Over the end May Bank Holiday weekend, thousands of alternative music lovers headed to Slam Dunk Festival 2018. Based in three locations, Leeds, Birmingham and Hatfield, the event saw everyone from Jimmy Eat World, to Every Time I Die, PVRIS, Reel Big Fish and Good Charlotte take to its multiple stages, alongside bands like Sleep On It and Grayscale, who were making their debut UK festival appearance.
With a line-up so good, we thought we’d head down alongside our friends from Darkus Magazine to see if Slam Dunk could deliver and it certainly did. Fortunately a handful of the acts who played are back at our venues later this year, check them out below.
Credit: Corinne Cumming
Taking to the main stage to spread plenty of party vibes, were American pop-punk band, State Champs. No strangers to whipping crowds up into a frenzy, they never fail to have a good time live, even if their set was shorter than the norm. Fuelled by energy and passion, the band pounded their way through State Champs classics, such as ‘Elevated’ and ‘All You Are Is History’ as well as previewing some newer material from upcoming album, Living Proof.
O2 ABC Glasgow: Tuesday 23 October Buy Tickets
O2 Academy Leeds: Tuesday 30 October Buy Tickets
O2 Institute Birmingham: Wednesday 31 October Buy Tickets
O2 Academy Bristol: Thursday 1 November Buy Tickets
After a fabulous few months it was great to see St Albans band Trash Boat joining the party for Slam Dunk 2018. Playing over at the Signature Brew stage, it was clear from the beginning that they were here to mean business. From the very moment they all stepped onto the stage the atmosphere was electric as they treated fans to some of their new material from forthcoming album, Crown Shyness. Whether you’ve followed Trash Boat for a while or if you’ve only recently discovered them, it’s safe to say they’ve put a lot of hard work into their new music and their performance, and have left fans hungry for more.
O2 Ritz Manchester: Wednesday 28 November* Buy Tickets
O2 Institute Birmingham: Thursday 29 November* Buy Tickets
O2 Forum Kentish Town: Saturday 1 December* Buy Tickets
*On tour with As It Is
It’s been a while since PVRIS were on UK soil, having dominated O2 Academy Brixton late last year, so seeing them on Slam Dunk’s main stage was a treat to say the least. Having previously suffered from some vocal kinks, vocalist Lynn Gunn has now transformed her voice and sounds more powerful than ever, truly coming into her own on stage. Naturally, songs such as ‘My House’ were enormous crowd pleasers, but newer offerings such as ‘No Mercy’ and ‘Half’ were performed with enough fire to set the place alight. Hopefully they won’t wait too long to make their way back over here again, because this was a set everyone deserves to see.
Over on the Rock Sound Breakout stage, Australian trio, Stand Atlantic were making their mark with their refreshing pop-punk vibes. Despite still being fairly new to the scene, they made sure that the energy and chemistry they have on stage was also reflected into the crowd, with tracks from last year’s debut EP, Sidewinder, going down a storm.
O2 ABC Glasgow: Tuesday 23 October* Buy Tickets
O2 Academy Leeds: Tuesday 30 October* Buy Tickets
O2 Institute Birmingham: Wednesday 31 October* Buy Tickets
O2 Academy Bristol: Thursday 1 November* Buy Tickets
*On tour with State Champs
Making a welcomed return to the Slam Dunk, after last playing in 2015, was Canadian hardcore band Comeback Kid. Taking over the Impericon stage at O2 Academy Leeds, they completely owned their set from the moment they stepped foot on stage, with pure adrenaline running through their veins. Having left a Comeback Kid-shaped hole in our lives for so long, there was a lot of catching up to do and they treated fans to a high-energy selection of favourites from 2007’s Broadcaster, as well we some of the first songs they ever wrote together, leaving fans dripping with sweat by the time their set was done. What a way to welcome the back and toast to the road ahead of them.
AS IT IS
Credit: Corinne Cumming
Having recently transformed their look from laidback 50s to full-blown emo, As It Is are a band ready to start a movement. Frontman Patty Walters never faulters in getting the crowd raring to go and his energy is completely infectious. Kicking things off with recent release, ‘The Wounded World’ the band gave a taste of what’s to come from their new album and live shows, whilst still delivering their old favourites with as much passion as they did when they first released them.
O2 Ritz Manchester: Wednesday 28 November Buy Tickets
O2 Institute Birmingham: Thursday 29 November Buy Tickets
O2 Forum Kentish Town: Saturday 1 December Buy Tickets
JIMMY EAT WORLD
It’s been well over a year since emo-rock heroes Jimmy Eat World were here and it sure felt good to have them back and headlining Slam Dunk Festival. Trying to cram 25-years of music into 80 minutes is no easy task, but one that Jimmy and co. had no trouble with. Perfectly mixing tracks from latest full-length, Integrity Blues, with the sing-at-the-top-of-your-lungs anthems such as ‘Sweetness’ and ‘The Middle’, as well as throwing in the incredibly emotional ‘23’, their set was the most incredible way to end the festival and we can’t wait to have them back in our venues once again.
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