Slam Dunk Festival (London – UK)

The day had finally arrived after another year, well we didn’t have to wait quite that long this time round for the glorious Slam Dunk Festival to return to the shores which had all punters chomping at the bit and with a line up including Sum41, Alexisonfire and The Dropkick Murphys who could blame them really…

It started off as any other festival day full of excitement and anticipation waiting for the acts to take the stage and melt some faces with some bone crunching riffs. The problem if there was any at a festival was of course which bands to see on the day and whether you would watch a full set here or a half set there then sprint over to another stage spilling your drinks all over yourself along the way just in the nick of time to catch some more of your favourite acts.

First up was The Suicide Machines and talk about starting off with a bang. Front man Jason Navarro wasting no time at all by jumping into the crowd and playing the entire set from the mosh pit much to the delight of the hardcore fans that had turned up early. Chugging down the beers and belting through the tunes it was epic, finishing with ‘New Girl’ the set was far too short but sadly had to come to an end.

Making our way through the festival saw a pit stop to see Frank Zummo of Sum 41 playing on the Key Club stage for his second only ever solo appearance. His mix of well-known tracks and frenetic drum skilled infused together with such a dominating presence on the sticks had quickly drawn a crowd into the tent which was to see just a glimpse of what’s to come at the end of the days play.

After promising ourselves that this year we were not going to start drinking early, we decided to start drinking early… it’s a punk rock festival, it would be rude not to… haha
It was after midday, and we were off to watch French outfit Chunk! No, Captain Chunk. Unfortunately, the group had to cut their set short due to technical difficulties plaguing stage at the time but managed to whip out a few crowd favourites like ‘The Other Line’ and a cover of smash mouths hit ‘Allstar’ which had everyone jumping in unison

Next up on the bill was Silverstein and much to my own surprise abit to early on the line up as you would expect for these guys that have a bit of a cult following and would usually warrant a higher spot…. Any who as usual Silverstein absolutely smashed through their songs nice and breezy playing a mix of old a new including some personal faves of mine ‘The Afterglow’ and ‘Ultraviolet’.

A pit stop pouring sweat and a few bevies later… I popped my cherry for Streetlight Manifesto and was left wanting more. The ska punk outfit incredible on the Dickies stage tearing through it quicker than a kebab after a big night on the town. With front man Tomas Kalnokys hijinx on stage it was a highlight.

We skipped back over to the Jägermeister stage to check out Brisbane rock/metal group The Amity Affliction, the singer kinda reminds me of 360 a rapper from Melbourne in a way. But yeah, full credits got to be shown to these guys as one unlucky member of the crowd was overcome exhausted and needed medical attention. The set come to a halt for a while but then they resumed to finish it off in style with ‘Soak me in bleach’.

Now we were getting to the business end of the day starting off with a flawless performance from The Interrupters and then The Dropkick Murphys soon after seeing the masses descending towards the main stage and meaning everyone’s finally pissed off so I could go back a get another beer, I was fairly parched by this point of the day.

It was great to see Alexisonfire back in form after three years away from the UK. With George sporting some long flowing locks and managing to keep his shirt on for the entire set which is rare for anyone that has seen them live before. The sound is intoxicating, and the vocals of Dallas Green is just delicious to hear live. The lads churning out hits from their platinum selling records ‘Crisis’ and ‘Old Crows, Young Cardinals’ and with The Used pulling out of the festival a last-minute shuffle saw them not clash with the headliners over on the Dickies stage.

Stumbling through the see of people it was time to witness Sum 41. Got a full chub… Last time watching them live was just before the big flu kicked off they played a secret show playing ‘Does this looked infected’ in full. Needless to say I partied like it was 2003. They had a massive inflatable satan behind the stage to set the mood, which was cool. And starting off with ‘Motivation’ got everyone up and about especially after brown sound started shredding through ‘Hell Song’ and ‘Over my Head’. It had me salivating. Playing tracks from their huge back catalogue with massive fireball pyrotechnics going off periodically it was just a great party scene. Later, the crowd joined as one to belt out ‘In too deep’ and then it was time to close the show and say goodbye to this year’s slam dunk festival with ‘Still Waiting’. Fuck me what a day out!!! Check the pics below.

Review and pics by Michael Dickson.

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