Slam Dunk Festival 2016 was always going to be a special one, with this being the 10th Anniversary of the festival. Spread across three locations & three days, Slam Dunk manages to go across the U.K bringing a plethora of bands to each destination for a day of great vibes & music.
After queuing for over an hour to get in, passes were sorted and the day started to begin, not wanting to miss any of the action after the initial delay I headed over to Miss May I (An American Melodic Metal-core band from Ohio, America who formed in 2007) on the Atlas Stage where they treated the audience to an energetic performance with Levi Benton making the most of the stage, managing to get a fairly fresh audience to open up the pit.
Mayday Parade on the Main Stage was almost a world apart from the atmosphere that Miss May I created. With their soft yet catchy sound they treated the audience to a mixture of songs including classics from their discography such as ‘Jamie All Over‘, ‘Three Cheers For Five Years‘ & ‘Black Cat‘ that instantly got the crowd singing along, following a strong yet calm performance they closed on ‘Jersey‘ which instantly threw me back to 2007.
Dead! was one of the biggest surprises for me, having only briefly heard their music before coming, I was excited to see more from them. To put it lightly they did not disappoint. Playing on the Kerrang! Fresh Blood stage it was a slight struggle to make my way to their set after getting crushed by a sea of people on the way up but once I was there I was treated to a full on performance which involved the lead singer jumping up and walking along the bar during their final song.
I only managed to catch the end of the Heart Of A Coward set on the Impericon Stage but what I did see made me wish I had the opportunity to have seen them in their entirety; clearly a band who know how to pick the crowd up and throw them into a realm of chaos, the first sight I saw was a circle pit full of bodies whose arms and legs were swinging. A song or two later, commands were being given from front man Jamie Graham for everyone to come together, put their arms around the person next to them and jump on his command; this resulted in several rows of interlinked fans jumping to the beat of the music.
Mallory Knox treated the audience of the Main Stage to a set comprising of a mixture of songs from their repertoire including fan favourites such as ‘Lighthouse‘, ‘Beggars‘ & ‘Death Rattle‘. Although the audience seemed pleased, I felt the performance was a little lacklustre; this could be something to do with it being the third day in a row in the third location but it just seemed to lack that extra spark in comparison to some of the other performances of the day.
Memphis May Fire were on the Atlas Stage. Each member walked on to applause from the audience, the largest of which was for lead singer Matty Mullins. You could feel the excitement in the air, opening with ‘Prove Me Right‘ & later on a heart felt rendition of ‘Miles Away‘, they really treated the audience to a strong performance. This is one band I definitely want to check out again next time they are touring the U.K.
Issues are a band admittedly I was not too familiar with prior to Slam Dunk 2016. Not really knowing what to expect I was greatly impressed with the Atlanta based metal-core outfit, with the audience singing along to the majority of their set, the atmosphere summed up the day perfectly in how special events like this can be.
Panic! At The Disco was always going to be an incredible act and they did not disappoint. The crowd were treated to a mixture of songs, including classics such as ‘I Write Sins Not Tragedies‘ and an impressive rendition of Queen‘s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody‘. With pyrotechnics, and Brendan Urie breaking out a drum solo, a back flip and casually dancing around the stage, it was very much a show alongside the music. Playing a majority of the latest album ‘Death Of A Bachelor‘ you could hear the audience chanting back to each song, dancing as much as humanly possible in the crowded space. ‘Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Time‘ & ‘Victorious‘ went down specifically well.
Overall Slam Dunk is a festival not to be missed, although I do advise arriving early to make sure you don’t get hit with the dreaded queue. With a mixture of bands to suit most tastes there really is something there for everyone! I, for one, am greatly looking forward to next year to see what acts they can get together for a day full of great people & even better music.