Aftershock Festival Day One Highlights: Sweat, Dirt & Metal


More than 15,000 metal maniacs descended on Sacramento’s Discovery Park on Saturday for the kickoff of the 2014 Monster Energy Aftershock Festival, which featured performances from Weezer, Limp Bizkit, Black Label Society, Pepper, Bad Religion, Chevelle and many others.

Check out our run of highlights and lowlights from Day One at Aftershock! 

Unlikely Heroes: Limp Bizkit

Limp Bizkit

We’ve all loved to hate them at one point or another, but polarizing rap-rock 90s holdouts Limp Bizkit treated naysayers to a rude awakening, as the quartet blasted through a greatest-hits run like it was 1999 all over again (photo gallery). Girls lost their minds, bros fist-pumped their asses off and the entirety of Discovery Park in Sacramento became on colossal, violently churning pit during the band’s midday set. Both men & women flowed over the rail into the arms of security, like rats abandoning a sinking ship – but the only truly sinking feeling anyone in attendance got was due to the nauseating moment where frontman Fred Durst caught a pair of panties, sniffed them deeply, and proceeded to wrap them around his mic while he sang the rest of the song. With temperatures hovering near triple digits on Saturday, one can only imagine the funk…


Definitely Not Tool: Chevelle


The average listener remembers them as a band who sounded a little too close to Tool to take seriously, but Chevelle are a live act to be reckoned with. They took to the midday stage on Saturday with a career-spanning arsenal of rockers, punctuated by wildly celebrated new song “Take Out The Gunman”. Sure, the dude still sounds a little like Maynard, but we’ll let it slide. These guys bring the goods.


WTF Booking: Pepper


Who booked a stoner-friendly hippie-baiting band of surfers from San Diego to play the almost all-metal Aftershock festival? It’s a confounding concept, but Pepper rose to the challenge in Sacramento on Saturday with a midday performance high on smiles and buoyant energy, riling up a crowd that initially didn’t seem to know what to do with a band far more in the Sublime world than the Rob Zombie one. They were all eventually won over, resulting in one of the strangest moments of the weekend – picture five thousand black-clad metalheads grooving along with the chill vibes during a stoner-anthem feel-good jam. Weird, right? Nevertheless, the results were impressive.


Grinding To a Halt: Tech N9ne

Tech N9n

The world’s most successful independent rapper Tech N9ne delivered the goods on Saturday, effectively weirding the hell out of the few thousand curious metal revelers within earshot (photo gallery). Did we hear a semi-cover of “Rock Me Amadeus” in there? Yes, I’m pretty sure we did. We also heard a long, poignant tale on the death of the man’s mother, which doesn’t exactly make for an exhilarating festival experience, particularly at the end of his set. 


Dad Rock Champions: Bad Religion

Bad Religion

These guys kill it, make no mistake. But Bad Religion frontman Greg Grafffin looks every part the PHD, college professor and author that he is. It can get distracting, particularly when his lyrics are razor-sharp statements of sociopolitical struggle. We’re feeling a certain muted pressure to do some homework.


The Real Enemy: Dust


At Aftershock, dust-driven dirt-boogers are the leading cause of looking like you crawled out of a dumpster. Lucky for us, everyone looked that way. Save the fashion fits for Coachella – Aftershock isn’t the place for styled selfies, unless sweat-soaked black t-shirts are your thing.


Men Among Boys: Black Label Society

Black Label Society Zakk Wylde

These cats absolutely freakin’ crushed it. ‘Nuff said.


Headscratcher Headliner: Weezer


Weezer closed out a metal-packed Day One at Aftershock on Saturday, and despite the obvious genre shift the nerd-rock champions rose to the challenge with a hits-packed and career-spanning set. Granted, Rivers Cuomo and friends weren’t nearly as out of place as early-day performers Pepper, but it wasn’t without humor that we watched legions of black-clad, sweating kids with menacing scowls rocking the eff out to a song as ridiculously cheeseball as “Back To The Shack”. In all, the “Hash Pipe” rockers ended Aftershock 2014’s kickoff with one hell of a solid performance. (Photo gallery)


On to Day Two of Aftershock with Rob Zombie, Theory of a Deadman, Pennywise, Mastodon and more!


All Photos: Johnny Firecloud