With so many stages at Slam Dunk festival, it’s hard to know where to divide your time but the Key Club Stage was filled to the brim with awesome talent, later headlined by Aussie’s Tonight Alive – you can check out our review of them here. We managed to catch almost all of the days activities so check out what we thought of the stage.
Kicking things off on the Key Club stage were Hertfordshire rockers Fort Hope. Though it was still early in the day, a decent crowd turned up to see the up and coming band, suggesting that word is spreading fast about their talents. Their soaring choruses and punchy riffs made these guys a perfect choice to set the scene for what was to come. New and old songs alike sounded great, with recent single ‘The People of the Lake’ standing out and making us very excited for upcoming debut album The Flood Flowers. 7/10 JF
There’s something very dynamic about Black Foxxes, their sound is one where they can bring out the riffs one second and the next they have you near tears with a soulful performance. Yet no matter what side of the spectrum they are delivering, they do it so well that you can’t help feel like you are witnessing what is going to be one of the biggest bands in the UK in the next few years. Closing their set with the absolutely heartbreaking ‘I’m Not Well’ left us a little choked up, and almost unsure how to now proceed to watching other bands. With such a lively and unpredictable sound that took so well to the live festival setting, Black Foxxes’ set is engrained in our brains as one of the stand out sets of the weekend. 9/10 SW
There was a time when it seemed like there was no way to go to a tour in the UK without seeing Boston Manor on that support lineup. All that touring has paid off, as the Blackpool outfit have obviously left an impression with the crowds they gathered at Slam Dunk seeming almost unbelievable for a band so young. High energy from start to finish, the band were not going to settle without having the crowd, from front to back, involved in some sort of way. There was plenty of singing along, with the crowd’s voices echoing through the room for massive tracks like ‘Lead Feet’ and ‘Trapped Nerve’. 9/10 SW
Australian pop rockers With Confidence are all the buzz right now, so it was to no surprise that they drew quite a sizeable crowd for their afternoon set. Their performances at Slam Dunk were in addition to a co-headline tour they’re currently on with Set It Off, but this shorter festival set was the perfect opportunity to preach to the masses and acquire a few new fans. They’re a relatively young band but that didn’t hold them back as they delivered an energetic set that ensured both the band and crowd alike had the best time.
The setlist was carefully chosen given the situation they found themselves in where they had to appeal to both their devoted fans and newcomers, and it seemed to do just the trick. The majority came from the band’s highly acclaimed debut album, Better Weather, but they also included ‘London Lights’, a fan-favourite that featured on older EP, Distance. 7/10 MC
If you listen to Seaway, it becomes instantly clear that the band don’t really take anything too seriously and are all about fun songs people can jam to. This rings true at their set at Slam Dunk, where tracks like ‘Your Best Friend’ and ‘Sabrina The Teenage Bitch’ had the crowd all hyped up with a little dance along. You can tell that the band have a great time performing these songs, and luckily enough the audience feels the same way. With many pop punk bands oftentimes failing to stand out, Seaway are one who always deliver a memorable set you’re sure to tell all your friends about. 8/10 SW
Set It Off
There’s something about Set It Off which just makes people smile, it might be the infectious enthusiasm from frontman Cody Carson or the bouncy nature of their music, but they’re always a complete pleasure to see live. Sadly at Slam Dunk Festival being on so late with a number of other excellent bands on at the same time meant that their stage at Hatfield was a little lacking in audience, but this didn’t stop the band as they blasted through a selection of tracks mainly spanning through last year’s release Upside Down and 2014’s Duality. ‘Why Worry’ opens the set and gets everyone in a carefree state jumping around, the world might be a tough place outside but Set It Off manage to take everyone’s minds off their worries. ‘Forever Stuck In Our Youth’ and ‘Ancient History’ provide great sing-a-longs but in all honesty the crowd lap up every track and show the band that there’s nowhere they’d rather be. Cody seems to mirror that sentiment as he jumps into the crowd during final track ‘Life Afraid’. Thanks Set If Off for making us realize that the world isn’t that bad a place. 8/10 RW
Reviews by: Santhi Weiss, Rhian Westbury, Madison Convey, and James Fitzgerald