Another year, another sun-soaked, all-day party decorated with some of the best live alternative acts around. Welcome to Slam Dunk Festival 2018!
For many, Slam Dunk represents the purest form of music based excitement; the anticipation of line up announcements, the experience of so many staple bands under one roof and even the surreal moments of having your favourite band members roaming the venue like its some kind of pop-punk awards show.
Of course, the 3-day traveling festival has never been a stranger to high expectations. Returning to Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre for a third round of organised chaos, boasting over 50 bands and 8 genre-themed stages for fans to explore, dance and mosh their way through over the course of the day – Slam Dunk fever was back in full force.
Upon entering the site, the atmosphere was ecstatic; fans rushed to secure their spots at each stage while others took some time to familiarise themselves with the large layout of the sight. When the majority of fans had entered the site the calm before the storm had ended, shattered spectacularly by Loathe opening up the Impericon stage with a meld of downturned guitars and gritty vocals.
From that point on, the day became somewhat of a blur; running to and from stages in hopes of catching as many bands as possible proving to be equally exhausting and thrilling. Between Knuckle Puck’s incredible set opening the Jägermeister main stage, Jimmy Eat World completely crushing the Monster Energy Main stage and Me vs Hero’s triumphant return, there were far too many incredible moments to reminisce over without writing several essays on the topic – so here’s some of my personal favourites.
Say Anything – Monster Energy Main Stage:
Completely stealing the show, frontman Max Bemis and his bandmates of Say Anything performed what might be one of my favourite festival sets in recent years. The instrumentals sounded huge, the crowd more than engaged and of course, Bemis’ ecstatic stage presence tied the show together perfectly. The set list featured a respectable range of tracks, primarily favouring the band’s debut album ‘Is a Real Boy’, yet the real achievement came from the passion found within each member, audience and band alike. The highlight being the spectacular ending of the first song ‘Belt’ – making one hell of a first impression.