Wow. Wow. WOW. What a weekend! I have yet to see the official attendance numbers, but it's safe to say that me and 35,000+ people (per day) had a long but badass weekend. Four days and countless bands-- here's how it all went down!
t h u r s d a y
Headliners: Evanescence, Rob Zombie Slipknot & more...
The very first Aftershock happened in 2012 and featured a lot of the bands that were present this year. It's pretty cool to see how large Aftershock has come to be, going from one day with fourteen bands to four days with 90+ bands. TEN YEARS. A decade later and some of the inaugural bands took the stage once again: Stone Temple Pilots, Chevelle & Theory of a Deadman. It's SO COOL to see how Aftershock has grown (almost exponentially) and still see some of the same names taking stage.
Aftershock is quite the commitment, both in terms of time and $$$, but it's so so worth it. I'm a mama of two young kids, so this weekend was all about strategy. I can't be gone all day for four days straight, so I had my list of bands I had to see and I planned around them. And then everyone else was awesome, delicious ear gravy on top. I've been fortunate to attend many shows in my career, many on an Aftershock stage; which was the case for two of Thursday's main acts, Rob Zombie and Slipknot. The band that was a must-see for me on Thursday was Evanescence. A large portion of Aftershock this year was about teenage nostalgia and Evanescence is one of the bands from my youth that I never had a chance to see. I arrived at Aftershock right around 5:30pm, flying solo. Visited the drink tent and partook in one of the delicious watermelon Red Bull margaritas. (They were seriously SO GOOD.) When I say that Aftershock has grown, it has GROWN. My cousins happened to be there already and trying to find anyone in the crowd is difficult. There are SO MANY people. I did eventually find them during Evanescence and honestly this was one of the big highlights of the festival for me. Their set was amazing (Amy Lee's voice is simply amazing), though I of course wanted more. But beyond the show, the highlight for me was simply attending Aftershock with them. My cousins and I all have young kids-- and getting out there on a Thursday is no easy task. So it was awesome that we all managed, but also that we found each other and were able to see some of our favorite bands together (for the first time!). It's a memory I won't soon forget. :) Evanescence was everything I was hoping for and we camped out at the main stage after that for Slipknot, which always such an insane, heavy show. I wish I would have been able to get there a bit earlier, because I did miss Ice Nine Kills and Nothing More, but mom duty called!
Here's a little highlight of Thursday:
f r i d a y
Headliners: Lamb of God, Kiss and more...
Friday was one of the most anticipated days for me. I was once again flying solo, this time attending the show in the middle of the day (read: the hottest part of the day). I travel light everywhere I go-- I don't like the hold up of going through security with a bag, nor do I like having a bunch of stuff hanging off me when I'm the thick of it. But sunscreen was a MUST. And say what you want about my rainbow bucket hat (which I love PS), but a hat and shades make a big difference. I managed to find a friend in the crowd, my good buddy Matt and we caught Motionless In White first. This band I have been looking forward to for quite some time. And my only complaint is that their set was simply not long enough. (I felt this way about In This Moment last year too.) That said, festivals are so good for introducing you to bands you may not have known about and I was so happy to see such a massive crowd for a heavy "lil" band from Pennsylvania. My only other gripe was they didn't play Voices, which IMO is one of their most massive songs. The highlight of their set, without a doubt, was Eternally Yours. The cherry on top was when Chris tossed roses out to the crowd.
Following MIW was Falling In Reverse, a band that I've seen at Aftershocks of years past. Ronnie Radke is nothing but an amazing showman (and also everyone's favorite a$$hole).
The time I had left remaining was minimal (had to get home to my babies after all), and I chose to head to one of the smaller stages and see Apocalytpica for the first time! For those who don't know who this band is, they are a Finnish symphonic metal band that plays hard a$$ songs on the cello!! They've had a few radio hits, featuring Adam Gontier (formerly Three Days Grace) and Corey Taylor (Slipknot/Stone Sour). For those that were potentially wondering, Corey Taylor (whom headlined Thursday night), did not have a cameo with Falling In Reverse or Apocalyptica. It was pretty cool to see a band all the way from Finland, that play cellos the way they do; from what I overheard in the crowd, they don't visit the states often and it was their first time playing Aftershock. What I appreciated the most about this band in particular was their interactions with the crowd; you would think they'd be minimal because of the language barrier. That was not the case and they even made a pretty funny joke about their Finnish to English translator being broken. It was definitely an awesome set to end my night with.
