Aftershock 2019 Music Festival Summary


This festival started in 2014 as a one-day event and this year expanded to three full days, with “90,000” attendees which in reality was around 30,000 per day. There were three stages, two main stages and a smaller one; scheduled so both the main stages had a bit of overlap. While the main stages were being reset, a band was playing on the smaller (Coors) stage. From the Kolas (dispensary change in the area) to the Monster Energy stage was less than a 10-minute walk and then about five minutes to the Coors stage. There were plenty of food, drink, port-a-potties and merch vendors throughout the entire grounds. Overall the festival was well planned, lines at all, but the festival merch vendors, were pretty short all weekend. Prices of stuff were on the high-end though, all beer and booze cost $12, same for crappy Coors Light as for a mixed drink, and a pulled pork sandwich (no sides) was $15. T-Shirt were the normal $40, concert poster $40, and Tool hoodie for $75; they had a HUGE merch area setup that had stuff for all 50+ artist who were there. The line-up was hard rock\metal focused, I saw 27 of them; of those I was mainly her for Tool since this was the 1st show of their new tour for the new album, but Rob Zombie and Dropkick Murphys were must see for me.

I booked an Airbnb just across the river, almost, from Discovery Park where the festival was held. Discovery Park is next to the America River where it runs into the Sacramento River, so it had rivers on two sides, with I-5 running right next to the Coors stage. While I was only about ½ mile from the Park it was just over 3 miles away by bike or car, since I had to go over a mile to get the closest bridge and another mile back to the park. When I booked the place, it looked like it might be on the other side of the river, but after booking the actual location wasn’t where I hoped. Not a big deal since there were Jump bikes and scooters everywhere, which I enjoy using. The Airbnb was a huge house right by the river, beautiful place, that an older later owned and used for short-term rentals. There were also two twenty-year-old girls from the UK who were also staying her for the festival and visiting CA. The daily bike ride took about 20 minutes and cost about $6, besides a bit of nerve-racking narrow bridge crossing it was a good ride. Saturday AM I went to Rite Aid and got drinks and snacks for the house, and had those for a 1st breakfast each day after. Sat & Sun AM I had full breakfast around noon and was at the festival around 1PM each day, where I had a late lunch and dinner.

Below is the list of the bands I was able to see Friday, after dropping my stuff at the Airbnb and taking a Lyft to the festival I got there about 3:30PM. The stand outs, to me, Friday were Dropkick Murphys , who always put on a killer show then, a new band to me, Halestorm. Halestorm’s lead singer, Lzzy, stood out and the band had a good beat, attitude, and stage presence. Yes, Clutch, STAIND, and Slipnot were good too but the top three bands of the day for me were Dropkicks, Halestorm, and Lamb of God. I spent all of Dropkicks set on the perimeter of or in the pit, the crowd energy at a punk show is hard to resist. Lamb of God also had a good pit I spent about half the show at it. STAIND I find a bit too mellow and main stream for my taste and I did enjoy Slipknot, but from near the back of the crowd.

Friday’s bands, I saw:

  1. Clutch (Rock)
  2. Dropkick Murphys (Punk)
  3. Halestorm (Rock) Listen
  4. Lamb of God (Metal)
  5. STAIND (Metal)
  6. Slipknot (Metal)

Saturday, I got there about 1PM and Badflower was just going on and I stayed for their entire set since I really enjoyed them. They were one of the newest bands there, 1st single in 2015 and 1st album in Feb 2019, and glad I got to see them. Fishbone was up next and can’t recommend seeing them enough, good band that always makes strong political statements; they have been around since 1979. Then I went to the smaller stage and enjoyed Ghostemane. Bad Religion put on a good show, but energy level was a bit low. STP was up next and their new singer, Jeff Gutt, does Scott justice as a single and front-man; but does sound a little bit different. I’ve been an STP fan since I first heard and saw them in the early 90s, but only got to see Scott once; I’ve now seen Jeff three times. Marilyn was on the other main stage, after STP, and it was packed over there. I didn’t bother fighting the crowd to get closer since the three other times I’ve seen Marilyn I’ve rated the show as “A bit lame” or Sucked; sadly this one was also a “A bit lame” show. Marilyn was out of shape and drunk or messed up on something. I stayed for a few songs before heading back to the middle stage for Zombie. This is the seventh time I’ve seen Rob, going back to 1992 with White Zombie, and five of those shows have “Kick Ass” (highest behind “Top 10”) and sixth had “Damn Good”. This time also got a Kick Ass rating, GO SEE ZOMBIE if you have the chance. He puts on a hell of a show, great performer, hard rock\metal music, with lots of pyro. Closing out the night was Blink 182, I stayed for a few songs before I left. I’ve never liked Blink much, too pop sounding for me.

