GALLERY: Aftershock stomps into Sacramento

Slipknot, KISS, My Chemical Romance and Muse headline the rock festival


Alyssa Branum

Aftershock returned to Sacramento at Discovery Park from Oct. 6-9, 2022. Slipknot, KISS, My Chemical Romance and Muse headlined the rock festival.

Jenelle Lum and Chris Woodard

Thousands gather off Interstate 5 under the above-average heat of Sacramento’s October sun. A thick cloud of dust, cigarette, marijuana and vape smoke floats over the heads of those that gathered.

The 10th annual festival Aftershock returned to Sacramento from Oct. 6-9 at Discovery Park. Loud screams and cheers from an enthusiastic audience sounded as bands took the stages.

Four stages spread throughout the park with sets no more than five minutes apart.   

Day 1:

Upon a large screen, the words “please be advised, this performance will feature pyrotechnics and loud concussions (booms)” illuminate the area. The crowd cheers after reading, with pinkies and index fingers thrust above their heads until the band arrives. The audience was ready to rock.

Slipknot came to the stage wearing a variety of Halloween masks. Some were inspired by dolls, others had stitches over the eyes and lips. As though they cranked up the volume on the speakers, their set was substantially louder than some of the previous performers.

Colorful lights wrapped around the surrounding trees, painting an aesthetically pleasing picture as Slipknot’s lead singer Corey Taylor screamed into the microphone.

Day 2: 

On the second day of the Sacramento rock festival, intense heat continued to beam down on attendees. That did not stop fans from dressing in tight leather clothes and wearing a full face, KISS-inspired makeup.

KISS headlined the second day and they drew a large crowd. Friday featured performances from Falling in Reverse, Lamb of God and GWAR.

Vendors from different parts of the country had booths lined up around the entire park. Some of the vendors included The Pretty Cult, Hellflower Soap Company and Spencer’s.

The varied aroma permeating from the many food trucks and tents on the scene. The lines were packed with hungry attendees between performances.

Day 3: 

The festival gates opened again at noon on the third day.

The beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic put many things on hold, including the long-anticipated reunion tour of My Chemical Romance. After splitting in 2013, the renowned emo band reunited in 2019 and began their reunion tour in May 2022.

Before MCR’s set, the band displayed a graphic with the words “look after each other, if someone falls, help them up. Security are here to help if you need it. Have a great night!” A few songs in, frontman Gerard Way noticed distress in the crowd. Way paused the show and ensured the safety of the audience before carrying on.

Fortunately, Aftershock employees were at the ready and attendees overwhelmed with the noise, dehydration or other causes were promptly removed from the crowded mass.

Co-headlining the evening was Vacaville based band Papa Roach, was supported by the University of California Davis’ marching band on their final song, “Born for Greatness.”

Day 4:

The final day arrived; the contrast between four-day festival attendees and single-day ticketholders was glaring. With temperatures once again well into the 90s, a bulk of the audience huddled in shaded locations, resting their aching lower bodies.

“It’s really, really hot here!” Paulina Villarreal Velez of The Warning said after finishing her afternoon set. “I’m so lucky the sun was hitting the speakers and wasn’t in my face.”

The original day-four headliner was Foo Fighters, who canceled their live shows after the tragic death of their drummer Taylor Hawkins. Muse was announced as the replacement in May.

Muse closed the festival with minimal talking and introduced each song with a lengthy jam session. Toward the end of the set, frontman Matt Bellamy donned a LED jacket with a matching glove synthesizer for their hit “Supermassive Black Hole.”

Just before Muse closed the festival, Florida’s Shinedown performed a firework-filled thriller of a set and the pyrotechnic warning made another appearance.

Aftershock 2022 is the 10th time the festival has rocked across Sacramento and the second year in a row as a four-day event.

“The Danny Wimmer Presents team, I think, are the best at what they do in the industry,” chief of communications for Visit Sacramento Kari Miskit said. “It’s like a small city, and they handle it with a kind of perceived ease, but it is this incredibly well thought out strategic system.”