Unfortunately I couldn't stay for the headliners Friday night, so here are some photos to recap the madness and magic for all of us with a touch of FOMO.
s a t u r d a y
Headliners: A Day To Remember, Papa Roach, My Chemical Romance & more...
Saturday was most certainly my favorite night of Aftershock. Day three featured the Captain and something we had been looking forward to for quite some time. The Captain and I don't have the same taste in music (we're talking he's Mr. Taylor Swift and I'm Ms. Motionless In White), but the one band we both absolutely LOVE: My Chemical Romance. Most of the time, I'm dragging him along to see some band that just melts faces and he's just there being the supportive husband. This is one of the few bands he wanted to see with me. When we arrived, A Day To Remember was on stage and it was my first time seeing them. Their set was SO GOOD. They were hard, heavy with awesome lights and great energy. Even the Captain enjoyed their set! After ADTR was Papa Roach, who headlined Aftershock for the first time ever. It was such an awesome moment to share with everyone, enjoying one of the biggest local Sac acts take the stage at such a massive festival. And even cooler, they brought up the UC Davis marching band during, which I felt was such a cool way to incorporate their locality. And real quick-- if you have never experienced VIP at Aftershock, definitely splurge on it. Remember how I said that the crowds were so thick it was hard to find people? VIP is far less crowded. The lines for drinks are much shorter. Plus you can go from one stage to the other with just a short walk (instead of having to walk all the way around the venue). And most importantly, the view is amazing. I'm short and I usually spend most of the show looking at the back of people's heads; but in VIP, you're on a hill looking down on the stage and you can see everything. It's one of the best "seats" in the house. So that's where the Captain and I hung out for the night. And My Chemical Romance was everything I was hoping for. They were, without a doubt, my favorite band that I saw the entire weekend. They sounded amazing. The set list was amazing. And I danced and headbanged my heart out that night. (My neck is still sore.) Much like Evanescence, this was a nostalgia play for me-- a band that I loved so much as teenager but was never able to see. Definitely a bucket list performance I was so happy to cross off thanks to Aftershock.
Here's a little visual recap of Saturday:
s u n d a y
Headliners: Bring Me The Horizon, Shinedown, Muse & more...
Last day and we made it for the very last band! I truly wish we didn't have commitments Sunday, because I would have loved to see Bring Me The Horizon and Shinedown. We arrived during the last two songs Shinedown was performing and saw the fireworks from the parking lot. The Captain and I were lucky enough to see Shinedown at the 2018 Aftershock and they are so so good live. We definitely had a tad of FOMO. But I will celebrate the fact we made it to see Muse with one minute to spare. And even better, we got to hang out the whole time with one of our closest friends. (The theme for Aftershock this year was making memories with friends & family for sure). And I know I've said this quite a bit, but I have been very fortunate to see a lot of shows. Contrary to popular belief, I pay to see most of the shows; and Muse has certainly been that case for me. Aftershock this year is the fourth time I was able to see this absolutely amazing band. Of all the bands that were at Aftershock, Muse is honestly a class act and if you've never seen them perform, add it to the bucket list. A three-piece band with stellar vocals, incredible musicianship, insane stage presence, amazing lighting and badass pyrotechnics. Muse never disappoints. Having seen them a few times, I will say I was actually a little surprised. They were so heavy at Aftershock. And then they played one of their newer songs I hadn't heard yet-- it's SO GOOD (You Make Me Feel Like It's Halloween). So as someone who's seen Muse before, even I had a few pleasant surprises. And much like MCR, Muse was a bucket list band for the Captain and they ended their set (and four days of hard rock) with his favorite song Knights of Cydonia. It was an amazing end to four days of face melting rock n' roll. I'm left with the feeling of wanting more, but also a sense of happiness (and the need to rest just a tiny bit).
Here's a little highlight of the fourth and final day:
If you attended, please make sure to let me know how your experience was! There was a lot that I missed and I would love to know who to add to my must-see list! Here's a quick little highlight reel of my weekend: