hard rock

Aftershock continues to rock Sacramento

Monster Energy's Aftershock Fest

Monster Energy’s Aftershock Fest

SACRAMENTO, CA – Monster Energy’s Aftershock Festival rocked Sacramento’s Discovery Park over the weekend with over 35 bands bringing fans a head banging good time.

Great time had by all!

Great time had by all!

Last year, Discovery Park came alive as the first annual Monster Energy’s Aftershock Festival roared into town with 13 hard/alternative rock bands playing to 12,000 screaming fans.

Alien invasion!

Alien invasion!

The second annual Monster Energy’s Aftershock Festival didn’t disappoint, with over 32,000 fans, three stages and 35 plus bands. The festival was out of this world, with crowd surfing aliens, a banana float, and bare naked ladies (not the band!).  The only thing missing from this surfin safari was The Beach Boys.

There were so many highlights over the weekend that we’ve decided to write this up in three parts, with this being out first.


A few of the highlights were:

Bare naked ladies!

Bare naked ladies!
To the finger guy – well played

A Day To Remember’s lead singer Jeremy McKinnon went crowd/body surfing out into the sea of humanity known as metal heads – because that’s how he rolls.

Another memorable moment, again from A Day To Remember, was when they cast out a man in a banana suit to crowd surf. At least they gave him a boat!

Because that's how he rolls

Because that’s how he rolls

Two bands from last year’s Aftershock Festival graduated from the proverbial kids table to the adult table as they took the main stage this year as others performed on the smaller stage. Gemini Syndrome and Hell or Highwater both made it to the big stage this year.

Banana float anyone?

Banana float anyone?

Read last years review: Aftershock hits Sacramento

An up and coming band, that played on the Ernie Ball stage (the smaller stage), graduated to the main stage after Airbourne, who was scheduled to play the main stage, had to cancel. The band, Nothing More, had played on Saturday and won over many fans with their instrumental prowess, so they were asked to return on Sunday to play on the main stage.


People were just dropping in!




The bands included (in no particular order):

Saturday, September 14:
Korn, Megadeth, Shinedown, Papa Roach, Skillet, Buckcherry, Testament, In This Moment, Steel Panther, P.O.D., Otherwise, Love And Death, We As Human, Heaven’s Basement, Girl On Fire, Nothing More, Eye Empire, Butcher Babies.

Awesome views!

Awesome views!


Sunday, September 15:
Avenged Sevenfold, Five Finger Death Punch, Volbeat, A Day To Remember, Asking Alexandria, Halestorm, HIM, Falling In Reverse, All That Remains, Miss May I, SOiL, Nothing More, Gemini Syndrome, Hell or Highwater, Pop Evil, Thousand Foot Krutch,

The festival was fueled by Monster Energy. Additional sponsors for the event included Coors Light, ZING Vodka, Ernie Ball Guitar Strings, Schecter Guitars, Hooters, Army, and The Crazy Dave’s Music Experience

Stay-tuned for review and more photos! We’ll have a gallery of crowd shots too!



DMCA.com Protection Status

Gemini Syndrome’s got a new video!

Aaron Nordstrom – Click for more images

The sometimes serious, sometimes mysterious, and always mystical Gemini Syndrome has just released a new video of their new track “Pleasure and Pain.”  This should placate their fans who are waiting patiently for the release of their new record due out in 2013 – not too much longer!

Alessandro Paveri – Click for more images

This band of lyrical geniuses comprised of Aaron Nordstrom (lead vocals), Rich Juzwick (guitar), Mike Salerno (guitar), Alessandro Paveri (bass), Brian Steele Medina (drums) have totally killed it with this video.

“Pleasure and Pain” is a great song with some heavy lyrics and some heavy guitar playing, as Nordstrom pounds out some awe inspiring guttural verses with just the right amount of his softer side, if there is one.

“Pleasure and Pain” is a testament to the talent of Nordstrom’s vocals, and the great guitar work that can be heard throughout the piece by Juzwick and Salerno.

The video really brings “Pleasure and Pain” to life with some fantastic graphics and some nice close-up and gritty footage of band members playing their instruments – not those instruments!!

Have a listen and enjoy the video!



From Our WTF Department

Jackson, New jersey’s Six Flags Great Adventure won’t be hosting metal concerts anytime in the near future, thanks to some idiot named Ronnie Radke.

For all you metal-heads out there thinking to yourself – Hey, I know that name.

You should, he was one of the original band members and lead singer for Escape the Fate, who just recently played at the Aftershock Music Festival in Sacramento, CA – minus Radke (read the review).

While performing in his latest band Falling In Reverse at Six Flag’s FestEVIL, the 28 year old Radke pulled an insane stunt aimed at his fans. At the end of his set, while singing “The Drug in Me is You,” (which he penned while in the pen) the 28 year old made the brilliant decision to throw a mic stand into the audience. Not just one, but three mic stands in all.

He didn’t just toss them out like a drummer throwing their drumsticks out to pleading fans, no he hurled them into the crowd injuring a couple of concert goers. After his little show of machismo and all things stupid, Radke finished with, “Thank you! Good night!”


Afterwards local authorities charged Radke with simple assault and aggravated assault. He was released on $25,000 bail.

“This was the first metal show that we’ve ever had, and will be the last,” Kristin Siebeneicher, spokeswoman for the theme park, told the Asbury Park Press. “We have no plans to host another metal show.”

Current lead singer for Escape the Fate Craig Mabbitt (L) and TJ Bell

“This performer was completely reckless,” said Siebeneicher. “He had complete disregard for the safety of his fans. His actions were totally unacceptable. It’s not the type of entertainment that we want to be producing.”

This isn’t Radke’s first brush with the law.

Radke was kicked out of Escape the Fate back in 2008 when the band wanted to go on an international tour, but Radke couldn’t leave the country due to being on probation for his involvement in a fatal shooting. Radke did not shoot the victim, but was charged with battery and sentenced to five years’ probation.

To make matters worse, in 2008 Radke was arrested for not checking in with his parole officer, leading to a 2 year prison term, making it kind of difficult to go on tour with Escape the Fate.

I understand the liability issues, but with over 20 bands performing at FestEvil, it’s disappointing to see the park banning all metal acts, due to the actions of one dumbass.


Aftershock Hits Sacramento

Discovery Park in Sacramento, California, came alive as the first annual Monster Energy Aftershock Music Festival roared into town on Sunday as 13 hard/alternative rock bands played to over 12,000 screaming fans.

Discovery Park gone wild! Click for more crowd shots

Sponsoring the event along with Monster Energy was Sacramento’s own 98 Rock, along with Schecter Guitar Research, Jagermeister, and Arms Division.

98 Rock’s Pat Martin – Click for more images

There was a large stage for the more mainstream acts and a smaller stage for the lessor known acts, leaving very little downtime between sets, with the exception of Stone Temple Pilots, who closed the show, but more on that later.

People didn’t have far to walk since the two stages were close together, but as the day heated up many fans camped out under some shade towards the center of the park, providing them with the ability to listen to either stage. There was the occasional fan passed out in the middle of the park, but I guess that’s to be expected.

There was plenty of food and drinks to be had, including several popular food trucks from the area. Beer and mixed drinks were also available. The lines for food and drinks were constant, but not too long. The merchant’s booth had constant lines as well with the wait being a little more than for food.

Sammy Karlin of Fallrise – Click for more images

The bands included FallRise, Stepchild, Beware of Darkness, Gemini Syndrome, Theory of a Deadman, Hell or Highwater, Chevelle,  Escape the Fate, Bush, Oleander, Deftones, Hollywood Undead, and Stone Temple Pilots.

Leading off the pack was Sacramento’s own Fallrise on the main stage followed by Stepchild on the second stage. Both bands were well received and did an awesome job. They were one of the few lucky bands since there was still some cloud cover keeping the area cooled off.

