The world renowned metal music festival, Aftershock at Discovery Park in Sacramento, California was nothing short of an entertaining event for 2019. With Ernie Ball artists on the lineup including Tool, Slipknot, Blink 182, Halestorm, and Marilyn Manson, it was a bucket list worthy weekend to say the least. Check out some our favorite moments from Aftershock Fest below…

Day 1

Phillip Anselmo Band and the Illegals

Most known for his musical works in the heavy metal band as lead singer for Pantera, Phil Anselmo is also the lead in his side project band, Phillip Anselmo and The Illegals. The band includes guitarist, Mike Deleon who plays Ernie Ball Skinny Top Heavy Bottom strings and bass player, Derek Engemann who gets his low end sound with Power Slinky bass strings. Their entire set at Aftershock to open up the show on Friday consisted of all iconic Pantera hits like “Walk” and “Domination” and the energy and movement of the band brought everyone back to their nostalgic roots of the mid-90s metal scene.

Dropkick Murphys

Made up of 14 total band members, the Dropkick Murphys are a staple American Celtic punk band, and longtime Ernie Ball players including guitarist James Lynch, multi-instrumentalist, Jeff DaRosa, and even Spicy McHaggis who plays the bagpipes while utilizing our Ernie Ball 40th Anniversary Volume Pedal. Dropkick Murphys’ upbeat, high-energy performance, and dynamic instrument playing will keep you on your feet and dancing throughout their entire set. Dropkick Murphys plays Power Slinky, Regular SlinkyHybrid Slinky Bass and 80/20 Earthwood Medium strings.


Led by charismatic vocalist/guitarist Lzzy Hale, Halestorm have become one of the most successful female-fronted hard rock groups of the early 21st century. With an aggressive yet hook-heavy sound that has become a fixture of American rock and roll. It was an extra special day for the band, celebrating Lzzy’s birthday. Other Halestorm members and Ernie Ball players are guitarist, Joe Hottinger and bass player, Josh Smith. After seeing their performance live, it’s no wonder the band won a Grammy award for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance for their single, “Love Bites (So Do I)”. Lzzy and Joe both use Ernie Ball Paradigm Skinny Top Heavy BottomMedium Nickel Wound 13-56 with Wound G, Josh plays Super Slinky BassPower Slinky BassPower Slinky 5 Bass.

Guitar playing is so much more than a career choice. It’s a vehicle to do something outside of yourself… I cite guitar playing and I cite this band with pushing me forward and giving me that North Star… it’s a feeling, it’s a thing that you carry with you, it’s a fire.

-Lzzy Hale

Check out our String Theory that we filmed with Lzzy Hale and Josh Hottinger from Halestorm here.

The Interrupters

A classic ska-punk band based out of the heart of the scene in Los Angeles, The Interrupters‘ sound is plucked straight from ska-punk’s hay-day in the late 90s and early 2000s.  The Interrupters always put on a fantastic show, bringing live, classic ska-style moves with an infectious stage presence as they jump around the entire set. Ernie Ball band members consist of siblings, Kevin (guitar) and Justin (bass) Bivona. The band was also just recently announced as the special guest for the Hella Mega Tour, alongside fellow Ernie Ball artists Green DayWeezer, and Fall Out BoyThe Interrupters capture their sound with Ernie Ball Regular Slinkys and Hybrid Slinky bass strings on bass.

Sum 41

Canadian punk shredders Sum 41 have been hard at work on their new record and we got a taste of it – live at Aftershock. The band played their new single “A Death In The Family” among many other of their nostalgic hits – blending catchy anthemic choruses with a heavy assault of guitars and dueling solos. We met up with Sum 41‘s tech, Ben who travels with all of the Ernie Ball essentials including, Ernie Ball straps, the Power Peg Pro string winder, Gaff tape, and more. Sum 41 plays Beefy SlinkySkinny Top Heavy BottomSkinny Top Heavy Bottom Cobalt guitar strings and Power Slinky Bass strings.



Slipknot quickly became one of the most popular bands in the nu-metal explosion of the late 1990s and early 2000s and with the release of their latest album, ‘We Are Not Your Kind’ there has been an even bigger resurgence of old and new fans alike. If you have the chance to see the band perform live, do it. Slipknot has a theatrical, attention-grabbing image: the band always performs in industrial jumpsuits and homemade Halloween masks and have a lyrical preoccupation with darkness and nihilism. During their set at Aftershock, lead singer Corey Tayler affectionately yelled into the crowd using their insulting name for their fans (“Maggots”), getting the audience to go wild the entire show. Guitarist, Jim Root plays custom gauge 11-58 electric guitar strings and their bass player, “V Man” plays Roundwound 55-125 custom gauge bass strings.

