May bank holiday weekend (27-29th May) sees the UK’s favourite touring festival Slam Dunk return for its 11th year! After the success of 2016’s run, including headliners Panic! At The Disco’s incredible set, we have all been wondering just how the organisers can top last year. Well they have tried and we’re pretty sure that it will be just as good, if not even better!
With hordes of new and returning acts, picking a top 10 ones to watch is very hard and we have to have a few notable mentions before starting. Notable mentions include Madina Lake’s reformation, Enter Shikari’s headline set, the pop punk princes of the new generation Neck Deep and the pop-punk kings of the old generation Bowling For Soup. Obviously every band are ones to watch, however, there isn’t enough time in the day and as with all festivals, there are bound to be clashes so we’ve come up with some of our main ones we think you should go and see;
Last year’s festival became Waterparks’ first ever UK appearances. The trio brought their cheeky and cheery attitudes and bangers to the Kerrang! Fresh Blood stage following the release of their Cluster EP just days earlier, however numerous people in the crowds at each day were singing every word back. We even had frontman Awsten Knight attempt to play Silver blindfolded in Birmingham, bringing some hilarity to the outside stage in the summer heat. Since then, they’ve toured the UK with managers and mentors Good Charlotte and even played Reading & Leeds festival, all BEFORE the November 2016 release of debut album Double Dare! So with all that in mind, we cannot wait to see what they return with this year!
Ice Nine Kills
Massachusetts theatrical metalcore quartet Ice Nine Kills are another who only made their UK debut last year with a November tour, however, Slam Dunk will be a special celebration as it marks their first UK festival! The band have captured hearts with their imaginative storytelling and dark and frankly brilliant music videos which not only incorporate the storyline of the tracks they represent, but as in the case of their latest three, also fitting perfectly to create a mini trilogy following yet another story. Another way they have captured hearts is with their intense live shows, truly showcasing their talents and just how effortlessly cleans and screams can mix with each other.
Set It Off
Florida punks Set It Off are returning to Slam Dunk for the second time following their 2015 debut. The happy-go-lucky energy the quartet bring to the stage is just incredible and if you combine that with a brilliantly hot and sunny day (Mr Sun, we’re counting on you to make it as beautiful as it was last year!) you’ll have a top set that will make you feel like you’re at Slam Dunk’s American cousin Warped Tour! This will be the first time in the UK for Set It off since latest album Upside Down was released and if that isn’t enough to get you dancing to their stage, then hopefully this will be;
We Are The Ocean
We’re bringing the sadness to this article now with We Are The Ocean. The alt-rock favourites are on their final run of shows before calling it a day, which makes us all sad here at AltCorner Towers. So you can expect their sets to be full of nostalgia and emotion as we sing along to all the classics including Ark, Young Heart, Holy Fire and Remember To Remember Them.
Frank Iero & The Patience
First off we’ll acknowledge that people will remember Frank Iero as one of the emo kings My Chemical Romance but now we’ve got that out of the way as it’s pretty irrelevant, lets talk about Frank Iero & The Patience. This is Frank’s latest project and they released their second album Parachutes back in October 2016 and it was pretty damn good if we do say so ourselves!
I Prevail are ones to watch for sure. Their latest album Lifelines hit number 1 in the iTunes rock chart so you know it must be good (spoiler, it is!)! They’ve also been announced for Warped Tour 2017 so you can guarantee they’ll give us a glimpse of what the lucky Americans get to see all summer long with their poppy choruses, riffs galore and bringing the breakdowns.
Memphis May Fire
I think the first thing to say about why you should go see Memphis May Fire is for Matty Mulins’ incredible vocals. Like I Prevail, they are also on Warped Tour so will be using Slam Dunk to test out their Warped set. You can guarantee we’ll be willing guinea pigs! Latest album This Light I Hold is one we still haven’t got fed up of and we can’t wait for the riffs to hit Slam Dunk!
Sorority Noise (Nathan Blackstone)
US Emo rockers Sorority Noise cross the Atlantic to join this years Slam Dunk lineup. The band already has three full length albums under their belt, from Forgettable‘s unforgettable lyricisms to Joy, Departed‘s anthemic emo sound all the way up to their latest effort, You’re Not As __ As You Think, the band has a powerful discography that’ll be sure to make a great live performance. It’ll be a chance for UK fans to hear tracks from their latest album, one that sees the band develop their sound in a way that truly sets them apart from their peers. It came out last March but already threatens to become my album of the year. As a long time fan of the band I am jealous of anyone going to Slam Dunk and I beg them to see these guys! If you love big singalong choruses cushioned with an emo meets indie sound you’ll love it!
Crossfaith (Will Pearce)
Crossfaith are a not to be missed band. 2015 they made their Slam Dunk debut, between sets of Bury Tomorrow and the return of Finch, they had their work cut out for them to impress which they did just that. As heavy as they come, they keep you very interested with their mix of electronics and samples, along with great stage presence. Sure, you have some great UK bands here, but take the time to see this J-Rock band as you know the opportunities don’t come as often to witness their live shows, and you won’t regret doing so. Live!
Zebrahead (Will Pearce)
A band which has appeared on the festival 5 times has been invited back for a fourth consecutive year, that’s right, Zebrahead are the official Slam Dunk Festival heavyweights who rile up the gig goers sending them flying over the barriers, which is the real reason most security at this festival have a job! Not only do they see to it you have a good time, they embrace the coming of summer by filling it with fun party music, encouraging you to enjoy a beverage while doing so themselves.