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REWIND: Aftershock 2021

Updated: Jan 7, 2022

For those of you that live under a rock, Aftershock 2021 was a magical success on Saturday October 9, 2021 in Sacramento, California. With sets from bands such as Bones UK, Badflower, Machine Gun Kelly (MGK) and The Offspring, the expectations were set extremely high and there was no disappointment whatsoever.

2021 was my first time ever at a huge music festival like Aftershock. My boyfriend and I were dropped off at a restaurant near the venue and had a good mile hike to get to the venue... But it was beautiful! And walks are always good for the soul. When we finally arrived to the first line, after kickin' up dirt and climbin' a huge hill, it was the Covid check (no, I am NOT here to discuss Covid-19) and we were given a pretty red wristband indicating we were health-checked. The next line was security (aka everyone's fave) but if you follow the rules and do your research ahead of time, it makes everyone's lives easier. And the coolest way to get into the venue - wearing an Aftershock wristband (that was a ticket) and scanning it in to make everything smooth and easy. Taking it all in and walking around Discovery Park which held 35,000 people that night (or if you're Noodles from The Offspring it was two million and six) and exploring all of the stages, vendors, etc. Once I found the stage where Badflower was going to be, I wanted to stay put. But first, I had to get the 21 and up wristband (three wristbands total for the event) and get a hard seltzer. Once we were set with our accommodations, it was game on.

Bones UK Setlist:

  1. Creature

  2. Choke

  3. I'm Afraid Of Americans (David Bowie cover)

  4. Beautiful Is Boring

  5. Girls Can't Play Guitar

  6. Pretty Waste

  7. Helter Skelter (The Beatles cover)

Bones UK produced GIRL POWER. Embracing their homeland, the band covered classic hits from legends such as "I'm Afraid Of Americans" by David Bowie and "Helter Skelter" from The Beatles. One song specifically stood out to me called "Girls Can't Play Guitar", which was written about a man who said "girls couldn't play guitar, it's genetically impossible because they have smaller hands than boys". So that song is obviously a slap in the face to that guy.

Badflower Setlist:

  1. Fuckboi

  2. Don't Hate Me

  3. Johnny Wants To Fight

  4. The Jester

  5. Stalker

  6. Heroin

  7. Ghost

  8. 30

The crowd moved closer and grew tighter as Badflower was next to take the Kolas stage. I went from being back about six to seven rows to all of a sudden I was in the third row. The anticipation was so real. I hadn't seen Badflower in two years (which was weird because I saw them three times within one year). But it was fourth times the charm. Their "intro" song was a mashup of who knows what and "Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley and that's how you make an entrance. When all four men (do we call them that?) came out on stage, everything felt right in the world. It was like being back home, except I was miles away from home. Badflower has easily been one of my favorite bands since 2019 and every time I see them, they get better. Opening up with "Fuckboi" from their new album This Is How The World Ends , the crowd (which was HUGE by the way) was embracing the band in all their glory already. Moving on to "Don't Hate Me" which was released as a single from the album, I screamed the lyrics since it was one of my new favorites. But it was "Johnny Wants To Fight" that truly made me feel like I was at a Badflower show (and it wasn't even their show, they were just part of it). "Let's have a singalong" - frontman Josh Katz screamed to the crowd as the band began my sister's favorite song, "The Jester". "Stalker" was, as expected, the most chaotic song of the set. If you haven't listened to the song, you're missing out and you need to go listen to it right now... But have an open mind with it. "Stalker" is the song where everyone (including me and Josh) was losing their minds. In the middle of the song, Josh ran against the barricade and had a girl hold the mic for him while he sang the chorus for the third time, getting the crowd even more rowled up. Next up, Heroin (number one on Billboard in May 2019) was of course a crowd-pleaser with vibes to make your hair stand up. "Ghost" (aka Badflower's biggest hit) was the second-to-last song of the night and had the crowd roaring in sensation. "You guys sound so good, thank you so much.", Josh exclaimed over the mic during the song. The four-piece band closed their amazing set out with "30" (that peaked at number eleven on the Billboard charts in November 30) and after leaving the stage, the crowd was chanting, "One more song! One more song!".

MGK Setlist:

  1. "Tickets To My Downfall" title track

  2. Kiss Kiss

  3. WWIII

  4. drunk face

  5. nothing inside

  6. Misery Business (Paramore cover)

  7. concert for aliens

  8. all i know

  9. papercuts

  10. my ex's best friend

  11. I Think I'm OKAY

  12. bloody valentine

  13. forget me too (partial)

The anticipation grew higher and the crowd got tighter as everyone waited for Machine-Gun Kelly (MGK) to enter the stage. (But maybe not everyone, since a good part of the crowd was being insanely disrespectful and booing him as they watched his entire set, but MGK loves it and doesn't care) What was played before he came out on stage? "Welcome To The Black Parade" by My Chemical Romance, of course. An intro video was played on screens (that is also played during his headlining shows on his Tickets To My Downfall tour) and entertained the crowd before his official entrance. MGK opened with the title track from "Tickets To My Down Fall" and went straight into "Kiss Kiss". By the time he was into "drunk face", he had climbed on top of a tent in the middle of the crowd, of course where he was having water bottles, beer cans and who knows what else thrown at him. (One person tried to throw a beer bottle at MGK, but it hit Alex from Badflower instead. Proof below.) The artist played my favorite song (that features YungBlud and Travis Barker on the recorded version) "I Think I'm OKAY" and ended the set with a partial version of "forget me too", due to his set getting cut short.

The Offspring Setlist:

  1. All I Want

  2. This Is Not Utopia

  3. Come Out and Play

  4. Want You Bad

  5. Let the Bad Times Roll

  6. Original Prankster

  7. Bad Habit

  8. Gotta Get Away

  9. Gone Away

  10. Why Don't You Get A Job?

  11. (Can't Get My) Head Around You

  12. Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)

  13. The Kids Aren't Alright

  14. You're Gonna Go Far, Kid

  15. Self Esteem

By the time The Offspring was supposed to really get the party goin', the crowd size was massive. The band from the 90s opened with "All I Want" followed by "This Is Not Utopia". As bassist Noodles stated, "Tonight is the best thing to ever happen in Rock N Roll", which he does state pretty often. The band also featured their 2021 release "Let The Bad Times Roll", and hits such as "Want You Bad", "Pretty Fly For A White Guy", "The Kids Aren't Alright", "You're Gonna Go Far Kid" and closed the night out with "Self Esteem".

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