A busy Day 2 of Northern Invasion 2018 began before gates opened as I interviewed female rapper Whitney Peyton about her music and being a woman in the music industry (so stay tuned for that!). Fortunately, the weather on Day 2 was ideal for an outdoor music festival as it was beautiful and sunny; the opposite of Day 1’s (check out our coverage here) cold, cloudy, and rainy weather.
Rock band Joyous Wolf from Southern California brought intense energy as they began the day with their unique sound - a mix of heavy metal and delta blues. Next Whitney Peyton brought even more energy to the small stage by interacting with the crowd throughout her entire set; complete with crowd surfing on her inflatable pink flamingo, which I had met during her interview.
Shortly after was Spirit Animal who had an old-school rock n’ roll vibe and reminded me more of a band that would play Lollapalooza than a rock festival. Turns out this was the calm before the storm as The Fever 333 was next on the small stage and brought the most intense performance Northern Invasion 2018 (and myself) would see. Complete with skateboarding, crowd surfing, and other antics – former letlive. frontman Jason Aalon Butler did not disappoint.
After a quick break for lunch, I was back to the small stage (a lot less walking for me than on Day 1) to photograph I See Stars. I have been a fan of the Michigan-based band since I was 13 but had never seen them live, making them another act I could cross off my bucket list.
Following I See Stars’ set, I made my way across the festival grounds to the main stage for Asking Alexandria. I’m not ashamed to admit that I had seen them a few times already at Warped Tour and even stood in line to meet them back in my scene days. Their setlist was a mix of old and new tracks and the crowd seemed to know every word.
During my short break between Asking Alexandria’s set and the next band on the main stage was my interview with all three members of The Fever 333 – so look forward to that! Black Veil Brides, another band I had wanted to see for a long time due to their stylized performances, commanded the main stage and closed with their hit “In the End” which the crowd joined in on, making it one of the best moments of the festival.
My busy day was not over as I quickly made my way once again to the small stages on the other side of the grounds for Anti-Flag. Their emotionally-charged performance with lots of jumps and middle fingers was exactly what I had expected of the classic punk band. Running back to the main stage, I caught Stone Temple Pilots’ set before returning to the small stage for The Used. I once again grabbed a quick dinner from the gourmet food vendors before heading to see Alice in Chain’s set which I was unfortunately unable to photograph.
The final band of the night – and the band everyone had been waiting for was Tool. Vocalist Maynard James Keenan’s outfit was in stark contrast to his outfit the night before while performing with A Perfect Circle. For Tool’s set, he was dressed in a S.W.A.T. uniform and stood under a dim spotlight.
As Day 2 and Northern Invasion 2018 came to a close, I began to walk up the long hill towards the exit in the hope of beating traffic. But as I began my ascent, I found myself continuously stopping to look back at the main stage and admire the fact that thousands of people had forgotten their differences and come together to enjoy music – something that will never cease to amaze me.