A day full of classic thrash metal with a blend of artists who have been around for decades and are just getting started, Aftershock’s day one of festivities curated to ramp up excitement for the weekend to come. The ninth year running in Sacramento’s Discovery Park kicked fans off to an experience that has merely tapped into the essence of what makes this unique festival its most magical. Sacramento is known for their crazy crowds. After two years of no shows, people were very excited to be back among strangers with music in common.
Oxymorrons started out the entire event strong with a blend of rock and smooth rap beats, full of life and energy that radiated across the stage. Wearing matching tees of green and black, the lighting coordinated with their color schemes as they presented music from their brand new EP, Mohawks and Du-Rags.
“I’ve been craving that human connection,” the lead vocalist commented with a smile. “Let’s come together and rock.”
Fit For A King was replaced last minute by The Destroy Boys, due to unforseen circumstances. Coming onto the KOLAS stage this non-binary and female led Sacramento-local band offered up a performance that breathed in a sense of nostalgia for the cool girl-band rock of the eighties with a fresh new twist. The fast tempo of each track continued to build anticipations as the lead vocals sang out the release we all needed regarding tough topics to talk about. The guitarist and backing vocalist expressed their excitement for being onstage as they embraced the crowd that showed their support for the band with open arms.
We want to thank Fit For A King. If you were here for them we want to thank you for giving us a chance. We are from Sacramento. 916. Just as it says on the back of my disgusting Toyota Camry. We are so excited to be here, at Aftershock.
~ The Destroy Boys
Death Angel took the stage next, beginning their performance strong with an infectious mosh worthy set of riffs. The circle pits opened and the band rocked with its radiant energy and classic rock essence that emanated through the crowd. “It’s Thursday. It’s a thrash metal show. You’re on the grass,” the vocalist paused, then winked at some of the members of the crowd. “Now get ready to THRASH!”
Each member of the band played the crowds with ease, making eye contact with as many people in the crowd as they could before performing for what appeared to be just them and them alone. This created an intimate experience for everyone in attendance. When the members made eye contact it made the experience all the more personal.
It’s our first show in almost two years. Thank you, Aftershock, for making us feel alive.
~ Death Angel
Knocked Loose introduced themselves with a sprint to the stage and screamed with their heavy vocals: “SACRAMENTO MAKE SOME NOISE!” They took up the entire mass of the stage with frantic movements and breakdowns that shook the ground and that you could feel deeply within your bones.
“One thing we love is playing breakdowns. And that’s about it,” they shouted to the crowd, and were met with loud cheering in response.
Across the park, the Coor’s Light Stage was set alight with Exodus‘s performance. The crowd embraced everyone as their own as they became a mass of movement. The band expressed their excitement for the drummer’s official return for this performance. Having just “kicked cancer right in the f***ing face” he is back stronger than ever.
And during the performance, as you stood and watched, you had to have one eye on the crowd at all times as they gathered in a massive circle that took up a massive part of the front of the stage. Those who weren’t in the pit moshed on their own…pushing along everyone in sight, and beckoning more to join in the mass of the circle that slowly swallowed the entire crowd up. And while they did this, they picked up their brothers and sisters if they had fallen, all while grinning from ear to ear.
Anthrax brought in the electricity and the rush of the crowd. With a practiced energy they filled the park with sound. The classic guitar riffs melted the crowd into a state of energy that couldn’t be contained. Celebrating forty years of their existence, this performance was something a bit more special. As their exclusive anniversary poster was held up high in the background of the stage, the band raged across the stage and lit the crowd up with a renewed fire in their being.
Testament then took the Coor’s Light Stage. Inspiring the crowd to let out all the pent up energy held within them for two years, this audience too showed their wild side. With classic thrash metal breakdowns and heavy guitar riffs that fueled the adrenaline of the crowd, we all danced together under the freshly risen moonlight and sang along to every word the band had to sing.
The winds were roaring by the time that Cypress Hill joined the stage. Playing the hits that everyone knows by heart, their energy was infectious and spread through the crowd. Featuring this interactive set, the performers finished off the night with a strength and power behind their words that inspired fans to keep pushing onward.
True, dedicated Aftershock fans showed up today due to the constant shift of the schedule over the last two years. And out of it came the core… the essence of what the show is all about and what these people are here for… to experience music with others and to express their true selves. For the first day of performances in two years, and the first show back for many in the crowd, this day was unlike any other.
Listen to our full playlist below: