5 Oct

Bush @ Aftershock Festival

Bush @ Aftershock Festival

Bush, Deftones, Stone Temple Pilots. It was like someone called me and asked who the top headliners for Sacramento’s Monster Aftershock Festival should be. Only weeks before I’d missed Bush on their European tour due to a totally sold-out house. STP had been on my list of “must-sees” for absolutely years (gotta keep checking off those grunge acts). And Deftones, well…apart from knowing full well what they are capable of live – who wouldn’t want to see one of their “home shows”, right?

Discovery Park turned out to be a good location for a festival. Getting there and away was easier than with most European festivals, there were some trees to hide under (California summers – my own personal nightmare) and there was somewhat of a lawn left to chill on when I arrived halfway through the day.

Although it was unbelievably hot and people were unbelievably sweaty when Bush took the main stage that afternoon, the crowd found a way to muster up some awesome energy for alternative rockers Bush. Launching into a fearsome set of some of the best Bush tunes, the four-piece kicked off with Machinehead and ended with Comedown. And inbetween? An expedition into the sweaty masses by Gavin, a Beatles cover, a heartbreaking rendition of Glycerin and a lot of audience discussion on whether being married to Gwen Stefani really is the secret to staying young and gorgeous. All in all, it was a memorable performance (turned heroic act by some pretty relentless sunshine) and a true pleasure to see these guys enjoy themselves so much onstage.

Deftones @ Aftershock Festival

Deftones @ Aftershock Festival

Second in headliner line: Deftones. Before I get into it, I must mention that I have had an incredibly difficult time with this band. When I first heard them in the mid-nineties, I loved them. When I saw them live a few times in the late nineties and early 2000s, I don’t think it was their finest hour. So, for a time, I was on the musical fence. When “Diamond Eyes” was released I was unsure whether or not to listen to it at all. I finally did and was just so relieved. Everything that ever made Deftones awesome was there in one record. So, I’ve been to seen them a few times since and have not been disappointed a single time. Including at Aftershock. Sure, playing the home turf may be not as hard. But coming onstage and OWNING the festival is always an accomplishment. As fans were rockin’ and bodies were surfin’ and general mayhem was taking over the crowd, the Deftones just kept doing what they do best: deliver their iconic sound by the way of tunes like “My own summer”, “Rocket Skates” and – my personal favorite – “You’ve seen the butcher”.

As far as I was concerned, the Stone Temple Pilots had quite an impossible task on their hands. And when they finally came onstage (with a mere 20-minute-delay, so not bad), I guess that is why it just didn’t work for me. Sure the performance was excellent – especially with their hits like “Interstate Love Song” and “Plush” – and the band seemed sympathetic and in a good mood. But it was also extremely relaxed which in this case felt like a void of energy. It makes you wonder if anyone ever thought about letting the Deftones go on last. And it makes me wonder if I’ll ever get the chance to re-evaluate STP in a different setting.

More on the Aftershock festival here.
More on Bush here.
Flickr Bush here.
More on Deftones here.
Flickr Deftones here.
More on Stone Temple Pilots here.
Flickr Stone Temple Pilots here.

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