It may still be 108 degrees out but I can already hear autumn calling out to us. And while I love all of the seasons, I hold a special place in my heart for autumn: the nights drawing in, the cooler mornings and evenings, soups instead of salads, Halloween and Dia de los Muertos… And also Aftershock! This will be our second year attending (you can see what I had to say about last year’s event right here), and I’m even more excited about the line up this year than I was last year! I know I previously said that we might just take the baby this year, but after seeing the line-up I really want the girls to come too. I know, I know, they probably won’t remember seeing Nine Inch Nails live when they are older, but I would love for them to see them right here in Sacramento.
In This Moment, @alisontoonphotographer
Back in 2000 my mother moved to California and I came over with her for a week, my first time in the US. That week also happened to be the same week that Nine Inch Nails played a sold out show at the Sacramento Valley Amphitheater, with, as opening band, A Perfect Circle. While I had been a NIN fan since my early teens, this was my first encounter with Maynard, and opened up the doors to a huge, everlasting love for both Tool and A Perfect Circle. For the rest of that year I had Mer de Noms on constant repeat in my little apartment back in France. It’s still brilliant.
Anyway, I was waiting with baited breath for this year’s Aftershock line up and I actually shed some tears in happiness. Both Nine Inch Nails AND A Perfect Circle will be playing for me again! And thousands of others, but, technically, I know that it will feel like they are only playing for me. I haven’t seen either band live since that day back in June 2000, and I know full well that I am in for a huge treat (and so are thousands of other people). I’m not finished though, because who else is going to be gracing the Aftershock stage (again) this year? Another all-time favorite of mine Mr Marilyn Manson himself! (I really hope he releases that album soon by the way, I have been waiting for it since early spring!). And also: the one and only Ozzy Osbourne.
(It’s really a family affair you see… My mum used to try to frighten her mum by playing Black Sabbath; I used to try to scare mine by playing Manson and NIN. It worked so well that my mother has since shot Manson several times, with her camera, as well as 100’s of other bands and shows all over the world).
Marilyn Manson, @alisontoonphotographer
And while these bands/artists are at the top of my all-time favorites list, and I can’t wait to catch them again, there are so many more bands playing over the two-day festival. Some crowd favorites such as Five Finger Death Punch and Stone Sour, Mastodon, Halestorm and Gojira, all of whom are definitely going to put on a brilliant show. And then, others that I REALLY don’t want to miss like Highly Suspect, Eagles of Death Metal (last seen in 2006 at Irving Plaza in NYC), In This Moment, and Nothing More, who have been on steady rotation over the past few months in this household. And can I also say Suicidal Tendencies?? My 1994 16 year old self is still very much alive and kicking.
Nothing More, @alisontoonphotographer
See, this is what I love about a proper rock festival: while you can be 16 and have a fantastic time (and probably end up in a few mosh pits), you can also be nearly 40 and still have an amazing time, watching bands that put a brilliant show on 15 years ago, and an even better one today - all the while discovering new and up and coming bands. I am really looking forward to discovering more of Deap Vally (a little Juliette Lewis, a little Fluffy, a little riot = right up my street), As Lions (hailing from my homeland), and He Is Legend.
You have to agree with me… This line up is pretty great, no? And while the music is a driving force for me, a festival is also all about the entire experience. Last year I really loved just walking around and taking it all in: the people, the atmosphere, the love, the happiness, the food, and all of the different charities and happenings taking place around the music. When you buy your ticket for Aftershock you don’t just get the bands you love, but also a real festival, just like the festivals I grew up with. I love that the organizers work with different organizations and charities, such as The Music Experience and Fxck Cancer, giving us all a chance to experience what they do and do our own bit to help. I will post more about them, and the others, next week, as I feel like they deserve their own spotlight!
So, Nine Inch Nails, we shall meet again in Sacramento, and I cannot bloody wait!!!
Aftershock will take place on Saturday October 21st and Sunday October 22nd at Discovery Park in Sacramento. For information on tickets, food, policies etc check out the Aftershock website.
Marilyn Manson, @alisontoonphotographer