Music News & Reviews

Aftershock unveils two headliners. Why one frontman calls Sacramento a ‘rad city’

Deftones, formed 30 years ago in a South Sacramento garage, is one of the headliners at this year's Aftershock Festival.
Deftones, formed 30 years ago in a South Sacramento garage, is one of the headliners at this year's Aftershock Festival. Ashton-Magnuson Media

Hints have dropped on social media since February about which bands will headline Aftershock Festival, the two-day hard rock event set for Oct. 13-14 at Discovery Park. Those who were able to decipher the grainy video and other teasers released by festival organizers were correct: System of a Down and Deftones, the hard rock stars from Sacramento, will headline Aftershock 2018.

More than 30 other acts are set to perform, including Alice in Chains, Incubus, Godsmack, At the Drive-In, Shinedown, 311, Jonathan Davis of Korn and Slash, the guitarist for Guns N’ Roses who will be backed by Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators.

Deftones, who formed 30 years ago in a South Sacramento garage, have an Aftershock connection back to the festival’s first year. Aftershock debuted in 2012 as a single-day concert that drew about 12,500 rock fans to Discovery Park for a line-up that included Deftones along with such rock favorites as Bush and Stone Temple Pilots.

Aftershock has since grown into a two-day festival that now ranks as the Sacramento area's largest annual concert event. The 2017 version of Aftershock, which included the heavy metal icon Ozzy Osbourne as a headliner, drew a combined weekend attendance of nearly 50,000.

"(Aftershock's) been really good since the beginning," said Chino Moreno, the singer for Deftones, in a phone call with The Bee. "It's a heavier festival but it's not one-sided. There's always a lot of different options for the heavy music lovers. We're looking forward to it. Sacramento's a rad city that I have a lot of love for."

Aftershock is produced by Danny Wimmer Presents, a Los Angeles-based company that produces large-scale rock festivals around the country. Previous versions of Aftershock have attracted ticket holders from nearly every state in the country along with Canada, the United Kingdom, South America and Russia.

"Aftershock is one of our biggest-attended festivals in our entire calendar year," said Gary Spivack, the executive vice president and talent buyer for Danny Wimmer Presents. "It's clearly our No. 1 festival on the West Coast, without debate. We're making it our goal to make this the highest-attended Aftershock in its history."

Deftones' upcoming appearance at Aftershock marks a rare show for the band in 2018. Apart from a short upcoming tour of South America and a few European festival dates over the summer, Deftones are taking most of 2018 to work on material for a new album. The group's previous record, 2016's "Gore," debuted at No. 2 on Billboard's album charts and was named among the best heavy metal albums of that year by Rolling Stone magazine. Deftones' headlining slot will be the band's first hometown show since 2015, when the group performed at Aftershock with such acts as Slipknot, Marilyn Manson and Jane's Addiction.

Aftershock is also hotly anticipated by fans of System of a Down, the politically charged group that's sold millions of albums worldwide. System of a Down hasn't toured the United States in three years and last performed locally in 2006.

Other Aftershock highlights include a rare Sacramento performance from At the Drive-In, the explosive and critically acclaimed Texas band, and Everlast, the rapper from House of Pain who also found success as a singer-songwriter. Sacramento will also be represented at Aftershock by Dance Gavin Dance, a popular band on the post-hardcore circuit that formed locally in 2005.

"The (Aftershock) line-up sounds really good this year," Moreno said. "System (of a Down) doesn't play too many shows, so it should be fun. It's kind of a no-brainer: (we're playing our) hometown, we've done it before and it's been great."

Aftershock tickets go on sale Friday, April 13, at noon. Two-day general admission tickets start at $149.50 plus service fees, and $299.50 plus service fees for VIP packages that include special entrance lanes for the festival, a VIP-only viewing area of the stages and other perks. Single-day prices start at $89.50 for general admission and $179.50 for VIP packages. Service fees will also be added to these ticket prices.

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