Updated: Oct 12, 2021
Summer is over and the fence isn't painted yet, but who cares, it's time for AFTERSHOCK!
Day One of the long awaited return of AFTERSHOCK has come our way in Sacramento. DANNY WIMMER PRESENTS has weathered the store and managed to pull off another 4-day event that started on Thursday (October 7) and will run through Sunday, October 10th.
Thursday was definitely a nod to the thrash scene as DEATH ANGEL, EXODUS, TESTAMENT, and ANTHRAX were all on the bill and needless today with three of these four bands from NorCal, the diehard locals, new and old, would be in the pit. These are the bands that mattered most on Thursday. Even though I have respect for CYPRESS HILL and have enjoyed them throughout their career, there was a disconnect from the energy of the bands before CH. Not to take anything away from CH, following 4 thrash bands is a tough place to be in the lineup. DA always have energy, Exodus has always been sheer power on stage, Testament is another level, and Anthrax on the KOLAS Stage before CH made it that much more difficult to follow.
Day Two had a myriad of bands on the bill and the highlights in my eyes were BUTCHER BABIES, RANCID, SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, and of course, METALLICA. As the festival has expanded in its number of days, it also expanded it's space now stretching under the freeway which is where BB and ST played their sets. BB definitely warmed up the crowd on the Coors Light Stage after the band before them were a lull for those in attendance. Yet as the BB completed their solid set, the crowd began to grow larger than the space allotted. Suicidal should have been on the Kolas or Jack Daniels Stage as once they ripped into You Can't Bring Me Down , the crowd was nothing but packed in like sardines. The energy brought by ST cannot be matched and always a treat to see them on stage.
One cannot forget the power of the mighty METALLICA. Arguably the biggest band in the world and with them playing 2 nights at these DWP festivals and not repeating songs in their 2-night stints says a lot about their staying power. Opening with Whiplash and closing with Seek and Destroy while also peppering in tracks like Harvester of Sorrow and Cyanide, they continue to prove why they are the biggest band in the world. And a key shout out to KIRK HAMMETT who played one of his best sets in all of the Metallica shows I have seen in my life as his solos were much more fluid and concise and that's probably because the tempos are much more in control these days which cleans up the overall sound. And with Friday being the first of 2 nights with Metallica, and noticing that there were songs like Frantic, No Leaf Clover, and Whiskey In The Jar in the mix, it might be safe to say that the crowd will be treated to a 30-year anniversary set on Sunday night......I cannot wait!
Day three held the cast of THE MISFITS headlining the Kolas Stage (why not the JD Stage?) yet also saw the 2nd show back from the monstrous MUDVAYNE as well as the gargantuan GOJIRA and the beast mode of BODY COUNT and the anarchy of ANTI-FLAG on stage who always deliver.
Yet when Day four rolls through, it's the pulse of PENNYWISE that drive the blood through my veins. A band whose presence is on point and their on stage banter a bonus. Although IN THIS MOMENT puts on a good show, their set is definitely better suited for indoors in the dark which helps proper their art in the appropriate direction. MASTODON is everything they always will be and more as they treat us to new music and play the classics. SOCIAL DISTORTION had a rough spot on the bill playing the JD stage before Metallica and although SD played incredibly well, it's obvious the younger generation is unfortunately unaware of their legacy and their slower paced songs seem to go over the heads of the crowd and MIKE NESS seems to realize this with onstage banter yet I still give the mighty SD a thumbs up. Besides, without SD and Metallica we wouldn't have Volbeat.
And speaking of METALLICA yet again and with some of the delicious BLACKENED WHISKEY in my veins, it's time to witness the spectacle again. There are not many bands who command this amount of respect as well as have the fan base that Metallica has garnered over the years. Night two opens with HARDWIRED followed by THE FOUR HORSEMEN. Obviously they were going to celebrate the 30th anniversary of THE BLACK ALBUM and in reverse order which made sense because when you can end with ENTER SANDMAN then encore with FIGHT FIRE WITH FIRE and close with CREEPING DEATH, the crowd will leave exhausted and that's exactly what we did.
DWP does an amazing job with festivals and adding more space to Aftershock for more people as well as better abilities to distance if wanted added to the experience. You can't forget the amazing partners that all help make it possible.