Aftershock Festival 2013 Day 1

The West Coast of the United States  has always been jealous of all the metal festivals happening not only around the rest of the country, but the entire world. This year, we were lucky enough to get a 2 day festival of rock and metal music on 3 different stages in a park in Sacramento, California, and for once, the rest of the country was jealous of the west coast. This is a review of day 1 of the Aftershock Festival, held on September 14th, 2013.

Upon entering we got to see the closing of Otherwise performing Soldiers with  Austin Held of Girl on Fire, and we can hear the devoted “Wiseones” singing along with singer, Adrian Patrick.  If you’ve never seen an Otherwise show, you should. They put in a lot of work into their music, lyrics, and live shows to bring you a great rock show experience.

The North and South stages were set up right next to each other, so of you liked one band on one stage, and another band on the other stage, you’d have a make a small trip around the sound and lighting booth to get over to the next stage to properly see the next band play. We made this tiny journey over to get a great spot to see In This Moment, a band we’ve been waiting to see again since the summer of 2010. Since that time, their music has changed from metal to electronic- metal, I guess you can call it that? We expected to hear at least a song or two from A Star-Crossed Wasteland, but instead, we got a set full of songs from the album Blood. The performance was a lot of fun to watch seeing female dancers, costume changes, and giant syringes on strange as the band played to an energetic Sacramento crowd.

Out on the Ernie Ball stage, we got to check out Girl on Fire for a brief moment before leaving to go do interviews, but we liked what saw and see a bright future for this band. Make sure to check out our interview with Austin Held of Girl on Fire on this site coming soon!

Once interview one of our interviews were taken care of, we rushed over to the Ernie Ball stage to check out one of the most talked about bands of 2013: The Butcher Babies. The term “killing it” is used a lot at metal shows, but these girls (and guys) literally killed their set. Heidi Shepherd and Carla Harvey are both dominant on stage and can control a crowd, both big and small, with their high octane screams. There’s no gimmick about this band, they just play really good metal riffs and have a lot of great lyrics. Don’t be turned away because of their a female fronted band, this band is highly entertaining to watch.

We are now experiencing how it must feel to be at Download Festival and having to run across a field to catch every band possible! The music literally never stops as long as you’re walking around to the different stages. We caught a quick 5 minute peek at and saw two of the Skillet band members on separate platforms going up and down the stage while playing what looked like violins from where we were standing. At this point we can start to see the stage productions stepping up their game and becoming more complex than a simple album cover backdrop.

After some more interview duties, we were off to catch the opening of Megadeth, who had played the day before in San Bernardino and showed no signs of slowing down after the Battle of San Bernardino. The set was filled with fan favorite such as Peace Sells, Symphony of Destruction, and Holy Wars, along with Kingmaker from the new album Super Collider. Dave Mustaine and company have always put on a good show, and this night was no exception to that statement. The crowd, however, wasn’t as chaotic as we expected, and this was a sobering experience considering the thrash capital of the world is only an hour or so away. What happened, Sacramento!?

The weird transition from thrash to pop-rock happened as Shinedown took the stage over on the South side of the monumental concert rig. We had creeped up to the barricade of the South stage and held a good spot to see Shinedown at an awkward angle. We heard a bang and wondered what was going on, and then looked over to the South stage to see fire all over the place! What we thought was a possible pyro mishap actually turned out to be a circus of fire spinners putting on a show while Shinedown preformed. Again, we didn’t realize how much production some of these bands were going to put into these sets, but we’re glad they did.
The only problem about Shinedown was that they sounded too good, too perfect, and too produced. It wasn’t until Brent Smith covered Simple Man that we noticed some changes in the vocals from their other songs. For the most part, it was enjoyable, but we’d like to see them perform again before we can say give a final verdict on their live shows.

The highly anticipated reunion of Brian “Head” Welch and Korn has been one of the hottest topics this year, and soon, we were going to witness the reunion of the 90’s most important metal bands. This isn’t a complete reunion, and that may never happen, but honestly, drummer Ray Luzier has been fitting in perfectly with Korn for the past few years, and we don’t see this changing. Korn starts the night with Blind, a song normally heard at the closing of their sets,  and one can only imagine what was in store for the rest of the night. We’ve seen Korn before plenty of times, but never have we seen them like this tonight. Having Brian Welch back in the band adds new excitement to these shows, and it must be exciting for Korn to be able to bring a new concert experience with Brian and Ray together for the first time.

It may be cheesy to say that Korn is back and better than ever, but that’s the honest truth. Looking up on stage and seeing each member smiling and having a good time while playing, shows a lot of passion that we haven’t really seen from them in a few years. We’re excited to see what these guys have in store once their new album The Paradigm Shift drops in October. Expect the best shows of Korn’s career in the coming years, and that’s a guarantee.
Night 1 of Aftershock is done, and we are not even done, yet! We still have another day of metal coming with Five Finger Death Punch, Volbeat, A Day to Remember, Avenged Sevenfold, and many, many more! Make sure to check out our review of day 2!

Review by: Alex Lucero

See our coverage of Aftershock Day 2 here:

Check out some of these other artists we had a chance to photograph during Day 1 of Aftershock:


Papa Roach