Aftershock Music Festival 2022

aftershock 2022 music festival

The 2022 Aftershock Festival took place in Sacramento from Thursday (October 6th) through Sunday (October 9th), and once again staged an event that was even bigger than the previous year. Now stretching four days and spread out on four stages, this year’s installment had something for everyone, as promoter Danny Wimmer Presents to expand and diversify the lineup. And although the weather was quite warm in the low 90’s each day, that didn’t stop the massive crowds from enjoying every minute of the festival.

Hello and welcome to the Rock n Coasters Podcast. I’m Michele Forto for First Paw Media. Today we are talking about the 2022 Aftershock Festival in California. I am flying solo on this podcast because Robert is recouping from dental surgery and is not up to host with me yet. That’s okay, I break down the whole four days and our thoughts on the bands we wanted to see.

Slipknot, Evanescence and Rob Zombie

 We arrived early to the festival after spending more than an hour trying to figure out parking. Unlike Louder Than Life you must park miles away from the festival grounds and take a bus over. On day 1 there were a few hiccups, but they worked it out by the evening runs. We drove our Toyota Rav4 down from Seattle that we purchased earlier in the summer, and it was an awesome road trip. We took the scenic route down the California coast, through the redwoods, and even stopped in San Francisco. Robert and I do our best to see as much as of the country as we can on these trips and this one was no different.

Day 1 was headlined by Slipknot, with frontman Corey Taylor and company churning out classics like “Wait and Bleed,” “Psychosocial” and “Surfacing” alongside “The Dying Song (Time to Sing)” from their brand-new album, THE END, SO FAR. Rob Zombie closed out the Kolas stage right before Slipknot’s set, and delivered a mighty selection of his shock-rock hits to a packed audience. Other highlights from the day included Evanescence, Rob Zombie, and Stone Temple Pilots.

It was pretty dang hot the whole weekend, but the grounds were laid out much better that LTL with plenty of trees and VIP is worth it. My advice, if you are going to invest the time into going to one of the big festivals like this, I highly encourage you to buy the Weekend VIP Passes, especially if you are over 50 like we are.

The festival grounds are a bit wonky in their layout with the two main stages separated by the VIP section in the middle, so it takes some time to figure out the best way to navigate the throngs of people as the sets are only about five minutes apart on the start times.

Robert and I were excited to see Evanescence for the first time. I remember more than a decade ago, we had bought tickets in Denver, but they canceled at the last minute. Amy Lee did not disappoint, and she belted out all of her hits it was fun to see this band after so long.

Of course, Robert and I could not wait to see the Rob Zombie set. As soon as they guys hit the stage, Robert could immediately tell it was not your typical Zombie show. Of course, all the props, videos were there but John 5 was noticeably absent. Riggs was back after more than 20 years and while he sounded okay you could tell he was rusty, even on the tunes that he had a hand in writing way back in the day. Rob Zombie and John 5 were magic together for all these years. Along with Piggy D and Ginger Fish the quartet seemed to be an awesome band. It took about a month for J5 to announce why he wasn’t there—he joined Motley Crue!

Slipknot was the headliner, and if you follow this podcast, you will know that we just saw these guys in Seattle a couple of months earlier. That was one of the best concerts I have ever seen, and this set proved nothing different. While we were way in the back, it was still a slipknot show and my God, the energy!

Kiss, Danzing, Falling in Reverse, Apocalytica

One of the things that we always try to do is to find unique and fun restaurants to try when we are traveling. We found the Fox and Goose Public House and Robert had a triple shot espresso, 5-hour energy, and a Red Bull before entering the festival. Just wait; this will play into the story in just a bit.

They had the parking and shuttles figured out and we made it to the festival grounds by 2pm. It was going to be a day of a lot of great bands, and we were excited to be here! If I can say, the festival grounds along the river are huge and it snakes all the way back to under the freeway. Here you will find a couple of smaller stages and most food vendors. It reminds me of an old, medieval market. The DWPresents stage is tucked away in a corner and Robert and I watched the Apolalytica set. These guys were awesome. We have been fans for a long time, but this was the first time seeing them live. If you ever get a chance, watch them. We always say that there is one band that truly makes the festival for us, and this was the band this year.

We spent most of the day wandering back and forth catching bits of the sets from the bands we didn’t care too much about. By the time it was getting dark, Danzing hit the stage and Robert, and I watched it from one of the picnic tables in the VIP section. Nothing remarkable but Glen still has it after all these years. Lamb of God was up next and while they are not our cup of tea you could tell they were a fan favorite at the festival. They were loud, fast and in your face heavy metal just what the festival is all about.

But the true highlight of the festival for us was Kiss, and we almost missed it. Right before they were set to take the stage Robert had some sort of medical incident where his heart rate sky-rocketed to more than 180. Remember all the caffeine earlier in the day? He was a step away from going to the medical tent but told me, “Wouldn’t it be ironic if his first and last concert was Kiss,” noting that he saw the band for the first time when he was six years old.

By the time Gene, Paul, and the boys hit the stage, Robert seemed to be okay, or maybe he was just acting like he was, but my goodness did Kiss put on a show!

