Slam Dunk Festival 2018’s line-up was arguably the best yet and we weren’t left disappointed! Even the weather held off in Birmingham to allow us to enjoy the full festivities. First up on the agenda are Australian quartet The Faim on the Rock Sound Breakout stage. The Perth natives have shown an incredible rise over the last few months and gained new fans for sure across Slam Dunk, joining the ever-increasing ranks of the Faimily. The crowd is a mix of people singing along and people seeing/hearing of The Faim for the first time, but there is one thing in common and that everyone is having a great time, following the lead of charismatic frontman Josh Raven and obeying every command. Singles Midland Line, Summer Is A Curse and Saints Of The Sinners go down a storm as do opening track My Heart Needs To Breathe. Make Believe slows things down and there is a touching moment of a fan in the front row holding up a flip book with the lyrics on, to the delight of Josh who spends most of the song acknowledging by using the lyrics. A very tight set from a young band who continue to impress time after time.
Creeper return to Slam Dunk Festival, this time taking their rightful place on the main stage. From the opening notes of Black Rain to the closing of Misery, the crowd are treated to a staple Creeper show. Keyboardist/vocalist Hannah Greenwood takes centre stage for Crickets, momentarily slowing down the punk furore of the likes of Poison Pens and Suzanne. Astral Projection is the only track in the set not from debut album Eternity In Your Arms. Frontman Will Ghould is as captivating as ever, creating a masterpiece of a set.
When you open the set with one of your most well-known hits, you know it’s going to be a good set and as soon as the opening “I’m a realest and an optimist, but I swear to you, I’m not getting over this” is heard, on main stage, we know that State Champs are going to be going off! And off they went as they provided the thousands packed into the main arena with one of the most energetic and classic pop-punk sets. Newest singles Dead And Gone and Crystal Ball go down a treat and hearing them live gets fans excited for the new record next month.
Crown The Empire take to the Impericon stage and powered through a raft of tracks, putting on a tight display and exciting the crowd. Frontman Andy Leo is a honed professional and the musicianship on display further backs up why the music world are hyped about Crown The Empire.
British rockers Lower Than Atlantis stop the festivities for a round of drinks, picking out members of the crowd to down their drinks before frontman Mike Duce and the band’s tour manager take their turns. The crowd are very receptive, forming circle pits when asked and singing along from the opening moments of Had Enough to the closing of Here We Go, just getting into the overall feel of the Lower Than Atlantis festival party.
Northlane are next up on the Impericon stage and fully wow the crowd with an impressive setlist, featuring not only tracks from latest album Mesmer, including latest single Heartmachine, but also digging deep into their back-catalogue for the likes of Masquerade and Quantum Flux! The screams are tight, the cleans are sharp and the Australians are on point.
Headlining the Rock Sound Breakout stage are Palaye Royale and the fashion-art rockers put on a show-stopping set. Right off the bat of Don’t Feel Quite Right, we are treated to some high energy, real rock ‘n’ roll. Frontman Remington Leith is every bit the charming, enigmatic frontman, raising hell both on the stage and in the crowd. Mr. Doctor Man and Ma Cherie get some of the loudest sing-a-longs. Palaye Royale truly show just why everyone is raving about them.
Good Charlotte close the night off in spectacular style. Opening with The Anthem kicks the set off with a huge sing-a-long. There are stories about being back in the UK and the fans making sure they are still relevant and a whole range of tracks from throughout the punks’ impressive back catalogue. Keep Your Hands Off My Girl, Girls & Boys and Riot Girl get the crowd jumping. Lifestyles Of The Rich And Famous closes the night off with one of the loudest sing-a-longs imaginable. It’s safe to say that 22 years on, Good Charlotte are still one of the most memorable and relevant artists in the rock scene and tonight showed exactly why.