Music fans packed Discovery Park for the Aftershock Festival on Sept. 23, a concert that mixed big ’90s nostalgia with sets of up-and-coming originality . It was a great experience and surreal to see so many performers — Stone Temple Pilots, Bush and Sacramento’s own Deftones — who defined an era of music all at one venue. The performers chosen showcased both sides of the rock spectrum from grunge to heavy metal. Most importantly, this show had a little something for everybody and did not disappoint.
Stone Temple Pilots:
8:30 p.m. finally rolled around and it was time for Stone Temple Pilots to finish off the bill. While every other act started right on time, or at least within five minutes of their set time, it took the headliners 15 minutes to make their way to the stage. There was a feeling of overall restlessness in the crowd as the started chanting “STP,” but the anticipation was built on and off the stage.
When the band took the stage there was a fresh wave of energy. You couldn’t pay vocalist Scott Weiland to stand still as he sloppily pirouetted across stage he hit the notes, interacted with the crowd and brought out a megaphone for a couple songs.
They played the hits for the most part, but there were a few newer tracks sprinkled in. The variety of the set list mirrored that of the crowd: mostly 20, 30 and 40-somethings with the occasional child singing along. Overall, it was a good way for the band to close out their latest tour.
The Deftones performance was full of energy and showcased the vocal ranges of lead singer Chino Moreno.
Backed by the crowd’s screams of excitement the guys lived up to the fans’ expectations and kept them wanting more. The crowd formed a huge mosh pit that left one of the participants with blood oozing from his eye.
The band performed “Change” as the last song of their set, or so we thought. As the band left the stage fans started to disperse until the band came back for more. The band used every minute of the allotted time given to them for their set.
The lasting power of Bush’s music was felt the moment they stepped on stage. The heat of the day didn’t stop the fans from packing the main stage in anticipation for the band.
They kicked off their set with their hit song “Machinehead.” Their performance also featured a cover of The Beatles hit “Come Together,” which sparked an audience sing-along. The band also incorporated a 30 second drum solo by Robin Goodrige.
Gavin Rossdale proved he still had the showmanship that carried Bush to the top in the 90s when he jumped off the stage and ran through a crowd of screaming fans. They ended their set the same way they started with another hit: “Glycerine.”
Chevelle had one of the better performances of the day despite the 90-degree temperature. They kept everyone on their feet as the crowd attempted to match the band’s energy. Pete Loeffler (vocals/guitar) and Matt Scott (bass/vocals) seemed to run laps around the stage any time they didn’t need to be at their microphones.
Their set list was one of the better blends. The band mixed in fan favorites like “The Clincher” and “The Red” with their own admitted favorites including “Forfeit” and “Piñata.” Their set was the first that brought in bass lines you could feel in your chest from about 100 yards out, a full-fledged mosh pit and $3 water bottles getting tossed around. The band’s energy lingered and kept everyone content until Bush took the main stage.
Theory of a Deadman:
There was a sense of new energy in the audience as Theory of a Dead Man took the stage to South Park’s “Blame Canada.” The sound levels weren’t completely evened out as the band opened with “Gentleman” but they roared ahead with the first guitar solo of the day, maintaining the excitement even through mid-tempo numbers like “Not Meant to Be.”
Vocalist/guitarist Tyler Connolly transitioned from standard pleasantries, asking the crowd, “how are you doing this wonderful afternoon?” to melodically shouting radio favorite singles like “Bad Girlfriend” and “Bitch Came Back.” This Canadian quartet definitely made the most of their allotted time. The only break they took was to joke with fans about homemade t-shirts and wanting to bring Axl Rose on stage.
The Sacramento post-grunge band had a more mellow performance. Their set list included their hit singles “Why I’m Here” and “Something Beautiful.” The performance showcased the more subtle side of the bands at Aftershock. Fans were excited but the crowd had a more relaxed attitude.
The guys had a sincere tone to their performance. When the band performed “Something Beautiful” they lyrics tell the story of every woman’s beauty. Thomas Flowers puts a believable emphasis on the song.
This Sacramento metal band kicked off the festival in top form while playing to a fairly responsive crowd on the main stage. It was still just cool enough in the mid afternoon that people were willing to jump around a little, though it took three songs to finally get the mosh pit started.
The drummer ran into an issue with the kick drum about half way through the first song but kept playing without missing a beat (so to speak) while the problem was solved. They also played a cover of Nine Inch Nail’s “Hurt” with a Johnny Cash-style acoustic flair.
Thirteen bands alternated between the two for smooth transitions from one performance to the next. The audience ranged in age from young children to adults that could have been fans since Stone Temple Pilot’s conception. The crowd ranged in style from those with full-sleeve tattoos and stretched ears to people who looked to have rushed to the venue straight from work. As long as you were into the music, the atmosphere was a welcoming one.