KISS headlined Day 2, and they ensured they brought all the fire they possibly could with them. Playing 18 songs, the legendary band performed one of Aftershock’s most memorable sets ever, and when they closed out their set with “Rock and Roll All Nite,” it was the perfect way to close out the day.

My Chemical Romance, A Day to Remember, Papa Roach, Halestorm, Theory of a Deadman

We knew going into this festival that day three would be a good one because they had a couple bands that we wanted to see, mainly Halestorm and Theory of a Deadman. After the medical incident with Robert the day before we want to make sure we drank plenty of fluids and got a good meal before we headed in. We found The Porch restaurant with some of the best breakfast we have ever had. Wait for the cinnamon roll it is worth it.

I love Lzzy Hale I think she is one of the best female leads in rock and my goodness can she still belt out all of the hits. Sirius XM host Jose Mangin and his daughter introduced Halestorm and told the crowd that this band was the biggest influence for his daughter who was in a band herself.

It was our first time seeing Theory, and they are such a fun band. They remind me of a band you might see at a state fair, and they did not disappoint. By the time Papa Roach hit the stage, it was dark and what a fun set! Robert and I have seen these guys a few times over the years. Still, you could see that Papa Roach, who were playing their biggest hometown show ever (they’re from nearby Vacaville), closed out the Kolas stage. They too made sure their fans left happy, playing a setlist that included a cover of The Prodigy’s “Firestarter,” their monster hit “Last Resort,” and “Born for Greatness” (during which they brought out the U.C. Davis Marching band).

Day 3 was headlined by My Chemical Romance, who were arguably the most anticipated band of the entire festival. They did not disappoint their fans, some of whom were waiting up against the barricade all day in the sweltering sun. Gerard Way and company delivered a 17-song set, highlighted by such tunes as “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)” and “Welcome to the Black Parade.”

Muse, The Pretty Reckless, Dirty Honey, Shinedown, Black Label Society

Before heading to the festival, we had some pretty dang good local bar-be-que at Buckhorn BBQ who has been around since the 1930s. We made it to the grounds at about 1 pm.

I was excited to see Dirty Honey. This was a band that I had been telling Robert about for more than a year. Up next was The Pretty Reckless, while it was a short set and really hot, Taylor and the guys put on a rousing set. If you are a fan of this podcast, you know that this is one of Robert’s favorite bands. Fun fact, did you know that anytime we are on a redeye flight, which is almost always because we are coming from Alaska, that Robert puts The Pretty Reckless on shuffle and tries to sleep on the plane. No lie.

Robert was super excited to see Black Label Society. While I will admit I was exhausted and overheated at this point, Robert loved it. Yes, Zakk Wylde is by far one of the greatest guitarists in rock. Of course, BLS played all their hits for the “Sacramento Chapter” and Zakk truly is impressive. It will be interesting to see what happens next year as he just announced that he will be touring with Pantera and playing Dimebag Darrell’s licks. A fun fact, at the time of this recording, Metallica just announced their new tour, and we snagged tickets for 2023 in Phoenix and 2024 in Seattle, Pantera will be at both shows as well as Mammoth, who is lead by Wolfgang Van Halen. I am very excited to see that band.

Shinedown was who we were here to see today. Shinedown brought so much fire and closed out the second main stage. What a fun set. These guys never disappoint, and I think Robert has a new apperception for Brent. A fun fact, did you know that the guitarist, Zach Myers is a huge horror fan and travels with several Michael Myers masks from the Halloween movies. He has them on his guitar stack just off stage. The show was really centered around the band’s latest album Planet Zero and like most of their songs, every one tells a story. A quick side note, go check out the documentary, Attention, Attention on Amazon Prime. It is awesome.

The fourth and final day featured headliner Muse, who had stepped in after Foo Fighters had to cancel after Taylor Hawkin’s death, and they definitely won over the crowd with their high energy and pyro filled set.

By the time it was all said and done, Aftershock once again showed why the festival has become the biggest hard rock and metal fest on the West Coast. Every year, the organizers seem to pull off something even bigger and better than the previous year, meaning that we have a lot to look forward to in 2023.

So what is our overall impression? Aftershock is a fun festival and is put on by the best, most professional promoters in the business. It always seems that pay attention to every detail. While this was our first time, hopefully it won’t be our last. We did purchase tickets to Louder Than Life 2023 while we were here, but I bet we are back to Cali in 2024. I would give the festival a solid 7 out of 10 with just a couple hiccups for the lower rating, namely the parking situation and the lineup, while solid, seemed to be stacked on a couple of days. Did you go to Aftershock? If so, let us know in the comments section or on our social channels, just search Rock n Coasters podcast.

Oh and one last thing, did you know the single best thing you can do for our show is to tell your family and friends how to listen. Who knows, they might just become a rabid listener just like you.


Set Lists

KISS Setlist Aftershock 2022 2022, End of the Road World Tour
Rob Zombie Setlist Aftershock 2022 2022, Freaks On Parade
Slipknot Setlist Aftershock 2022, Knotfest Roadshow Fall 2022
Shinedown Setlist Aftershock 2022 2022, Planet Zero
Black Label Society Setlist Aftershock 2022 2022
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