As the music started ramping up with Beware of Darkness and Gemini Syndrome, so did the crowd as a couple of thousand blossomed into at least four thousand in between bands. As the crowd grew, so did the plume of smoke as many concertgoers lit up their holiest of weed, with some heading into the mosh pit for a little head-banging.

Phil Braun of Stepchild – Click for more images

By the time Chevelle hit the main stage there were at least 10,000 energized fans that were ready to rock, as a number of them started crowd surfing. As one person rode the wave into the pit (only to be escorted out) another one would follow. The constant stream of surfers kept security personnel pretty busy for the better part of the day.

Sacramento was well represented with not only Fallrise and Stepchild opening the festival, but helping closeout the event was Oleander and the Deftones. The Deftones also have a new album that will be released in November Koi No Yokan.

Kyle Nicolaides of Beware of Darkness – Click for more images

The biggest standout of the festival was by far Beware of Darkness, with lead singer Kyle Nicolaides killing it with his raspy vocals, onstage antics, and overall stage presence. They could have easily have been deeper in the lineup as Nicolaides owned the stage. He has a Lady Gaga style about him that is bound to take him to new heights.

The biggest surprise of the festival goes to Bush who kicked some major arse as lead singer Gavin Rossdale put on a very high energy show in 90+ degree weather. The 46 year old, and quite fit, Rossdale ventured out into the crowd making his way to a platform off to the side reserved for the handicap. He was constantly fist-bumping and high-fiving fans as he waded through the ever increasing number of fans. Bush still has what it takes and clearly should have been the headliner of the festival.

Aaron Nordstrom of Gemini Syndrome – Click for more images

The biggest disappointment goes to Stone Temple Pilots as their set was delayed with thousands of fans patiently waiting, but the real disappointed was once they got going. Lead singer Scott Weiland sounded a bit off at the start of their set, but was able to bring it home towards the end. However, due to the long wait and the sound being off, hundreds of fans started heading towards the exits before they even finished their first song “Sin.”

I should add that Theory of a Deadman deserved to be further in the lineup, especially after STP’s performance.

My 13 year old son Aidan said his favorite band (other than Hollywood Undead) was the one with Gandolf as the lead singer –  hmmm –  that must have been Gemini Syndrome with lead singer Aaron Nordstrom (as Gandolf).

Tyler Connolly of Theory of a Deadman – Click for more images

Hat’s off to all the drunken fans that were totally wasted and were passed out on the grass, or on grass – as the case may be. Over fifty cabs awaited those more responsible and well behaved fans that were feeling no pain. I just hope the cabbies had barf bags for the short trip home.

The Aftershock Music Festival was a complete success with thousands of fans coming out to have a good time. This should send a message to organizers that the Sacramento region is hungry for similar events in the future. I’m looking forward to the 2ndannual Aftershock Music Festival in 2013.

Matt Pauling of Hell or Highwater



Here is a complete list of bands in order of appearance:

Fallrise (main stage)
Sammy Karlin (lead singer)
Matt Thomas (guitar)
Dave Gorman (guitar)
Anthony Grant (bass)
Isaiah Abdul-Rahman (drum)

Stepchild (2nd stage)
Jimmy Alexander – Lead Vocals
Matt Timbers – Lead Vocals
Garrett Voorhees – Guitar
Phil (Skip) Braun – Bass
Brian (Beatdown) Kelly – Drums

Pete Loeffler of Chevelle – Click for more images


Beware of Darkness (main stage)
Kyle Nicolaides (vocals, guitar)
Tony Cupito (drums)
Daniel Curcio (bass)

Gemini Syndrome (2nd stage)
Aaron Nordstrom (lead vocals)
Rich Juzwick (guitar)
Mike Salerno (guitar)
Alessandro Paveri (bass)
Brian Steele Medina (drums)

TJ Bell or Escape the Fate – Click for more images

Theory of a Deadman (main stage)
Tyler Connolly (lead singer)
Dave Brenner (guitar)
Dean Back (bass)
Joey Dandeneau (drums)

