Monday, September 24, 2012

Aftershock: first thoughts

Photos on their way... twelve bands in one day, there are a few to edit and upload. Go to my Flickr photostream and you'll see the sets for each band on the right of the page. You many need to scroll to "other sets" at the bottom of the page, to see them all.

Aftershock 2012: a metal-fest in Discovery Park, Sacramento. Some of the bands I really enjoyed, some not-so-much, but that's more about my taste in music than anything else. It was a fun day out.

I believe the festival had been planned and set-up in a relatively short amount of time for an event of this size. Parking was a little odd: following the driving directions from east-of-Sac, I ended up parked on a weedy field about a mile from the concert stages, just to find plenty of parking inside the Park, but no way to get there from the road, as it was blocked by Security. The bands' sets were running, consistently, about twenty minutes late throughout the day, but that wasn't too bad. Lots of food and drink available, at a price: small bottle of water was 3$, soda the same. Alcoholic beverages more expensive--and while the presenters kept reminding everyone, "three beers, one water", I don't think everyone stuck to that advice! By the end of the day, there were plenty of "happy" people around. (I promise not to repeat some of the conversations overheard in the crush for Stone Temple Pilots. Well maybe. They were seriously funny. I didn't tape them, honest.)

The day turned out hot: starting with some cloud cover in the morning, and quite humid for Sacramento... and then the sun came out and the heat turned up, way up! Shade was under the big trees around the edge of the park. Standing in front of the stages, sun burning down on your head and shoulders, it was intense. I hope everyone brought sunblock.

By later in the day, by the time Bush came on stage, the crowd was huge. Filled the park. People on blankets, people standing, people on the grass under the trees; people crowding the stages and standing further-back to watch the show, some just rocking out further away from the stages (I think you should have been able to hear the music in Rocklin. Or Modesto. It was LOUD). Families. All ages, with each band's popularity tending to pull from a different age group (Hollywood Undead: under twenty; STP; older than that!)  People from Sacramento and Roseville and Modesto and Chico and all over the area. Saw some incredible tattoo artwork--and some very interesting "comment-on-me" T-shirts. Oh and a a lot of medicinal herb being smoked... a lot.

My notes from the shows:

- Fallrise: local band starting off the festival. I think I have some nice pics of the singer
- Stepchild: (Putting my "mother" hat on: if any of my kids spoke like that at home, I'd wash their mouths out with soap-and-water. And I promise you, I'm not an abusive parent.) Somehow I couldn't get past all the "F... you" and "MF"s to hear the music. Their fans love them!
- Beware of Darkness: I enjoyed this set. They reminded me of Morphine. Not the drug, the band. OK?
- Gemini Syndrome.  BRILLIANT.  Loved them. More later!
- Theory of a Deadman... enjoyed them more than I expected to
- Hell or Highwater: as part of their set, they performed a new song... Pretty Penetration.  Hmmmm...
- Chevelle: I don't understand why the had a huge, black, bull on the stage. Can somone explain please? Their latest album is entitled, "Hats off to the Bull", so I guess that's why the bull is on tour with them... ! I (think) I liked the music, but that was once I was away from the stage. So loud it was impossible to hear close-up. Will need to take another listen.
- Escape the Fate: young band, pretty, introduced by "I'm-Craig-and-I'm-an-alcoholic". Drawing a younger crowd.
- Bush. Quality! Really enjoyed them--musically and photographically.
- Oleander: Local Sacramento band with a good following.
- Deftones: now this was all about the experience of being in the pit, Deftones on stage, and watching the fans. Security guys lifting fan after fan over the barricade, so that they could go scootling off. Don't know if this is a ritual with Deftones, or if the fans were dehydrated/feeling sick/ or just crushed in the crowd.  Whatever; it was interesting to watch. Very loud music. I think I have some good headbanging shots.
- Hollywood Undead: crowd of very young fans, waiting all day to see them. Lots of people from early in the day, wearing Hollywood Undead T-shirts. Mix of rap and metal. But... hell to photograph. It was almost-night, heavy dusk, the band wore masks, and there was no light on their faces. Will be lucky to have one or two (lucky) shots.
- Stone Temple Pilots: had waited all day to see them. Five minutes before start, security cleared all the photographers out of the pit, saying a photo-pass wasn't enough, we needed a special STP pass (which no-one had). So darnit, by that time it was near impossible (and impossible with a backpack) to wriggle into the crowd for some up-close shots. I'll be luck if I have anything decent from a distance. BUT they were on form, STP rocks!


  1. You saw all 10 bands, nice.

    I saw Theory of a Deadman, Chevelle, Bush, Oleander, Deftones, STP. I was tired of standing toward the end of the night, during the waiting in between the Deftones and STP. But STP put on a good show, and made it easier.

    Do you know what Oleander's setlist was, by any chance?

  2. A good source for setlists is

  3. Thanks.

    You also mentioned having to listen to a few bands again, such as Chevelle. Did you make an audio recording too?

    1. Nuramanoo: I'm not sure what you're getting at here. I was at the festival, with a Press/Photo pass, to take professional/newsworthy still photos. I am not a sound engineer nor do I record music. "Listening again" means previewing songs through a LEGAL source, such as, and then BUYING.

      For my views on copyright abuse, see

      Anyone who appreciates music must understand the investment--both financial and emotional--that musicians make. If we, as fans and listeners, do not make sure they are paid for their time and investment, like with any other job, then soon we will have very little music to listen to.

    2. Ok, sorry for the confusion. I thought you may have recorded a song or two on a cameraphone or digital camera. And if so, I was asking if that's how you were going to listen to it again.

      You clarified by saying you would listen to the samples available on or similar sources.

      I was not asking for a recording.