After the dust settles, all we are left with is our memories.

It’s been almost two weeks since Northern Invasion closed out its 4th year. It was my first year in attendance and it has taken me awhile to really formulate into words what was such a great experience.

I went into this weekend with only knowing a handful of the artists. I checked out everyone ahead of time and was excited to see what their live performances would bring. To state it simply – I was not disappointed. The big highlights for me outside of the larger named bands were GRANDSON, Parkway Drive, Joyous Wolf, and Whitney Peyton. Each of these bands engaged the crowds, mastered their stage presence, and whipped up the excitement  (Especially when riding a Pink Flamingo) and helped us live in the moment and treasure the memories being made around us.

While the somewhat lesser known bands truly were outstanding – I couldn’t go without mentioning how amazing the heavy hitters were. It was my first time seeing A Perfect Circle in about a decade. Their show was exhilarating. They have an electricity all their own and I watched from afar seeing everyone swaying to the sounds and channeling the energy from the stage. Avenged Sevenfold brought the fire. Literally. They had flames and fireworks closing out Saturday. While I don’t normally dig on A7X, their presence and set were undeniably engaging. Anti-Flag blew the lid off of the Bud Light Stage. Their high energy and political stance had the largest circle pits I have seen running constantly. Stone Temple Pilots was a dream to watch and listen to. I feel like they are one of those bands that you never truly realize how many hits they had until their ENTIRE set was made of songs you can instantly remember and sing along to. For the last two bands I sat near the back of the extremely large crowd. I sat and listened to Alice in Chains in what was my first experience seeing them live. They are still doing their thing and I hope that never changes. Their music lead a generation through the 90’s and they didn’t miss a beat.

Tool. Fucking. Tool. I reviewed them previously about a year ago. Some of you may know they have a new album coming out at some point in the next 10 years. 😊 But with the band actually in the studio I was hoping/yearning for new tunes. I kept telling myself it wouldn’t happen. I wanted to keep my hopes as low as I could as they progressed through their setlist. Unfortunately I was right that the only “new” song we got was ‘Descending’. After the first few songs (The Grudge, Parabol(a), Schism) I dug in and let the music envelop my mind. Tool has a unique gift that I have yet to find elsewhere. Their music has the ability to draw you in and hold you there on an ethereal plane. It is always a pleasure to see them perform.

I want to say thank you to AEG Presents, DWP and Monster Energy. It was a great time had by all. I don’t see how next year could be better, but I am sure they will find a way!