Less than a year has passed since the previous iteration of Slam Dunk Festival and here we are for the third time at the Temple Newsam site since switching from the city centre where just about everything is bigger and better! The stages, the food, the acts, the sound etc. It feels truly amazing to be back without the fear of coughs, covid passes and everything else in-between that would stop us from attending!
Having grown up from my teenage years to university on a steady diet of Pop-Punk, Metalcore and tonnes of more music, it almost feels as if this is a dream today and it feels as if the gap between all the shows in the last few months has passed. Also, this has to be the most diverse lineup I’ve witnessed in a long long time!
Over on their festival debut, the Baltimore based Pinkshift continue to win over some new faces to the band and I’ll say this, their energy levels didn’t drop by one bit at all. They sounded up to that point in the day, the best out of every single band on the day and they continue to win over every person that watched (including myself) especially with their recently released single ‘Nothing (in my head) which has you losing your mind over that soaring guitar.
Kicking off the heavier side of things is the always incredible, Cassyette, an artist who hasn’t gone unnoticed over the last year and has steadily put out a consistent repertoire of banger after banger. Her oozing her anthemic liveability has the early crowd being thoroughly entertained with her glam rock attitude with her added swagger though… she lives up to the hype.. Being a staple as one to watch could lead her to falter a but but with track such as ‘Sad Summer Girl’, it makes her pleasing to watch and hopefully in a few years time, we’ll see this artist head further up the festival bill.
Rising Aussie favourites take to the Temple Newsam stage for the second time in as many days, previously on You Me At Six’s 10 Years Of Sin (Sinners Never Sleep Anniversary Shows) it’s clear that they’re fan favourites in the scene at the moment the way everyone’s bouncing on the stage to show that this is Yours Truly’s world, we’re just living in it and proof that they have only gotten better with time, refining their sound over the pandemic. Sadly though production monsters have struck during their set which do plague the performance on the occasion but that doesn’t make things unenjoyable, it makes us want to watch even more.
Meet Me At The Altar
Today there’s someone we’ve been wanting to watch for a while now but sadly their set is plagued by some technical difficulties, especially on their guitar early into their set. After some momentum from May The Odds Be In Your Favour, the sounds are a little disappointing in the rhythm of their set but around their ending, they do show some motivation at what they really can do to make them a good presence where hen they do make their UK return, these problems won’t bring them down, they’ll bring the carnage to their set.
‘Lets show them how we do it in the north’. says Hannah Mee, leading the charge with Hot Milk as they reach some amazing heights with their Rock Scene stage performance. The band blast through some high octane tracks, the recently released ‘Bad Influence’ as well as their previous title track off EP, ‘I Just Wanna Know What Happens When I’m Dead’with every single piece of energy just dripping from the band, it’s very impressive to say the least. Hot Milk continue to go from strength to strength in the dynamic flow of their back catalogue of tracks and the atmosphere just raises things up ten times of what any band has accomplished so far today.
Another international debut, were the social media sensations, Magnolia Park. ’10 for 10′ became this full circle moment for everyone in the crowd because it was one of those songs that when you hear for the first time which has a poignant meaning and the standout on the day of the festival but made them all the more crushing and pleasing to watch. In all honesty they are ballsy to be covering ‘Sugar We’re Going Down’ (as is anyone who chooses to) and they nail it perfectly because of their modern electro-pop blend which fans have become accustomed to. The more I listen to Magnolia Park, the more interesting they become to me not only because they seem to be the future of what the genre has to offer but because when they inevitably make their Slam Dunk return, a bigger stage will be required.
It’s been a while since the record ‘internet Killed The Rockstar’ dropped and he brought about a new age of Rock to our ears and when the tracks ‘Karma’, ‘Annoying’ and more hit, all you hear is the entire crowd chanting back and screaming the lyrics. What’s more is the amount of time Mod Sun interacts with the crowd, expressing how loved he feels to be there and the entire time, that love is reciprocated. Dedicating the set to his fiancé Avril Lavigne (and even a few rumours of the queen herself being there) the 2021 breakout single ‘Flames’ is one that possibly can be heard across the pond for what is a fantastic set for the first time appearance
Set It Off
It’s been three years since Set IT Off last played in the UK. Postponement after postponement meant that their latest upcoming tour has now been on the back burner for the last few years (thanks to COVID) and this is just the opening salvo of what is to expect when things come about in a few months time. Starting off with ‘Skeleton’ and ‘Projector’ it’s obvious that they’re clear fan favourites already and will continue to stay in their setlist for a good while but that doesn’t mean they won’t bust out their old hits such as ‘Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing’ as well as ‘Why Worry’, there’s more than enough charm to go around, especially with the bands colour coded outfits as well as a You’re Next style bunny mask for their touring guitar player.
As December Falls
Making their return to Slam Dunk Festival (with their previous appearance back in 2018) and after an impressive SOLD OUT headlining run of the UK, British Pop-Punk protégées As December Falls continued to impress with their lovely catalogue of tracks, especially their latest release of ‘Go Away’, we just want more and we will on their upcoming Autumn UK Tour later this year. With the entire set of crowd pleasing tunes fizzing with some personality, the sass manages to cook up more to get the crowd really going and hopefully they’re going to be firm favourites sooner rather than later.
Now I Feel for Nova Twins, I really do. They’re at the end of the day just about to go on before main headliners Sum 41 but the more you watch from them, the more you’re just in their trance. With the crowd rather drained, the duo powerhouse get the crowd moving again and again to have them reignited to remind them just who the hell they’re watching. The annihilating Riffs and furious tracks make the most of their message and believe me when I say, nexttime they tour, get your butts to a show.
The final band to take to the stage, the kings of the festival today are sounding the absolute best from left to right all over the place, especially with a massive Red Devil looking ominously out into the crowd.
It feels so weird to be listening to tracks such as ‘The Hell Song’, ‘In Too Deep’ and ‘Fat Lip’ but I suppose that’s always the case of people you’ve been listening to for years. They’re always welcome with the favourites in their setlist where you hear the crowd collectively chanting back and a realisation comes to you, this is the community of the entire festival singing back. The setlist is culled from more nostalgia feels of the last 20+ years but they hold up time and time again.
Picking up in between the set, covers of riffs from The White Stripes ‘Seven Nation Army’ and Queens ‘We Will Rock You’ feel effortless from my standpoint. The band have always been capable of more, and the set provides it time and time again to bring Slam Dunk Festival 2022 to a triumphant end but if I may say, this is a crowd that wants more and they oozed up every last ounce of what was put out there today.