Saturday’s bands, I saw:

  1. Badflower (Rock) Listen
  2. Fishbone (Funk Metal)
  3. Ghostemane (Metalish)
  4. Highly Suspect (Rock)
  5. Bad Religion (Punk)
  6. Stone Temple Pilots (Rock)
  7. Marilyn Manson (Rock)
  8. Rob Zombie (Metal)
  9. Blink 182 (Rock)

The last day I got there early and caught several bands I hadn’t heard of before, from the goth “dream” metal band Blue Midnight that was very mellow but entertaining. Then walking toward the middle stage I heard Black Hole Sun by Soundgarden, one of my all time favorite bands, and followed the sound to the solo performer Evan Konrad and stayed for most of his set, which was mostly originals. Enjoyed most of Brkn Love set then headed back to the smaller stage to see The Hu (pic), which is a Mongolian metal band. They put on a great show, with a unique string instruments, Mongolian throat singing, and other instruments in the seven-person band. Check them out if they come to your town! Then it was back to the middle stage for The Crystal Method, which is a DJ I’ve been catching since the 90s who always puts on a harder edged set and he did not disappoint the metal\rock crowd! A moving moment in his set, was when he did a tribute to Keith Flint (The Prodigy), who committed suicide on March 4th, 2019, with his image on the large screens. I then went over to see Babymetal, but only stayed for a few songs. It was three Japanese front girls singing and dancing with a backing band, all dressed in black with black mask. They are basically pop Japanese metal, and I wasn’t into it at all so headed over to see Gojira. Gojira, France metal band, did not disappoint! They are mix of prog and death metal and have been around since 1996, though I had just heard of them recently I think, and had a great set with a damn good pit. Chevelle was OK, but not really a fan, then was Fu Manchu, whose roots go back to 1985 punk scene. Fu I enjoyed a lot also and need to listen to them more. I did catch A Day to Remember, or some of them, but don’t remember their set so they didn’t stand out. But Deadland Ritual was who I was mainly looking forward to next. This is a “super group” made up of Franky Perez (Apocalyptica), guitarist Steve Stevens (Billy IdolMichael Jackson), bassist Geezer Butler (Black SabbathHeaven and Hell) and drummer Matt Sorum (Y Kant Tori Readthe CultGuns N’ Roses). They did a setlist made up of mostly Black Sabbath songs with two Billy Idol and Slither by Velvet Revolver and a few originals. The next big band up with Korn, but I skipped them completely to get a good spot for the main band I was here to see Tool!

Tool was the PRIMARY reason I came to Aftershock, when I got the ticket they hadn’t announced any other dates, their entire catalog had just been released to digital\streaming sites, and their 1st album in 13 years, Fear Inoculum was getting ready to be released on Aug 30th. So I decided I had to see them since they are one of my favorite bands and I had only seen them four times before, yeah I know for some people that’s a lot but I’ve seen most of my favorite bands around 10 times. The 1st time I saw tool was in July 1993 at Lollapolooza in Raleigh, NC, then again in Feb 1994 at a small venue in Norfolk, VA, then at OzzFest 1998. I wouldn’t get a chance to see them again until their very limited tour in 2016, when I flew to San Diego to see them with Primus. So, I had to see them and loved many others on the line-up for Aftershock and I hadn’t been to a music festival in 2019. As expected, Tool start with a song from their new album, the title track Fear Inoculum which was their 1st time playing in live. They did ten songs, with some from about each album, setlist and they sounded and looked great. The crowd was mainly there for Tool on Sunday, about 1/3 of the shirts were Tool ones and I think about all 30K people were packed into the middle stage area and stayed until the last song, Pneuma was played. I’m very glad I went and enjoyed Tool Sunday, but the Tue & Wed shows back in Denver at Pepsi Center were MUCH better; sound, visuals, and stage wise.

I really enjoyed this festival and on the last day they announced the TWO night headliner, doing a different set on Friday and Sunday, would be METALLICA! So the day I got home I bought a ticket to Aftershock 2020 and will be back next year! Hoping to line up some friends and split an house\condo next year, so who’s in!?!

Sunday’s bands, I saw:

  1. Blue Midnight (“Dream” Metal)
  2. Evan Konrad (Alt Rock)
  3. Brkn Love (Rock)
  4. The Hu (Metal)
  5. The Crystal Method – The Prodigy (DJ – Big beat\trip hop\breakbeat)
  6. Babymetal (Metal, sort of but not really)
  7. Gojira (Metal)
  8. Chevelle (Rock)
  9. Fu Manchu (Punk)
  10. A Day to Remember (Punk)
  11. Deadland Ritual (Rock)
  12. Tool (Metal)

Summary of the bands I saw, from my show database:
Aftershock 2019

 Kick Ass list from Aftershock 2019
Kick Ass - Aftershock 2019

About jasonsherry

I am a 20 year Exchange consultant and expert. I currently work for Commvault as a Solutions Specialist for Microsoft Infrastructure For more info see my resume at: http://resume.jasonsherry.org
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