Is Aftershock 2013 the Worst Music Festival Ever Booked?

aftershockdoucheimageWell let’s see, we’ve got Korn, Megadeth, Steel Panther, Papa Roach, Shinedown, BuckCherry, P.O.D., Avenged Sevenfold, HIM, Five Finger Death Punch, The new band featuring the idiot bro from Disturbed, and much much more…absolute crap. Basically every band I fucking hated from 10 years ago all in the same place. It’s like they’re trying to go for a shit sandwich world record. Sort of unfortunate that they couldn’t achieve their dream, which I’m sure would have included Linkin Park, Godsmack, Limp Bizkit, and Creed as headliners. Fortunately for us, they couldn’t secure those bloated abominations as doing so probably would have created a karmic douche-nado which could potentially tear a rift through all that doesn’t suck in loud music.

For those kids who don’t remember, back in the early 90’s, for a brief period there were angry bands marketed by huge corporations who actually possessed an inkling of critical thinking skills and artistry. They sang about things like women’s rights and the hypocrisy of religion, while becoming multi-millionaires in the process. Hell, some even wrote hit songs about how stupid their fans were.

Then near the end of the decade (I’m sure partially due to media deregulation) record execs suddenly realized, wait, why would we intentionally market bands who question our corporate overlords? Kids will buy anything we spend enough money schilling to them. And so we got rape rock. Ladies, I’m sure if you come to this festival you’ll get in free and be handed complimentary roofies so you’ll forget both the music and the rape. Trust me, it’s better this way.

To be fair, I’ve always found the rape rock handle a bit misleading. I’ve always called it impotent rage metal. With a bloated military industrial complex, religious fanaticism, the increased corporatization of our government, and wealth inequality getting worse by the day, these guys are angry about…anger. Absolutely no bite to any of it. Brain dead mooks, completely beholden to a profit margin and nothing else. I suppose the problem with this lies in the fact that this style of music rightfully went way the fuck out of style years ago. But just like they did with 80’s hair metal in the early 2000’s, it’s 2013 and of course, a perfectly calculated time for a comeback. I wish it would just die, but all the special hotel packages (which cost nearly a grand) are sold out.

Now, I caught a bit of shit on Facebook (friend me) from a fan who thought me dissing bands like this was sort of like blindly making fun of poor white people with limited educational opportunities, which begs the question: who is the target demographic for Aftershock 2013? Some brave Sacramento tripster should go and get “ironic” photo documentation to fill us in. I honestly have no idea. Most of the nu metal tools I’ve encountered in my life were fairly privileged pseudo-jocks from the suburbs who said things like “faded”. You had to pay Sharon Osbourne something like 10 grand for the “opportunity” to play on the second stage at Ozzfest back in the day. Who still digs on this shit in 2013? I have exactly no idea, but I’ll keep covering it until the answer is no one.

(As always, there’s the friending me on the Facebooks, and the following me on the Twitters)

Thad McKraken

Thad McKraken

Thad McKraken is a psychedelic writer, musician, visual artist, filmmaker, Occultist, and pug enthusiast based out of Seattle. He is the author of the books The Galactic Dialogue: Occult Initiations and Transmissions From Outside of Time, both of which can be picked up on Amazon super cheap.
Thad McKraken

62 Comments on "Is Aftershock 2013 the Worst Music Festival Ever Booked?"

  1. Michael Gacillos O'Hair | Sep 4, 2013 at 12:46 pm |

    Correction: I smell the British.

  2. Hocketeer | Sep 4, 2013 at 12:48 pm |

    Music festivals like this have always been most pathetic. It’s when city zombies go to the country side, trash the place while running around in circles and then go back home. The Aftershock arrives in the form of vacuum service trucks pumping the crap out of the totally destroyed festival dunnys, while opportunistic plastic scavengers make a fortune.

