see from the first on to last. I go to Download in the UK every year, and I think the DWP festivals are packed with good bands like Download. As for the band that stood out the most, tough choice between Zombie, Deadland Ritual, and The Hu. The Hu just edges it. The crowd loved every minute, and they even got a circle pit! When asked what were the two highlights of the festival, “for me excluding The Hu from this, were Zombie, and Tool put on a great show.”
Gojira took to the stage mid-afternoon and instantly as a bomb had just detonated, “Toxic Garbage Island,” pummeled everyone’s ears, and the mosh pit spun into action and didn’t stop until their final song “The Gift Of Guilt” 40 minutes later.
Korn, who is no stranger to the Aftershock Festival, having already performed twice before, the first time in 2013, took to the stage after earlier performances by A Day To Remember, Chevelle, Fu Manchu, and Deadland Ritual, and opened with their instantly recognizable song “Blind,” and once Jonathan Davis walked out onto the stage and yelled to the crowd “are you ready?” everyone instantly screamed as loud as they could and jumped up and down insanely as the song kicked into full gear. It was pretty amazing to watch Jonathan sing part of the song “you don’t know the chances,” and then let the crowd finish the rest of verse almost being louder than a jet engine with “what if I should die?!” Korn only played one new song from their recent The Nothing release, “You’ll Never Find Me,” and finished the rest of the evening with “Clown,” “Faget,” “Got The Life,” among a many others, along with closing with the song “Falling Away From Me,”
Along with kicking off their highly awaited, highly anticipated fall headline tour at the same time as the Aftershock Festival date, Tool, who had just released with widespread critical acclaim, Fear Inoculum, their 5th studio album in August, and their first in 13 years, closed out the 2019 Aftershock Festival. And like an offering to the music gods and to all, Tool played a couple of new songs they had yet to play live for everyone, “Fear Inoculum” and “Pneuma,” the first two tracks from Fear Inoculum, for the first time. Outside of those songs, Manard, and co. stuck to its regular hits like, “The Pot,” “Parabola,” “Forty-Six & 2” and “Stinkfist,” although they did play a rarity “Part of Me” from the band’s 1992 EP Opiate in their set. And if you just happened to be on a hallucinogenlike drug during Tool’s performance, their light show probably took you to another dimension, and hopefully, you were back in time to check out of your hotel room the next day.
So, if you weren’t in Sacramento, California, this past October 11th-13th, what did you have planned over the weekend not to go? Cure cancer, empty our oceans of plastic debris, adopt a kitten? Well? If Rebecca can make it all the way from Australia, and Darren can make it from London, and Ricardo can make it from Southern Brazil, surely you can make it from wherever you’re at. Miles shouldn’t matter; it’s the memories that count the most. And with that being said, Aftershock sponsored by Monster Energy wrapped up its biggest weekend in its history with 97,500 in attendance during its 5th consecutive sold-out event. In its first year of selling out was in 2015 with 45,000 people over the two-day weekend, and now 2019 with 97,500 people. And now with Metallica headlining two nights in 2020 with no other groups even announced yet, VIP alone is already sold out, expect Aftershock to easily break records again with 100,000 plus metal maniacs next year.
So, if you haven’t purchased your weekend tickets yet, you had better hurry. Chop, chop, the time is now to do so because the VIP section is already sold out, with general admission soon to follow, and you don’t want to miss METALLICA as they make history performing two headlining nights, featuring two different sets, ensuring you an unforgettable weekend of loud music. Now, if you aren’t in Sacramento, California, on October 9-11, 2020, seriously, what do you have planned over the weekend to beat this? Nothing! That’s what I thought. So, see you there, and hopefully, it’s raining before the festival to help grow some grass. If not, either way, bring a mask.