Five Finger Death Punch, Nine Inch Nails, Stone Sour + More Rock 2017 Aftershock Festival [Photos + Recap]
The sixth installment of the Aftershock Festival took place at Sacramento’s Discovery Park this past weekend, and proved to be the biggest (and loudest) one yet.
With just about as perfect weather as you could ask for, Day One kicked off with inspired sets from Deap Vally, Palaye Royale, and Joyous Wolf, who brought all the still filing-in fans to their respective stages early in the day. And although the announcement that the current band of the moment Greta Van Fleet‘s set was going to be delayed a few hours due to tour bus issues, people were still clearly ready to have a good time.
Anti- Flag really got the crowd going over on the Blackcraft Stage with their infectious music with a message. “F–k Police Brutality” had a sea of people chanting the chorus with their middle fingers in the air. Although some may have thought they would not fit in with the mostly metal and hard rock bands on the bill, they had no problem winning over those in attendance.
Riding onto the Monster Stage on an extremely small bicycle, Eagles of Death Metal frontman Jesse Hughes hopped off, walked up to the front of the stage, and led his band (along with Mastodon guitarist Brent Hinds, who joined the band for “Magic”) through a mid-afternoon set of straight up rock n roll, complete with the AC/DC “Whole Lotta Rosie” riff during “I Only Want You.”
It almost didn’t seem right for Gojira to be playing into the direct sunlight on the Blackcraft Stage, but somehow they made it work, sounding just as relentless and brutal as ever, with a setlist highlighted by “Only Pain” and “Flying Whales.” Mastodon also had the daunting task of playing directly into the late afternoon sun, but that most certainly did not stop them from delivering the goods, as always.
Run the Jewels may have also seemed like an odd choice for the lineup, but they had the biggest draw of the day thus far at the Monster Stage. Killer Mike and El-P crisscrossed the stage during their entire set, and as they delivered “We Are the Champions,” “Stay Gold” and “Legend Has It,” the sea of bodies in front of the stage all had their hands waving high in the air.
Despite playing the much smaller and darker Capitol Stage, Greta Van Fleet was clearly happy that they made it after their transportation issues, and still worked the stage and the crowd, showing just why they are the up-and-coming darlings of the music world. With Led Zeppelin-inspired guitar riffs the four-piece put on a slightly abbreviated but great set.
After a typical moody but heavy set by A Perfect Circle, with Maynard lurking in the shadows at the back of the stage, as usual, Nine Inch Nails took the Monster stage by storm and gave the fans who had been at the festival for well over eight hours a magnificent show, complete with enough strobes and smoke to fill the entire park. Highlight by “Wish,” “March of the Pigs,” and “Something I Can Never Have,” they were the perfect way to close out what was a spectacular Day 1.
Starting an hour later than the previous day, Day Two of Aftershock wasted no time in picking up right where Nine Inch Nails had left off.
Both Black Map and New Years Day brought the fans back early, but it was Starset that really got the day going over at the Blackcraft Stage. Not letting their spacesuits serve as a distraction, but rather a compliment to their music, the band showed just why they have been playing all the big festivals. Highlights included “Into the Unknown,” “Satellite,” and “Telescope”.
Suicidal Tendencies, with Dave Lombardo pounding away on drums, would put on what was by far the most frantic set of the day. Frontman Mike Muir stalked the stage as usual, while he and the band delivered “You Can’t Bring Me Down,” “Subliminal” and “Possessed to Skate.”
Hollywood Undead continued the hip-hop vibe of the weekend, while Fozzy packed in as many people as possible on the Capital Stage. Led by Chris Jericho, they were a big hit as they performed “Judas,” “Do You Want to Start a War” and “Painless.”
Returning to the festival for the first time since 2013, Halestorm put on a revved up set led by Lzzy Hale on the Monster Stage, while In This Moment gave their usual theatrical set on the Blackcraft Stage. Power Trip, the Dallas-based thrash/crossover inspired band were one of the biggest highlights of the day on the Capital stage.
After Five Finger Death Punch packed just about everybody into the Blackcraft Stage it was time for the main attraction of the evening.
After asking the sea of people, “Are you ready to go f–king crazy?” Ozzy Osbourne kicked off his set with “Bark at the Moon,” and for next 75 minutes delivered all the solo and Black Sabbath hits, including “Mr. Crowley,” “I Don’t Know” and “Crazy Train.” The fans ate it up, and as with Nine Inch Nails the night before it was the perfect way to end up what is becoming one of California’s premiere festivals.
Check out our photos from the 2017 Aftershock Festival below!
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