Hell or Highwater (2nd stage)
Brandon Saller (lead singer)
Matt Pauling (guitar)
Neal Tiemann (guitar)
Joey Bradford (bass)
Captain Carl (drums)

Gavin Rossdale of Bush – Click for mire images

Chevelle (main stage)
Pete Loeffler (vocals/guitar)
Sam Loeffler (vocals/drums)
Dean Bernardini (bass)

Escape the Fate (2nd stage)
Craig Mabbitt (lead singer)
Monte Money (guitar)
Michael Money
Robert Ortiz (drummer)
TJ Bell (guitar)


Thomas Flowers of Oleander – Click for more images

Bush (main stage)
Gavin Rossdale – vocals/guitar
Chris Traynor – guitar
Corey Britz – bass
Robin Goodridge – drums

Oleander (2nd stage)
Thomas Flowers (lead singer)
Doug Eldridge (bass)
Ric Ivanisevich (
Steve Brown


Chine Moreno of the Deftones – Click for more images

Deftones (main stage)
Chino Moreno
Stephen Carpenter (guitar)
Abe Cunningham (drums)
Sergio Vega (bass, vocals)
Frank Delgado (keys, turntable)

Hollywood Undead (2nd stage)
George Ragan (Johnny 3 Tears)
Jorel Decker (J-Dog)
Jordon Terrell (Charlie Scene)
Dylan Alvarez (Funny Man)
Matthew St. Claire (Da Kurlzz)
Daniel Murillo  (Danny)

Stone Temple Pilots (main)
Scott Weiland (lead singer)
Dean DeLeo (guitar)
Robert DeLeo (bass, vocals)
Eric Kretz (drums)

Hollywood Undead – Click for more images

STP – Click for more images



Thunder Valley Styx it!

Styx – Click for more images

As Thunder Valley Casino Resort’s Summer Concert Series heads into its final stretch, it’s only fitting to have one of the most popular traveling bands of the 80’s lead off the last month of the series.

Styx, like most of their fans, has gone through a number of changes throughout their existence. Most notably was the death of founding member John Panozzo in 1996, followed by the departure of founding member Dennis DeYoung in 1999.

Much like their fans, Styx consists of young and old including founding members Chuck Panozzo (bass) and James “J.Y.” Young (vocals, lead/rhythm guitar). Longtime member Tommy Shaw (vocals, lead/rhythm guitar), and the latest members Lawrence Gowan (vocals, keyboards), Todd Sucherman (drums), Ricky Phillips (bass).

Due to health issues Chuck Panozzo only occasionally plays with the band. We were lucky enough to have him come out and play a few songs towards the end of the night.

Lawrence Gowan on his spinning music machine

While not quite a sellout crowd it was still pretty packed, especially for a Thursday night. Let’s face it, anyone who’s a fan of Styx from the 80’s is getting along in years, and may find it difficult to get out on a Thursday night, and then turnaround to schlep off to work the next day. The worst part is, at some point we became responsible, gone are the days of calling in sick the next day. What’s up with that?

As Styx kicked off the show with “Blue Collar Man” and Grand Illusion,” the mostly older crowd was on their feet and cheering.

Styx was firing on all cylinders as they continued with “Too Much Time” and “Lady” as most of the crowd started to settle down in their seats. The front rows remained on their feet the entire show. Not sure how the old geezers did it, must have been a miracle drug from the 70’s or 80’s – I’m just saying.

Tommy Shaw and Ricky Phillips

Everyone’s vocals were crystal as they went from one hit to another. In particular were Shaw and Gowan. Gowan really stole the show with his vocals and his antics on his famous spinning keyboard, as he twirled in circles jumping onto, and off of, his keyboard throughout the night’s performance.

It was a very high energy, and highly entertaining, show as the veterans weaved their way through their numerous hits from the 70’s and 80’s.

