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 continues 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.
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 Prong, Taipei Houston, Killswitch Engage, and Bad Religion.
KISS headlined Day 2, and they made sure that they brought all the fire that 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. Lamb of God closed out the night on the Kolas stage right before, debuting “Nevermore” and “Vanishing” from their ninth studio record Omens , which was released the very same day. They also brought out Bay Area guitar hero Phil Demmel (Vio-Lence, ex-Machine Head) for “Redneck.” Meanwhile, Danzig delivered a 10-song set of favorites spanning his eponymous band’s career, while Clutch, GWAR, and Apocalyptica were all additional highlights of the day.
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.” Papa Roach, who were playing their biggest hometown show ever (they’re from nearby Vacaville), closed out the Kolas stage, and 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). Earlier in the day Ho99o9 put on a raging set, while Metal Ambassador and Sirius XM host Jose Mangin and his daughter introduced Halestorm.
The fourth and final day featured headliner Muse , who had stepped in after Foo Fighters had to cancel, and they definitely won over the crowd with their high energy and pyro filled set. Shinedown brought just as much fire, and closed out the second main stage. Day 4 also belonged to a number of strong women, as New Years Day, The Interrupters, Band-Maid, and The Pretty Reckless all delivered rousing sets.
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.
Photo Gallery – Aftershock Festival 2022 (click to expand and scroll through):
All photos by Raymond Ahner ( @raymond_ahner )