  3. Aipeed Teaitchse | Sep 4, 2013 at 12:57 pm |

    They did a very similar fest near me recently called carnival of madness. People are going to like what they like and everyone is entitled to their own opinion, unfortunately. A few years ago I was working the ‘mayhem festival’ which again is basically the same shit. I was surprised how obedient the disaffected could become, especially as five finger death punch came out and made the audience chant USA and then raise their fists for ‘the troops’ as they dropped their own flag which of course was a giant fist. Very pro war band with singing inspired by cookie monster.
    That said, I have to point out that Megadeth has been together for 30 years.

    • DonovanCagliero | Dec 6, 2013 at 12:12 am |

      I fucking hate FFDP for that specific reason. At Mayhem, funny enough, I was complaining to a friend of mine about how patriotic the whole festival was this year, he looks me in the eye *GIANT FLAMES FROM ROB ZOMBIE* WE’RE AN AMERICAN BAAAAND. I have never seen him laugh that hard in my life.

  4. mole_face | Sep 4, 2013 at 1:06 pm |

    Yep, the late 90s were one of the worst eras ever for popular music. At the time, I actually thought it was kinda cool that corporate bands were no longer pretending to be “alternative” and there was suddenly a very clear distinction between the underground and mainstream, as opposed to all the phony copycat mid 90s “alt rock” bands. But then the whole sickening helium-voiced Disney Punk shit happened alongside the rise of nu metal, and it began to feel to me like nothing was sacred anymore.

    Then in the early 2000s, the popularity of “heavy” bands like Limp Bisquick directly led to the soulless Hot Topic/MySpace caricature of hardcore that twisted the hc aesthetic into the 21st century’s update of 80s hair metal. Then in the mid 2000s, there was the rise of limpdick scarf-wearing twee twinkly mainstream “indie” rock that didn’t rock. Fucking gross.

    • i feel like complaining about indie music is like an orc complaining that a hobbit’s music is too soft. If they like different music, they are probably very different people than you. That pretty much goes for anyone complaining about any music really. (Except dubstep; dubstep isn’t music; only robots listen to it, not people…. so you can complain about it).

      • Very reasonable response. Loved your comment about dub step. Nothing enrages me more than hearing that terrible shite… Except maybe snapback wearing douche bags, getting excited over the “wobbles” and the “sick drop, bro”.

        • Jin The Ninja | Sep 4, 2013 at 8:34 pm |

          fitted caps are so much cooler anyway:P

          • Are they the same thing? I actually have no idea what they’re called. All I know is that they’re like a flashing beacon of douche baggery

          • Hadrian999 | Sep 4, 2013 at 9:39 pm |

            what kind of hat is acceptable with the counter culture

          • atlanticus | Sep 4, 2013 at 9:49 pm |


          • Cortacespedes | Sep 4, 2013 at 9:58 pm |

            Pork Pie, everybody wants to be Walter White.

          • A red beret is acceptable, but only because it’s ironic. Or something.

          • Microhero | Sep 5, 2013 at 7:57 am |

            Just sightly off topic but priceless..

            “What is this religious fascination with head gear? Every religion’s got a different fuckin’ hat. Did you ever notice that? The Hindus have a turban, the sheiks have a tall white turban, Jews have a yarmulke, Muslims have the keffiyah, the Bishop has a pointy hat on one day and a round hat on another day, Cardinal has a red hat, Pope has a white hat, everybody’s got a fuckin’ hat! One group takes them off, another group puts them on. Personally, I would not want to be a member of any group where you either have to wear a hat or you can’t wear a hat. I think all religions should have one rule, and one rule only: hats optional!

            You ever notice that? Any time you see two groups of people who really hate each other, chances are good they’re wearing different kind of hats. Keep an eye on that, it might be important.”

            – George Carlin

          • Dan Muench | Sep 5, 2013 at 4:32 pm |

            Agreed – I love it when people call my Meshuggah loving ass ‘hipster’ because I don’t wear jeans and t-shirts every day anymore (reason: I’m not fresh out of high school anymore?) and happen to like old-school Fedoras. Friend of mine hipped me to them, he’s very into the vintage thing, as a street performer it’s his ‘work clothes’, and dressing right pays…but yeah, the assumption that everyone who wears a Fedora is some MGMT or Interpol fan is kinda laughable. Some of us just don’t like the two ‘allowed/regulation’ hats in the US at least, the baseball cap or the beanie…or just want a little touch of class, something timeless. Would you be a ‘hipster’ for using Marvin Gaye to get into someone’s pants, or just tasteful/mindful of what works?

            I did stage work for the Electric Daisy Carnival in Vegas last year, taking down the whole edifice, and – Surprise! – it’s hot, so I’m not wearing my wool hat when it’s not offering my head protection from the sun. It’s carefully laid aside somewhere, and I see some guy who thinks he found a ground score start walking off with it, going ‘when the fuck did Ravers start wearing shit like this?’

            I walked over and said ‘Never – now gimme my fuckin’ hat back!’

          • Jin The Ninja | Sep 5, 2013 at 6:04 pm |

            a fitted cap has no snap thing, but basically the same idea, more common amongst the ‘urban’ crowd.

            i only wear the ones (fitted) with a nod to geek culture (thundercats, marvel, street fighter etc etc) because i know so very little about baseball / basketball and have no interest in furthering my knowledge of that sphere.

      • mole_face | Sep 4, 2013 at 8:47 pm |

        I wasn’t exactly complaining about taste, which is obviously purely subjective – I’m just annoyed that some of my favorite genres ended up becoming synonymous with these cornball milquetoast corporate caricatures of them. Or to be more accurate, I USED TO be annoyed. In recent years I’m too busy constantly discovering music online to give much of a shit either way about fashion/music trends.

        As for dubstep, it depends on what you’re listening to. Stuff like Burial is some of the most intricately layered and artful music around. The huge producers like Skrillex or Deadmau5 are so artless and boring to me that I can’t bring myself to muster enough of a fuck to even hate them.

      • Dan Muench | Sep 5, 2013 at 4:25 pm |

        A friend of mine for whom Skinny Puppy is like mother’s milk commented once, ‘Dubstep isn’t music, it’s just noise for drug addicts to have seizures to.’

        When Rivetheads are calling your music artless noise, perhaps it’s time to listen to some commonly-accepted masters and maybe even schedule some lessons…

    • The Well Dressed Man | Sep 5, 2013 at 12:45 am |

      Babypunk ruined everything. The younger generation is so frail I keep inadvertently throwing kids across the room if they try pitting near me with my gen x forcefield.

  5. Hadrian999 | Sep 4, 2013 at 1:33 pm |

    no more or less pathetic than any other nostalgia based music fest circuit, they just don’t have worthless hipster leaches attached to their ass like you see at fake swing shows, phony hippy jam band shows or ironic bluegrass fests. there are bigger things to get your panties twisted over than the fact somebody else dares to like different music than you.

  6. DeepCough | Sep 4, 2013 at 2:33 pm |

    You have not seen pure, unadulterated musical crap until you’ve been to VANS Warped Tour (I was working the concert, and the only good bands there were Bad Religion and Rise Against when they were up and coming).

    Honestly, if you just got rid of Korn and Shinedown, that concert wouldn’t be half bad.

    • i always thought of those kinda things as the one-level-up from battle of the bands. Most of the music sucked, but there were gems like the bad religions out there.

      • emperorreagan | Sep 5, 2013 at 8:24 am |

        The downside is something liked the warped tour has 10,000-20,000 people at it, so you’ve got to deal with the traffic and crowds to see 1-2 bands worth seeing.

        • yea but if just 10 of those 10000-20000 find the gems, I think its worth it. Those shows definitely aren’t for me but they seem to be for somebody.

    • atlanticus | Sep 4, 2013 at 9:04 pm |

      “Honestly, if you just got rid of Korn and Shinedown, that concert wouldn’t be half bad.”

      *Jaw drops after scrolling back up and re-reading the rest of the line up…*

      …There’s no accounting for taste… (damn, I really do have a bigger dick than you…) >_>

      • DeepCough | Sep 5, 2013 at 1:13 am |

        I had no idea you enjoyed the nu metal stylings of Korn and the therapy rock sensation Shinedown. And just because you bought a Lexington Steele strap-on doesn’t count.

        • atlanticus | Sep 5, 2013 at 10:40 pm |

          That’s hilarious, but if you genuinely like *any* of the music listed above, then you sir, you have no idea what rock even is…

          I could name 20 different bands that would make you cry blood but I don’t want to share because I don’t want your lame contaminating them. 😛

    • moremisinformation | Sep 4, 2013 at 9:18 pm |

      ‘Honestly, if you just got rid of Korn and Shinedown, that concert wouldn’t be half bad.’

      You’re actually right. It would still be all bad.

  7. Saint Eli | Sep 4, 2013 at 2:35 pm |

    I always thought Weird Al should have done a rape rock parody of Limp Bizkit, dressed as Han Solo angrily singing: ” I did it all for the wookie…”

  8. “Basically every band I fucking hated from 10 years ago all in the same place.”

    Insufferable provocation or irresistible opportunity?

    • Dan Muench | Sep 5, 2013 at 4:33 pm |

      Right – remember when all those rednecks tried to blow up Marilyn Manson because they really thought he was the antichrist?

      Where’s the dedication from lovers of good music, is what I’m saying here….;-)

  9. What the fuck is wrong with megadeath?

    • The Well Dressed Man | Sep 6, 2013 at 10:40 pm |

      Dave Mustaine is what’s wrong with Megadeth. He used to be what was wrong with Metallica, but they’re managing that pretty well on their own these days.

      • Matt Staggs | Sep 7, 2013 at 1:44 pm |

        I like Megadeth, and there’s something about Mustaine’s pig-headedness that I find amusing, even when I categorically disagree with everything that comes out of his mouth. Still, last few albums were pretty solid. I haven’t liked much of anything that Metallica has done since Cliff Burton died. That guy was the soul of the band. Now we’re just left with Hetfield’s “Hey Hey Hey Ho Ho Ho” groaning and moaning.

        • The Well Dressed Man | Sep 7, 2013 at 1:59 pm |

          i guess we judge our former idols most harshly. I grew up on west coast thrash. I thought Metallica was going strong through Justice. Megadeth started losing me with So Far So Good. I think Samuelson’s uber-weird drumming balanced out the progness with syncopation, and after his departure, everything sounds too squeaky-clean. Can’t say I’ve listened to anything they’ve done in a decade, so maybe I’m missing something. I am morbidly curious what born-again Dave has to day.

  10. InfvoCuernos | Sep 4, 2013 at 5:53 pm |

    Brah! C’mon grab a cooler full of Monster and get your muscle shirt that shows off that sick tribal armband and lets go!

  11. atlanticus | Sep 4, 2013 at 8:59 pm |

    “But just like they did with 80′s hair metal in the early 2000’s, it’s 2013 and of course, a perfectly calculated time for a comeback.”

    But…that calculation is off by at least 7 more years…they have to wait until the kids who were born in the late 90’s are 18-21 and look back to wonder “what the hell were my parents doing before they had me?” That’s how it works.

    • Dan Muench | Sep 5, 2013 at 4:36 pm |

      Correct. The ‘comeback’ phase right now is all right with me, but that’s because it’s bands like Alice In Chains and Soundgarden. However, I’ve seen other, less ‘wanted’ acts from the same era ‘getting the band back together’ too…

      • atlanticus | Sep 5, 2013 at 10:44 pm |

        13 year olds are listening to Nirvana and they don’t even know Kurt Cobain is dead or who the hell that even is.

        I’m getting a trench coat and tiny sunglasses right now so I can say I was first when people start trying to bring the Matrix-style back…

        • Dan Muench | Sep 6, 2013 at 10:52 am |

          13 year olds? I remember recently seeing a story about a University of Virginia candidate for Class President or something, writing Sub Pop so that Kurt Cobain could do a ‘Go Virginia!’ PSA kinda thing – alongside Slightly Stoopid and other college frat crap. Not only did they not get that Kurt is dead, has been for damn near 20 years – but thought Kurt was a ‘she’!

  12. VaudeVillain | Sep 4, 2013 at 10:03 pm |

    Yeah, popular “rock” from 10 years ago was terrible.

    Pardon me, I’ve got tickets to see Maroon 5 with Mumford and Son and Katie Perry… I just love that whiny “it’s so hard to be a pretty millionaire rock star because girls are mean to me” sound, and 20-minute samey sounding banjo solos get me rock fucking hard for overproduced bubblegum pop blared from a speaker shaped like a set of balloon tits.

  13. And to think that I quit drinking energy drinks because of health concerns – this concert should cause a dropoff of consumption in thinking peoples around the world.

  14. webzombie | Sep 5, 2013 at 6:48 am |

    Disclaimer: I have always thought Megadeth was one of the most overrated bands ever.

    While this lineup does suck for the most part, none of the bands are any worse than the ultra hip wanna-be 60s/70s occult crap usually posted on disinfo as of late. Lets face it, those videos are just rip offs of the cannibal cult clip from Faces of Death I.

  15. Rusty Shackleford | Sep 5, 2013 at 11:12 am |

    Come on disinfo……you can do better than this.

  16. Dan Muench | Sep 5, 2013 at 4:22 pm |

    About the only ‘critique’ I could say would be including Megadeth in that roster, both from a promotor’s point of view, or saying that they’re the same crap as the rest. I don’t like Mustaine’s lyrics much – there, I agree, angry about anger, cartoon metal – but musically Megadeth are hardly buffoons.

    It’s weird, I’ve been on this Strapping Young Lad/Devon Townshend kick lately, and one of his many projects was Punky Brüster, a satire on the 90’s theme of everyone dropping their style to do pop-punk, because they’d found the ‘Formula For Bait’ lol.

    I thought also, if he’d been so inclined, he could have done a similar one about everyone dropping their style to detune to B and get a Mesa Triple Rectifier around the beginning of the 90’s. I liked the first wave of what was derided as ‘Nü Metal’ – Static X, Slipknot, especially SOAD, Deftones, etc – but what followed was the inevitable record companies beating the horse to death, then beating the dead horse, until the Strokes had an awful, awful hit, and now are promoting godawful indie/hipster bands that all sound alike. I liked, and still like, the idea of taking ‘metal’ basic bits and doing weirder, off the wall, or just atypical stuff with it – some bands took that idea and decided to suck with it, but SYL, or Godflesh/Jesu, A Perfect Circle, etc expanded the boundaries of what could be done with vocals, bass, distorted guitar, and drums.

    You’d see these guys who got their tattoos yesterday and obviously played in more alt/grunge/traditional ‘rock’ styles, all of a sudden they’re in drop B and with wannabe-huge distortion sounds, yet for all that have no balls or impact. I did mosh pits on video as a paid extra – first one was for Stereomud, the worst of the worst – and ALL THE TIME it was bands that got signed for who knows what reason, never heard of them through the typical channels, all of sudden they’re being promoted as this Nu Metal thing, and it got watered down. Plus, aggressive rock gets it’s time in the mainstream spotlight from time to time, then goes away in the mainstream – but not so amongst real fans of that type of music.

    But yeah, that lineup sounds awful, and it’s basically just a big Monster commercial anyway. That’s like every band I’ve avoided in the last 10 years, read one little writeup and was like ‘PASS!’.

    Granted, the 40 grand – my buddy did drum tech for Otep back in 2001, 40 grand and they ‘played’ before the gates even opened! – that Sharon charged was on the face kinda onerous, but it’s a business and the promotion end of it isn’t as easy as people would like to make it seem. 40 large for a DIY band would be murder, back then though the labels still spent money on that, and frankly, the band is probably glad they did it – still have a career last I checked, and without that tour – call it an internship, if you like – they’d likely have been cast aside, broken up, etc. Which is no tragedy for me, personally, but as a musician myself, my project – whether anyone else digs it or not – is my life. So if I don’t do anything, no tragedy for anyone else, huge for me – we used to be respectful and not talk shit about a lot of those ‘video’ bands because most of us just wished it was our day to have the camera on us, and wouldn’t want some asshole hating on us, so…

    Now, though, you have ‘indie’ bands that only ever make money whoring themselves out to Apple and other corporations for advertisements, or getting promoted by Starbucks on compilations etc.

    Same as it ever was…go look up some of the shit acts sharing stages with legends from any era – pick one – and realize that Wizard’s First Rule is, People Are Stupid.

    This is just the ‘metal’ version of Van’s Warped Tour – “hi, kids! We’re punk as fuck, buy our shoes, here’s the worst pop-punk suburbanite dreck you’ve heard since the last band got off of stage, sponsored by Kraft Foods!”

    I actually read some little shit’s article about how Kurt Cobain would have approved because, you know, he ate Kraft Mac N Cheese. I think Kurt would be pissed that he offed himself like 5 minutes before ‘punk ethics’ became an endangered species, but then, he probably saw it coming…

    I’d just maybe word it differently – those bands listed weren’t even Nu Metal, really, it’s all second, third, fourth wave shit that, correct, was mostly listened to by dumbass aggro-for-no-reason jocks that needed something to get drunk to at a frat party – Limp Bizkit fans, basically.

    I’d say the backlash you’ll get from such as statement is trying to throw the whole thing in with the later bad copies, which is like blaming the Ramones for every bad punk band that came out afterward, ignoring the really good shit that came out of it. Saying the ‘late 90’s heavy scene forward sucked’ ignores the rise of Meshuggah, bands like Porcupine Tree, etc, that – for the uninterested – might just get thrown in the same basket as other dreck. Tool, for instance, is/isn’t a ‘metal’ band, depending on whom you ask, but was definitely signed as one, oftentimes promoted as one, and has a lot of ‘metal’ fans, not to mention is cited as an influence by pretty much EVERY post-90 metal band to come out…including Korn and Disturbed and probably most of the bands listed, sadly. One can be ‘acquainted’ with a piece of work and have no idea of the significance, it’s just ‘something they like’.

    If anything, it’s interesting to see the mess at the intersection of music fans from different genres and the corporations who want their money…it’s a bit more complicated than many give it credit for, for sure.

    • atlanticus | Sep 5, 2013 at 10:46 pm |

      Isn’t Megadeth all Christiany now? Am I confusing them with someone else?

  17. There seems to be this grand hatred of the amateur. Maybe the amateur music artists may have too big of a spotlight. Maybe people are just mad that people can “make it” without ever being better than an amateur and the combined group of the pretentious and genuinely skilled get offended by this fact. Maybe people need to reflect on what side they are on, there will always be a pile of crap surrounding truly inspired emergent music. If it is a sin to listen to anything other than the perfectly trained virtuoso’s of our time, then you have a mildly totalitarian view on artistic expression. (except dubstep. dubstep sucks. always.)

  18. Herp Derp McGurt | Sep 5, 2013 at 9:24 pm |

    I proudly have my POD, HIM, and Shinedown albums next to my mingus, squarepusher, and my bloody valentine cds up on the shelf. Crap rock is fun and enjoyable in its own way.

  19. you hate pantera and megadeath? boooooo

  20. The Well Dressed Man | Sep 7, 2013 at 11:53 am |

    Oh my. Just looked at the venue. It’s funny because Sacramento.

  21. Dave Sprefelt | Sep 11, 2013 at 1:35 pm |

    Black Metal is the answer.

  22. Taan Maat | Sep 12, 2013 at 9:40 am |

    that’s why it’s called aftershock

  23. DonovanCagliero | Dec 6, 2013 at 12:23 am |

    I like a lot of that music because it’s what I grew up with. I didn’t hear that as a kid and think, “Man, these guys sold out”. I yelled at the top of my voice the lyrics to my favorite Linkin Park song, because at 12 years old that’s what I liked. Now, of course, I know about corporate destruction of creativity in music, but that doesn’t stop me from remembering the good times when I hear Faint on the radio. Anyway whether this is relevant to the article or not is trivial, everyone seems to be arguing about music as if it is a solid, factual thing where one genre is worth more than another which is absolutely wrong. Music is completely subjective and is honestly not at all logical to argue about in this way.

Comments are closed.