Palaye’s prohibitive heist to new heights, Patty Walters homesick homage to 20th century emo and Madden’s monotonous mulling over eternal beholden. Slam Dunk South Festival 2018 eradicated everything quintessentially Alternative from the tip of the 50 plus lively line up to the top of the colourful array of once beer bound paper cups, with pop-punk taking it’s steady stance on the waging war on single use plastic whilst wailing to the wonders of distorted guitars, harmonious humming and meteoric melodies in its marshalling of music.
A Brit bank holiday classic compromising of 3 days of revolving rock, paramountly pop-punk and alternative attributes Slam Dunk Festival’s northern, midlands and southern sites saw a set of greatly glorified artists act upon their skill set, singing across several stages and signing in the suburbs of tents from Slam Dunk’s start over a decade ago. Since that sector separation from its record label leverage, the evolution from small scale showcase to filled up festival has entrapped a flurry of fans under its disguised undeniable doubt in festivals leading controversy considering female fronted bands being a big lack on the gender equality gap line ups. Paramore’s 2007 main stage spot, New Years Day’s 2016 set and presently PVRIS Jägermaster performance is subliminally overshadowed by its male heavy hosting, with this years bill boldly being bands with a masculine stance across the 7 stage splits.
Signifying their set, state side staples State Champs chimed in contentedly curtesy of the candidly realistic and optimistic ‘All You Are Is History’ honed in from the Around the World and Back album, with a track that spearheaded a bulletproof recital from rigorous pop-punk rooters recalling “I’m a realist and an optimist/ But I swear to you, I’m not getting over this” that tethering into a monologue speech spoken by frontier Derek DiScanio’s slanting styled singing. Opening up ‘Crystal Ball’ with a speech of storytelling riproaring into riffs and slower pace punk production that makes the New York quintet transcend into fortune telling mystic megs, utilising their metaphysical means to recognise returnees with DiSanio rendering “There are a lot of familiar faces out here’ prior to performing 2015 song ‘Secrets’. Lead with Graham’s striking bass strokes with instrumental inclines and declines as the lyrics lure a chronicle of an extreme secret keeper thats tone teaches feelings of fury, similar to subsequent act Sleeping With Sirens self identity realisation and enraged rampage ‘Kick Me’.
“I heard Slam Dunk is the rowdiest Festival there is” Kellin kicked off to the Hatfield, Hertfordshire sunburnt bodied crowd surfers. Rocking a red flannel a shade on par to the radiation riddled skins of Slam Dunk’s spectators, swinging his microphone menacingly moments before breaking into serendipitously astonishing acapella between the deeply significant sentiment “This is not where I belong/ You’re going to miss me when I’m gone” off ‘Better Off Dead’ unaccompanied of instrumentals as Quinn’s shrewd singing solely stands on its lonesome. Spectated in the shadows by Brighton based band As It Is’ Patty Walters stood in Sirens’ set, stylised as the new capsule Gerard Way the epitome of 2000’s emo for the eventual The Great Depression LP, who’s audience shared a uniformity with opening up mosh pits proceeding inappropriately timed tracks such as the sibling supporting song ‘Hey Rachael’ hardly an aggravating, energy combusting composition to be that pop-punk towards.
Fighting the forging female inequality featured on festival line up’s amongst the “Sexism is not on” statement maker, Creeper’s vocalist and key player Hannah Greenwood representative of the woman waging minority counterbalance, with neighbouring leading lady Lynn Gunn who lavished on a euphoria of lachrymose loneliness, relationship ruining and desperate soul searching. Singing American Rock gathering PVRIS monochromatic All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hellhits ‘Whats Wrong’, ‘Heaven’ plus electropop intertwined alternative rock debut White Noise‘You and I’ unleashed in its angelic and devilish gloomy glory, on the Jägermeister main stage.
Set times causing a chaotic clash of schedules with Taking Back Sunday, As It Is, Goldfinger and Palaye Royale all fitting in their features frantically ahead of the duo of American headliners hitting the drinks endorsed Jägermeister and Monster platforms, the latter of the list enlisted their small but study super fans proclaimed as Soldiers of the Royal Council cultivation to clamber to the Rocksound Breakout tent, to blast Boom Boom Roomfashion art-rock facade with core classics ‘Mr. Doctor Man’ embodying the frontman of the chiselled cheekbone collectives industrialised glam rock grandiosity. With the harshly endearing vocals behind Andy Biersack’s devil dealing rockstar character pinnacled in the soundtrack success to the shock value thriller American Satan, the red two piece rocker Remington Leith lulled to The Royal Council committee “I want to thank every single one of you for being here” before battling the bars of the stages scaffolding in a signature stunt that sent security speeding after the singer, penultimately plummeting back down to base covering emo entrepreneurs My Chemical Romance’s adolescent prerconceptionalised ‘Teenagers’. Yet Leith’s luring allures sparked debate as to whether reviving a reminisced bands repertoire was to pay respect to an idolised icon or as a complete crowd goer choice.
Carrying off into the climaxing Jimmy Eat World and Good Charlotte’s self struggles and 90’s nostalgic anthems, elevated a culture of non-sober sunburnt singers together in a telltale pop-punk party land.
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