Day 2

Bad Religion

Though the band formed in 1980, Bad Religion is thriving in 2019 with their newest released album, Age Of Unreason and with their recent tour where they stopped in California for Day 2 of Aftershock. With their scorching riffs and lyrics to match, Bad Religion is proving that they are just as relevant today as they were in the 90s. Throughout their career, the band has released punk anthems that have persisted on the radio even to this day and their live performance is just what you’d expect with all of the natural on-stage talent to match. Bad Religion delivers with Ernie Ball Power Slinky strings on guitar and Regular Slinky Stainless Steel bass strings on bass.

Marilyn Manson

Iconic rock frontman Marilyn Manson became a mainstream antihero in the ’90s — much to the chagrin of conservative politicians and concerned parents. The self-proclaimed Antichrist Superstar, his vision of dark, arty, industrial metal pushed many of his hit singles into the upper reaches of the modern rock charts. At Aftershock Festival, Marilyn Manson and his band members Paul Wiley (guitarist) and Juan Alderete (bassist) did not disappoint, giving the crowd what they wanted to hear, including “The Dope Show,” “The Beautiful People,” and a cover of Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of These)”. Paul Wiley plays Regular Slinky electric guitar strings and Juan Alderete Hybrid Slinky bass strings with individual 110 and a 130 strings.

Bring Me the Horizon

English rock band Bring Me the Horizon has made a steady progression from their death metal-inspired grind-core debut to melodic metal-core, maturing into a pop-savvy headline act by the end of their first decade together. Lead singer and music/fashion influencer, Oliver Skyes alongside with Ernie Ball guitarist Lee Malia and bassist Matt Kean, did not disappoint, delivering incorporated electronic dance elements and trap production. Lee uses Not Even Slinkys and a custom Slinky 8 string set and Matt plays Hybrid Coated bass strings with an individual 135.


One of the most prominent bands to emerge from the Southern California punk scene, blink-182 gained mainstream success in the early 2000s. blink-182 continues to amass 10 million monthly listeners across streaming services and as a celebration of the record’s milestone, the band is paying homage to their past albums by playing old school blink tracks during their entire set on tour. With Ernie Ball artist and new frontman, Matt Skiba and longtime Ernie Ball bassist Mark Hoppus, the band returned to the stage together with legendary drummer, Travis Barker. Mark Hoppus relies on Super Slinky bass strings and Matt Skiba plays with Extra Light Nickel Wound custom gauge guitar strings.

Day 3

A Day to Remember

Over the course of the past several years, each of A Day To Remember’s releases have hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Rock, Indie and/or Alternative Charts. We were naturally stoked to catch them play – as active Ernie Ball users as well as Ernie Ball Music Man players, A Day to Remember hit the stage with an awesome performance featuring some amazing gear. Their bassist Josh Woodard plays an Ernie Ball Music Man StringRay Special 4-String bass and guitarist Kevin Skaff rocks his custom Ernie Ball Music Man StingRay guitar. For strings, the band uses Ernie Ball Not Even Slinky guitar strings and custom gauge roundwound bass strings. If you haven’t seen it yet, Josh Woodard filmed a demo video with Ernie Ball Music Man with his StringRay Special 4-String Bass, discussing why he’s relied on our instruments for over seven years.

If I had a wish list on basses… they did it just naturally, stock. This is how it comes.

-Josh Woodard


Fans of the legendary progressive metal band, Tool, were here for Day 3 and ready for a performance of a lifetime. After over a decade of waiting for new music, the band made their highly anticipated debut on stage at Aftershock. Their set was full of old classics like “The Pot” and “Sober” as well as a few new tracks that they performed live for the first time ever from their latest album, Fear Inoculum. Tool‘s performance was full of theatrical bits, a grade-A production, and we even caught a little glimpse of lead singer, Maynard, who typically hangs out in the background during their show. Tool achieves their unparalleled sound with a diverse range of strings. Adam Jones uses Ernie Ball Skinny Top Heavy Bottom ParadigmBeefy Paradigm, and Not Even Slinky Paradigm strings. Adam also uses our Ernie Ball Expression Tremolo pedal. Justin Chancellor on bass has always gone with Hybrid Slinky Bass strings since the very beginning of his career.

Catch one of our most popular String Theory episodes featuring Justin Chancellor here. Ernie Ball also just launched our brand new podcast series, Striking A Chord, featuring Chancellor. Listen here has Justin discusses the Tool songwriting process, band dynamics, the story behind his joining the band some 25 years ago, and much more.

Whatever you’ve got, it’s yours, and it’s completely important. It’s not important to be like someone else, it’s important to be yourself. If you’re a musician, it’s important to play your own music.

-Justin Chancellor

For more from Aftershock Festival, check out our live All Access coverage here.

**Photos by: AndJustyTookThis Photography

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