Nothing says "Have a Happy Rocking Mothers Day" like a music festival. Day 2 of Northern Invasion in Somerset, WI was a rocking Moms day, and how could it not be with Papa Roach, Motionless in White, Alter Bridge, Starset, Goodbye June, Cold Kingdom, Badflower, Nothing More, Opeth, The Offspring, and Kid Rock taking the stage. Like many music festivals, this was a family friendly, all-ages event.
ROCKwell UnScene has been on the road covering Festival Season 2017. Northern Invasion has been our 4th festival on this current run (5 total in 4 weeks) and I can tell you why it may be my number 1 festival. The reasons are endless... so let's start by talking about the logistics of the festival. With three stages, there was an ample amount of space to fit the behemoth bill of amazing bands over 2 days. For those that wanted day passes, they were available, for those that wanted to make it a weekend event, there was on site camping. This was great because you could rock the day away, get a shower (and to my surprise the water was warm, and the showers were clean and neat), and partake in a variety of big kid beverages.
With the layout the way it was (the permanent main stage and then two side stages), there was always a set popping off. Also in close vicinity to the stages were grub trucks, VIP areas, merch vendors, booths for signing and meet and greets with bands; and not to mention, plenty of restrooms.
A bonus to this festival and what put it in my tops was the food included choices like Greek fare, popcorn, burgers, cheese (lots of cheese), and topping my list was coffee.
Now for the music. I left this festival a FAN of bands that are new to me. On that list is Goodbye June and Badflower.
Badflower is local to my home music scene and breaking onto stages across America. Put simply, this band is pure, unadulterated Rock, proving that this genre is alive and well and not going anywhere anytime soon. They are on a stage crushing journey that, in my opinion, will lead to them becoming a household name.
Twin Cities female-fronted favorite Cold Kingdom made their second appearance at Northern Invasion. After seeing them for the first time in 2015 and again this year, we had to talk with them again. See the interview coming soon to Tattoo.com.
Goodbye June... Wow! Nashville has been said to be the Music City and with bands like Goodbye June emerging from that scene, it was rightly named. With a bit of rock and country and a lot of heart and soul, this band of three cousins created music magic for festival fans. No gimmicks, just raw, real, passion-fueled music. They are out on tour now with none other than Badflower. Be sure to check their tour schedules to see when they will be hitting a stage near you and get to know the band in our on-camera interview, coming soon to Tattoo.com!
Nothing More put on another flawless performance at Northern Invasion. Frontman Johnny is not just a vocalist but one hell of a percussionist. He plays drums in ways you could never imagine and I promise you have not seen anywhere, ever, and probably never will. That said, I do not want to spoil the show. So now is the time to get to a venue and see Nothing More live. I know fans left Somerset with plans to see this band live as much as possible.
And the band winner for best crowd participation goes to Motionless in White. When "America" kicked in the fans straight away knew to repeat and step up and show Motionless what they had. There is nothing like thousands of fans screaming out A.M.E.R.I.C.A.!! Added into an already powerful paced set was new music from “Graveyard Shift”. Fans got a chance to see the new music live. Once they got a taste of it, they were treated to classics like Reincarnate. All this set against the backdrop of Halloween with a bit of sexy sassy-ness mixed in. When candy is thrown to the crowd by a bombshell ladies done up Motionless in White style, the fans could not help but go balls to the wall crazy.
Starset...you've heard their music everywhere. But for those who have not seen them live you are in for a treat. On stage Starset not only rocks you, they take you on a visual music voyage that includes violin, cello, keyboard, and... well the rest you must see for yourself.
Papa Roach, I credit them with being the best band of all time. Why? Putting aside that the music is timeless, powerful, and is honest as hell, there is what happens at a live show. Jacoby makes the fans feel like they matter. He shares little stories and has conversations from the stage with fans. One of the best parts of the set is when Jacoby told the crowd how humbled he was that so many people came out to see Papa Roach tear shit up. That attitude from the band to the fans combined with kick-ass music is what has kept Papa Roach relevant since they started taking the stage. Be sure to get your hands on the new album “Crooked Teeth” out May 19.
The Offspring gets props for most body passing in one set that I have ever seen. They are just as in-your-face as they were when they first hit the music scene. Offspring fans span generations - with those who have been a fan since they started in the 90‘s to today. I have never seen so many people surf through the crowd as I did during this set. There was something magical about the sun setting in the rolling hills of WI and hundreds of people being passed about like bails of hay into a wagon, all to the live soundtrack of The Offspring.
A set complete with true Kid Rock attitude, fire, and the music that made Kid Rock a household name, Northern Invasion came to an end.
I have to give props to DWP and AEG as well as Monster Energy for putting on yet another awesome festival. Remember festivals are one of the best ways to have the ultimate music experience. Be sure to save the date and make Northern Invasion part of your summer in 2018.