A Sold-Out Northern Invasion shakes the Midwest

The ‘World’s Loudest Month’ music festival series is expanding to the upper Midwest with the inaugural and now annual ‘Northern Invasion’. Out of Somerset, Wisconsin, only a stones throw from Twin Cities, ‘Northern Invasion’ put the ‘World’s Loudest Month’ festival series on the map for a part of the country that was missing out on the May madness.

The impressive lineup caused the festival to sell out a few weeks before the show and the weather was tip-top; what more could a new festival ask for? It was widely publicized by the end of the night that ‘Northern Invasion’ would be returning to Somerset for a second year.

Slipknot, the top name on the bill, is a frequent to the Midwestern venues, including the Somerset Amphitheater where Knotfest was staged only a few years ago. In a sense, this felt almost like a Knotfest 2.0.  While Knotfest had, in my opinion had a better complimenting lineup, the addition big names such as Five Finger Death Punch, Three Days Grace, Volbeat, Three Days Grace, Anthrax, and Halestorm set ‘Northern Invasion’ apart.

As for the afternoon and evening performances, Anthrax definitely topped expectations, spewing energy non-stop for their set. Cut slightly short by sound issues, fans were a little agitated, but Anthrax made the best of it, turning up the speed of the tempo even more than normal.

Volbeat and Three Days Grace weren’t standout performances, however they didn’t let anyone down. Various hits were able to get fans moving, but it wasn’t steady like Slipknot or Five Finger Death Punch can make happen.

Continuously rising in popularity, Five Finger Death Punch has grown and grown in the rock genre. Frontman Ivan Moody puts a game face on that could scare a grown man and fuels his set with a near-rage like motivation and the rest of the band elicits some great showmanship. Slipknot, Five Finger Death Punch; they’re performers and entertainers, something they do quite well alongside their music.

Some props and masks have changed, but this was still the Slipknot we all know. Explosive effects, mechanical risers with beer kegs as drums, and a strange demonic-like goat that just pokes at uber-religious critics are the norm for the Iowa natives. Slipknot was Slipknot, nothing more or less, however, their own brand of metal never loses its allure in a live setting.

Taking notes from siblings in the festival series, Northern Invasion was chalk full of diverse and tasty foods, free water, and of course beer. Fans had a ton of room to move around, lay out on the grass all day, or be compacted in the pit area where most of the crowd gathered.

Baking in the sun isn’t unheard of at festivals and these fans sure were getting their fair share of rays. Artists frequently threw water on the simmering crowd; security too had a hose at the ready, but never seemed to use it. But as night fell, so did the temperature. Once shedding clothes during the day, most searched for a sweater as temps dropped into the low 40s along with a not-so-friendly breeze.

For the most part, the first annual Northern Invasion was a success. Unlike the headliner though, most bands only had time to throw up a banner or something limited for stage props that more or less took away from the experience of the show. Festivals aren’t always pretty, but something in between nothing and Slipknot-level props would be a bit more entertaining.

Check out more from the World’s Loudest Month.

Slipknot

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Five Finger Death Punch

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Anthrax

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Volbeat

 

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In This Moment

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Falling In Reverse

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