TVD Live Shots: The Aftershock Festival in Sacramento, 9/14–9/15

How much heavy metal can one consume in a weekend? Apparently, two full days, as that’s what I chose to subject myself to. The Aftershock Festival roared into Sacramento, bringing a full-on metal assault to the state’s capital city, led by the nu-metal likes of Korn and Papa Roach, and rounded out with the classic metal of Megadeth, the Sunset Strip sounds of BuckCherry, and a surprisingly awesome newcomer called In This Moment.

Other acts on the bill included Danish metal band Volbeat, Finish Goth rockers HIM, thrash metal legends Testament, and the faux glam rockers Steel Panther. There was something for everyone under the blazing hot sun, and it would be the final metal festival of the year for us West Coasters.

Aftershock Festival shot by Jason Miller @Jasonmillerca-2-9

The lineup on paper looks pretty much all over the place, but surprisingly the music fit together pretty well. Although it was impossible to catch every individual band that would be playing, it was easy enough to put together a plan of attack to see the ones that mattered.

I have to say the true highlight of the entire festival for me was In This Moment. I had never seen these guys and a girl before, and they were absolutely incredible. Falling somewhere in between Lady Gaga and Marilyn Manson, it’s a combination that sounds like a living nightmare, but it’s pure genius when it’s happening right in front of you.

Aftershock Festival shot by Jason Miller @Jasonmillerca-3-8

Korn are about to release their eleventh studio album appropriately named Paradigm Shift. There are lots of folks who wrote these guys off a few albums ago, but I have to say they still deliver. I remember working in a record store back when these guys first hit the scene. The first time I heard the opening cut “Blind” on the band’s eponymous debut record, I knew this thing was a game changer. In true Korn fashion, this song would open the show and set the stage that evening for a journey down 20 years of Korn. Say what you will about these guys, but they still put on a powerful show.

The new material sounds surprisingly fresh as well. “The new record is everything we ever wanted to be,” says bassist Fieldy. “Everybody’s finally doing what they want to do.” Paradigm Shift hits stores on October 8, and when asked if it will be released on vinyl, Fieldy replied, “We always do.” Well said, my friend.

Aftershock Festival shot by Jason Miller @Jasonmillerca-4-7

Aftershock Festival shot by Jason Miller @Jasonmillerca-6-3

Aftershock Festival shot by Jason Miller @Jasonmillerca-11

On to the rest of the day, and Dave Mustaine continues to lead Megadeth on a triumphant journey to deliver classic metal the way it was meant to be heard: loud and fast. These guys never miss a beat and sound as amazing as they did twenty-some-odd years ago.

Steel Panther took to the stage under the hot sun, paying tribute to one of my favorite genres “Hair Metal.” These guys make a living by mocking metal’s most flamboyant pastime, and they do it very convincingly. I get the joke, but at the same time I can appreciate the effort for authenticity and humor, plus it’s fun to reminisce back to the Sunset Strip of the ’80s.

Wrapping up my report, I just have a few things to add. Testament sounded great, HIM played fantastic, even though they looked disappointed to be playing during the daytime, and it was refreshing to see Volbeat bring to light some solid, no-frills metal that the crowd was just going berserk over. Not sure how I missed that one, but I am happy to play catch up.

All-in-all, Aftershock did not disappoint. Even for a guy like myself who isn’t a fan of “festival crowds,” I will probably be back next year as long as the lineup is just as strong.

MEGADETH

Aftershock Festival shot by Jason Miller @Jasonmillerca-6-2

Aftershock Festival shot by Jason Miller @Jasonmillerca-2-8

Aftershock Festival shot by Jason Miller @Jasonmillerca-3-7

Aftershock Festival shot by Jason Miller @Jasonmillerca-4-6

Aftershock Festival shot by Jason Miller @Jasonmillerca-5-2

Aftershock Festival shot by Jason Miller @Jasonmillerca-10

IN THIS MOMENT

Aftershock Festival shot by Jason Miller @Jasonmillerca-3

Aftershock Festival shot by Jason Miller @Jasonmillerca-2

Aftershock Festival shot by Jason Miller @Jasonmillerca

STEEL PANTHER

Aftershock Festival shot by Jason Miller @Jasonmillerca-2-2

Aftershock Festival shot by Jason Miller @Jasonmillerca-2-3

Aftershock Festival shot by Jason Miller @Jasonmillerca-3-2

Aftershock Festival shot by Jason Miller @Jasonmillerca-4

Aftershock Festival shot by Jason Miller @Jasonmillerca-5

TESTAMENT

Aftershock Festival shot by Jason Miller @Jasonmillerca-2-4

Aftershock Festival shot by Jason Miller @Jasonmillerca-3-3

Aftershock Festival shot by Jason Miller @Jasonmillerca-4-2

Aftershock Festival shot by Jason Miller @Jasonmillerca-6

BUCKCHERRY

Aftershock Festival shot by Jason Miller @Jasonmillerca-2-6

Aftershock Festival shot by Jason Miller @Jasonmillerca-3-5

Aftershock Festival shot by Jason Miller @Jasonmillerca-4-4

Aftershock Festival shot by Jason Miller @Jasonmillerca-8

PAPA ROACH

Aftershock Festival shot by Jason Miller @Jasonmillerca-2-7

Aftershock Festival shot by Jason Miller @Jasonmillerca-3-6

Aftershock Festival shot by Jason Miller @Jasonmillerca-4-5

Aftershock Festival shot by Jason Miller @Jasonmillerca-9

HIM

Aftershock Festival shot by Jason Miller @Jasonmillerca-2-10

Aftershock Festival shot by Jason Miller @Jasonmillerca-3-9

Aftershock Festival shot by Jason Miller @Jasonmillerca-12

VOLBEAT

Aftershock Festival shot by Jason Miller @Jasonmillerca-3-10

Aftershock Festival shot by Jason Miller @Jasonmillerca-4-8 Aftershock Festival shot by Jason Miller @Jasonmillerca-5-4

Aftershock Festival shot by Jason Miller @Jasonmillerca-13

Aftershock Festival shot by Jason Miller @Jasonmillerca-2-11

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