Saturday & Sunday, September 13th & 14th, 2014 – Sacramento, California Review & Photos by Kimberly Annette ©2014 The 3rd Annual Aftershock Festival ignited last weekend in flames fueled with molten kick ass metal and the blazing sun. Amidst sweltering temperatures of over 100 degrees, Saturday saw crowds of near capacity. Sunday reached full capacity with a sold out 19,000 in attendance as the temperature dropped slightly to a sweaty 97 degrees. Aftershock comes in at the top of the list for the best, well run and most organized festivals, which made the experience that much easier to enjoy. The bands went onstage on time and security was on top of the job but still friendly and helpful. The vendor booths lined the mid-way point between stages and ranged from the Monster Energy Drink Semi to Zippo lighters and Victory Records to F**K Cancer. A plentiful mix of food trucks, ice cream stands, fruit smoothie booths and varied cuisines welcomed all who worked up an appetite walking between stages or circling in a mosh pit. The best food truck of the day, The Bacon Truck! Everyone loves bacon. The age range at metal festivals is somewhat of a curiosity, variety is plentiful with concertgoers ranging from young to the mature in age. There are young kids hoisted atop shoulders squished between the sea of bodies that ripple in front of the stages, around the outer edges and inside the VIP areas are usually those maturing in age, proving that wisdom comes with age; or at least the available funds to stay in the tree lined VIP area. Saturday’s lineup included headliners Weezer, Offspring and Limp Bizkit, with AWOLNATION, TechN9ne, Chevelle, Fuel, Nothing More, and the Butcher Babies, plus a bountiful number of others pouring out some fantastic performances, a few amusing events and a lot of loud internal organ vibrating tunes. The most notable performances came from two bands, one a lesser known but on the rise; the other a group of seasoned artist from multiple bands coming together for a powerful mix. Completely blown away by the talent and stage presence that emanated from the North Stage early in the day on Saturday, the sparse spread out crowd drew closer. Dead Sara, fronted by one seriously talented singer, Emily Armstrong; came out prepared to do battle and kick ass. That she did and yes, she’s a girl. Armstrong is a powerful, high energy and incredibly gifted girl, who could be the modern rival to Deborah Harry, Pat Benatar or Stevie Nicks. Armstrong is not the only female presence in the band, she is backed by lead guitarist Siouxsie Medley. Medley on her semi-hollow body Les Paul has skills of her own and who’s dynamic guitar work perfectly compliments Armstrong’s powerhouse vocals. The other two members of the band Chris Null on bass and Sean Friday on drums round out Dead Sara creating a gale force charismatic sound. Singer Chad Gray a member of Mudvayne, guitarist Tom Maxwell from Nothingface, Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul and recent addition Kyle Sanders of HELLYEAH, blasted their way on stage like heat-seeking missiles tracking a fighter jet’s afterburner heat signature. HELLYEAH came to take no prisoners and it was felt. The densely packed audience in front of the West Stage raged tumultuously as Gray screamed out the lyrics to their self-titled song “Hell Yeah.” This band was definitely a stand out moment of the day. ### Day 2 ### Sunday with its slightly cooler temperatures was by all accounts, the all around better of the two-day festival. What made it the better of the two days? The bands! Top Five Memorable Moments – Aftershock Day 2 5. The spinning, raging, massive dust clouds created by moshers during Five Finger Death Punch, Rise Against, Pennywise, We Came as Romans and one of the largest clouds during Of Mice and Men. Sweat soaked, sun-drenched, and covered in dust like the smell of napalm in the morning; a memorable experience. 4. Godsmack hammering it out like consummate seasoned alt-metal heavyweights racing at 1000hp. 3. Black Stone Cherry with their brand of smokin’ hot Southern rock and an outstanding rock star performance by rhythm guitarist Ben Wells. Wells, who’s colossal on stage persona, was a true highlight; with energy to spare he ripped over the stage like a bolt of electricity. Watchers never knew where he would strike a pose next before soaring to the next location. With his mint green Les Paul in hand and long blonde locks whipping through the air, he was a photographer’s perfect subject. “When there’s no more room in hell, the dead will walk the Earth.” George A. Romero, Dawn of the Dead, 1978 2. Better than a zombified polyester-clad Disco Danny Rob Zombie sprang out across the stage singing the zombie version of “We’re an American Band.” The long fringe on his jacket spiraling and whipping about while he added moves and footwork that would have made Michael Jackson proud. Playing some of his best hits for Aftershock concert dwellers, the setlist included Superbeast, Living Dead Girl, More Human than Human, Thunder Kiss and Dragula. In honor of one Johnny Ramone, who passed recently; Zombie dedicated his version of “Blitzkrieg Bop.” Rob Zombie singing the Ramones… Life is good! 1. The number one spot for memorable moments and the top performance of the festival goes to….. http://therockrag.com/?p=9637 All in all, Aftershock 2014 proves itself worthy once again. The Rock Rag sends out a big thank you to all who put in the hours of work in the sun and heat to make it all happen. Thank you! “We are the music-makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.” Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971) Dream of next year and dream big. AFTERSHOCK FESTIVAL 2014 | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM DEAD SARA | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | YOUTUBE | ITUNES HELLYEAH | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | YOUTUBE | ITUNES ROB ZOMBIE WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | YOU TUBE | ITUNES FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | YOUTUBE | INSTAGRAM | TOUR 5FDP4VETS WEBSITE | 5FDP4VETS NO ONE LEFT BEHIND INDIEGOGO CAMPAIGN GODSMACK | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | YOUTUBE | INSTAGRAM | ITUNES MONSTER ENERGY DRINK | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | YOUTUBE | INSTAGRAM KIMBERLY ANNETTE | WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM Aftershock Festival 2014 4.8Overall RR Peruser RatingReader Rating: (3 Votes) Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.