The highlight for me was when Gowan came out performing solo on his spinning keyboard. He played a melody of songs including Elton John’s “Pinball Wizard,” the Eurhythmics “Sweet Dreams,” and then Gowan would shout a part of a song, point to the audience for them to finish the verse, and they did, on command. As he started to sing “Come Sail Away,” the audience sang their part and then he started playing the song on the keyboard with the band jumping in at the middle of the song. That’s about the time Panozzo joined the band onstage playing bass.

For their encore they blew the crowd away with “Rockin the Paradise” and “Renegade.”

These guys are pure entertainers and a great bunch of guys as some of them stayed behind to sign album covers that fans had brought to the show.

For all of those that haven’t gotten off of their sorry old ass to see Styx, I would highly suggest you do it before you get any friggin older. The last thing you want to do is make your way to your seat – in a walker!

Papa Roach pulls out of UPROAR Festival


Jacoby Shaddix – Click for more images

Papa Roach pulls out of UPROAR Festival after only playing five of the scheduled 30 dates.

This after the 36 year old lead singer, Jacoby Shaddix, announced that he had to undergo vocal cord surgery in order to remove a nodule that has been causing him problems.

“It’s no secret that I’ve been having issues with my voice lately,” Shaddix said, “I was hoping to be able to go out there and kill it on this tour by resting and doing vocal exercises, but my voice has just gone out on me. I hate to let our fans down, but unfortunately surgery is the only way to fix it.”

The Rockstar Energy Drink sponsored tour also includes Shinedown, Godsmack, Staind and Adelitas Way. The tour continues through September 30th, when it wraps up in Albuquerque, NM

The Vacaville-based band is responsible for hits “Last Resort”, “Between Angels And Insects”, “She Loves Me Not”, “…To Be Loved”, “Scars”, “Forever”, and “Hollywood Whore”.

Papa Roach will be releasing a new album The Connection  in early October.


Rock Allegiance Tour at Power Balance Pavilion

Josh Todd of Buckcherry - Click for more images

The Rock Allegiance Tour pulled out all the stops for the last night of their summer tour.

Sacramento’s Power Balance Pavilion hosted an unforgettable evening of loud riffs and primordial deafening screams. Seven bands were schedule to perform. Drive A, Crossfade, Red, P.O.D. and Puddle of Mud were scheduled to perform, as well as co-headliners Buckcherry and Papa Roach. Puddle of Mud was unable to attend due to an illness. Me be thinking hangover, but what do I know?

This concert was off the charts with people jumping over barriers to get to the bands and the bands jumping over barriers to get to fans. I didn’t know whether I should be watching the bands or the crowd. Both were entertaining, both were over the top and both were screaming at each other. It was a mess!

Out of all the bands, I think Buckcherry had the best performance of them all. While just as crazy as the other bands, they had a modicum of

Sonny Sandoval of P.O.D. - Click for more images

control to the point of sounding like a real band. Not to rip the other bands, but when these guys are screaming into their mics with their guttural growls and flying through the air like Mighty Mouse on crack, it’s hard to hear them because they’re out of breath – or headbanging with someone in the crowd. It was obvious that absolutely nobody agreed with me, since everyone was screaming and singing along with each and every band.

Once Buckcherry took the stage there were a number of people jumping the barriers, only to be rewarded with the ever so gracious security team greeting them and quietly and politely dragging their sorry arse to the curb. Once Buckcherry jumpstarted the crowd into a renewed frenzy, they passed the baton to Papa Roach to finish the night off in style.

Papa Roach hit the stage in full stride and had heads bopping, fans rocking and people jumping off the stage. It was quite an event and all caught on tape, since Papa Roach was filming their part of the show for a new music video. They even had a $100,000+ camera on a boom moving over the crowd to catch all the action.

This really was a night to remember ““ such a bestial display of pure testosterone all on one stage. As I was heading home listening to the Backstreet Boys I kept wondering what it would be like to fly around like Mighty Mouse on crack, maybe next time.


Bruno Mascolo with Drive A - Click for more images

Ed Sloan of Crossfade - Click for more images

Michael Barnes of Red - Click for more images


Jacoby Shaddix of Papa Roach - Click for more images


Free counters!