The time of year has arrived when Sacramento erupts into an epicenter of hard rock and mainland for mosh pits. Monster Energy Aftershock will rumble at Discovery Park on Saturday, Oct. 22, and Sunday, Oct. 23 – a one-two punch of a festival that draws some of the biggest rock bands in the land.
More than 20,000 concertgoers will descend each day on Discovery Park, making this the largest music festival that Sacramento will host all year. Previously the event pumped upward of $11 million into the local economy and drew fans from around the country. According to organizers at Danny Wimmer Presents, the producer of Aftershock, 50 percent of the ticket sales come from outside California.
Aftershock returns to its roots for the 2016 version of the festival. Aftershock ran at Discovery Park from 2012 to 2014 and then moved to Gibson Ranch for a 2015 edition, which included Deftones and Slipknot as headliners. Given the traffic problems and other logistical challenges of Gibson Ranch, Aftershock has moved back to Discovery Park with a heavyweight lineup that includes Tool, Slayer, Korn and more than 30 other bands.
Plenty of music will be packed into the weekend, and now’s a chance to do some planning. Here are The Bee’s tips for Aftershock and other guidance for before and after the festival. Check it out and rock on.
Parking at Aftershock
The return of Aftershock to Discovery Park is welcome news to many attendees, given the festival’s proximity to downtown and possibly fewer traffic jams than what was experienced in 2015 at Gibson Ranch. But this year’s parking plan has never been used at either location. The bulk of concertgoers will be shuttled from the Sleep Train Arena parking lot to Discovery Park. Advance passes for the 1,600 premium parking spaces near Discovery Park are sold out, but some will be released on show days.
For Danny Wimmer Presents, this shuttle-based traffic plan is unlike anything the company has used at other festivals it produces around the country.
“It’s a big experiment for us and the county to get it right,” said Danny Hayes, chief executive officer of Danny Wimmer Presents, about the parking lot shuttles. “But we’re happy to be back at Discovery Park. It was the inspiration for the festival, and we’d love for it to stay there. That’s our intention.”
Shuttle passes cost $15 daily, or $30 for a weekend pass. For those catching a ride to the festival, ride-share drop-off will be available at Discovery Park Boater’s Lot, which is accessible via Jibboom Street.
Now that you’re parked and settled in at Discovery Park, it’s time to rock out for hours on end. Aftershock boasts an especially heavy-hitting lineup for 2016, with nearly three dozen bands that cover thrash-metal, radio-friendly hard rock, up-and-coming acts and much more. Here are a few best bets:
• Tool (8:20 p.m. Saturday): The enigmatic hard rock band is said to be bringing an especially intense and visually lavish show to Aftershock. The band hasn’t released a new album in 10 years, which only fuels the anticipation for its set and its potential to preview new music.
• Slayer (7:15 p.m. Saturday): A slam-dunk for anyone who’s looking to slam dance away those daily stresses. These titans of speed-metal still bring the power and evil guitar riffs after 35 years in the heavy metal game.
• Primus (6:20 p.m. Saturday): Sacramento’s been a Primus kind of town since the Cattle Club days of the early 1990s. Here’s a chance to witness the band’s quirky hard rock and bass heroics on a local festival stage.
• Deafheaven (4:45 p.m. Saturday): Somewhere between the death-metal grind and the sonic density of shoegaze you’ll find Deafheaven. It’s a sound that doesn’t fit easy definition, which makes the band an especially intriguing presence on the metal scene.
• Max & Iggor Cavalera: Return to Roots (2:55 p.m. Sunday): The co-founders of Sepultura celebrate the 20th anniversary of its classic “Roots” by playing the album in its entirety. It’s a blend of thrashy metal and traditional Braziliam music that still sounds fresh today.
• Some Fear None (11:50 a.m. Sunday): Let’s give some love to the locals. Sacramento’s Some Fear None is the sole local band on the bill, and it will be setting off the whole show on Sunday with a hard rock sound that throws in a few shades of grunge.
• Zakk Sabbath (4:15 p.m. Sunday): He’s known for a long stint as lead guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne, and now Zakk Wylde pays tribute to the almighty Black Sabbath. Let’s see those horns, Sacramento.
• Avenged Sevenfold (7:40 p.m. Sunday): Aftershock wraps up Sunday night, but not without a closing set from Avenged Sevenfold, which was one of Aftershock’s headlining bands in 2013. Expect the place to erupt when this band kicks into the mighty “Bat Country.”
Aftershock After-show Eats
Aftershock ends by 10 p.m. Saturday and by 9 p.m. Sunday, which means there’s decent enough time to grab a bite to eat after the show and rest those eardrums. Of course, the ability to grab some post-show grub will be affected by the overall traffic and parking lot situation, but assuming all goes well there should be opportunity to land at nearby spots that aren’t limited to drive-thrus and 24-hour coffee shops. Here are a few food picks fairly close to Discovery Park and open late:
• Ryujin Ramen House (1831 S St., Sacramento; open until midnight Saturday and 10 p.m. on Sunday): Here’s a perfect spot to warm up after spending a Sacramento fall evening outdoors, or a way to get rehydrated after a day in the mosh pits. Ryujin Ramen House in midtown specializes in Japanese noodle soups and a variety of small plates for snacking, including yakitori chicken skewers, pot stickers and more.
• Ink Eats and Drinks (2730 N St., Sacramento; open until 4 a.m. Saturday and 1 a.m. Sunday): This perennial late-night spot in midtown has the kind of tattoo-themed decor that makes a good match with Aftershock. The menu itself is loaded with a variety of sandwiches, a half-pound burger, breakfast plates and starters.
• Burgers and Brew (1409 R St., Sacramento; open until 3 a.m. Saturday and midnight Sunday): Aftershock itself has plenty of burger options, including Barrett’s Gourmet Burgers and a ginormous cheeseburger from the Bacon Mania truck, but here’s a place to fill up if you’re still hankering for some ground beef. Along with a wide range of burgers, you’ll find plenty of craft brews to wash it all down.
Monster Energy Aftershock
Who: Tool, Slayer, Primus, Anthrax, Deafheaven, many others (Saturday); Avenged Sevenfold, Korn, Disturbed, Ghost, many others (Sunday)
When: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 23
Where: Discovery Park, 1000 Garden Highway, Sacramento
Cost: $94.50 for single day ticket; $214.50 for general admission weekend day ticket