On Bank Holiday Monday I dug out my ripped jeans and old Green Day shirt and god my punk on.
Slam Dunk’s 10th year was down south boasting punk’s royalty like Yellowcard and New Found Glory.The bonus of it being such a small festival is, even from the queue to get in, you can hear he main stage. I could hear Young Guns and I was dying to get to them. We arrived late anyway due to bad hotel placement and my terrible passenger/navigator. So by the time we got to the venue, I only got to see two songs. But they were absolute BANGERS. The first was crowd-anthem Bones, the first Young Guns song most of us heard. The second and final song was lead single from their most recent album Ones and Zeros, I Want Out and it was powerful. In the band’s parting words they mentioned a new album and tour for the autumn, so that is definitely something to look forward to. Next up was my partner in crime Kayla’s pick for the day, now I’d seen mine, Mayday Parade. I’ve never really paid much attention to them before, so I thought that would’ve been a good time to give them a go. It turns out they’re not for me. Their music is far too pop-punk for me, too high-pitched and waily and I’ve never heard the phrase “holy cow” said in my life, more than that half hour set.
After we waded out of the sea of screaming girls, we had a look around for some food. There was a great choice of food; indian food, burritos, noodles, burgers, any form of unhealthy food you could dream of. And the beer tent. I settled for an onion bhaji and a cider before settling down on the grass to listen to Yellowcard from a distance. We were just chatting away , having a good time when we heard the opening of the ONE SONG everyone knows.
THERE’S A PLACE OFF OCEAN AVENUE. Ahem. Anyway. Soon after, their set ended and the stage was set up for Mallory Knox. I’ve seen them before at another festival but they were on early and everyone was hanging, so I don’t think they quite reached full potential. But oh god, did they deliver this time. I watched them play their anthems Lighthouse, Beggars and Death Rattle from the side, seeing Mikey Chapman bounce around their giant MK on stage. The crowd were puuuumped.And when I say I watched from the side, I watched from the queue for the signing tent to go meet Young Guns. I’m still a fan girl at heart. Such a fan girl in fact, when I met singer Gus Wood, I literally had no words. I managed to somehow get a picture where I look SO HAPPY. Good day so far.
Next on the main stage was New Found Glory. Pink legends. I’ve seen this band before too, at the same festival as I saw Mallory Knox. Last time I wasn’t impressed, so honestly my (controversial) standards weren’t set very high. Luckily, Kayla shared the same opinion as me, so we went off and explored. We found ourselves at the Uprawr stage, watching some very drunk dancing and also some very serious dancing. A strange mix to watch. We also somehow ended up in a dance off with some special moves including backflips and the worm. We actually had such a good time watching this one guy drunk dance that we didn’t realise that Panic! at the Disco had started on the main stage. Oops.
We move back to the main stage and slide in at the side ready to hear last remaining member Brendon Urie exercise his falsetto. And he really did. So many high notes. Being the third time I’d seen them, I was slightly more interested in seeing Of Mice and Men on the Atlas stage instead. We left Panic! during a song Kayla didn’t know so she wouldn’t get distracted.
We arrived during You Make Me Sick, which definitely got me in the mood. I was getting into it when they played Another You. That song is my weakness. Gets me a few every time. Sob. Kayla turned to me and told me to hold myself together. Such support.
Since we arrived halfway through the set, we didn’t get too many songs but we still got to see massive tracks Would You Still Be There, Second and Sebring and closing track You’re Not Alone. Their live skills surpassed my hopes. After his multiple surgeries, Austin Carlisle has bounced back and the band held a totally united front. They smashed it.
And just like that, Slam Dunk was over for another year. One day packed with huge names for the festival’s 10th year. Until next time.