Here’s Our Final Highlights From Slam Dunk Festival 2017

The Ataris

Source: Jemma Dodd

The Ataris

We make our way to the Fireball stage to 90s punk rock crew The Ataris. The quartet hailing from Indiana are typically a band that flies under the radar. They are incredibly underrated – usually. But tonight, The Ataris, have brought in quite the crowd. And believe us, these are punk rock fans. The band’s incredible energy, intricate instrumentals and killer emo tracks has the crowd singing and pointing along all set. Though the audience is mostly made up of older, knows-every-line The Ataris fans, there are quite a few newbies in the crowd who are just as into it as the former. Playing emo, nostalgia-inducing hits like ‘In This Diary’, ‘San Dimas High School Football Rules’ and the song with the catchiest, most dramatic instrumental ‘Your Boyfriend Sucks’, the band is once again proving that they are far too talented to slip under anyone’s radar. Their lively set continues to get the crowd dancing along to every beat—even the slow, emotional ‘The Hero Dies In This One’. What can we say, once an emo, always an emo. Closing with massive ‘The Boys Of Summer’, the crowd are satisfied and happy. 90s emo rock lives on here at Slam Dunk. 7/10 SB

Goldfinger

With a new track, ‘The Knife’, released just a few days prior, and news of a brand new album on the horizon (Yay!), the buzz for ska-punks finest, Goldfinger, was obviously super high. Not only that, but let’s not forget to mention that playing along side frontman, and now only original member, John Feldmann today was also Mike from MXPX, Cyrus of New Found Glory and Phil from Story Of The Year! Supergroup much?! You know shit was about to go down! Still performing with the same energy and enthusiasm as ever before, you would honestly never know John was nearing his 50’s as he bounded around the stage like he was on some sort of punk-rock crack. Huge tracks such as ‘Spokesman’ and ‘Get Up’ got the crowd well and truly fired up and John himself even got involved, diving into the sea of fans for a passionate performance of ’Open Your Eyes’ that really showed Goldfinger at there very best. Having seen Goldfinger nearly 20 years ago and seeing them today, I can honestly say they are still as awesome as always. Truly one of the highlights of the day! 8/10 CH

Grumble Bee

Taking a break from the louder side of things, we headed over to the Uprawr stage for a very special set from Grumble Bee, aka Jack Bennett. Jack usually performs with a full band, but occasionally forays into more stripped-down territory with solo versions of songs and the odd acoustic set. A fine skill for any song-writer to have is the ability to write songs that still stand up even when stripped of all but their most essential elements, and Bennet demonstrated this skill with beautiful renditions of songs like ‘Francium’ and ‘Bravest Soul’, the latter of which he had never performed live solo before. Evidently relatively new to performing solo, Jack appeared slightly nervous but managed to win over the crowd with his affable stage presence, even managing to jokingly instigate a two-man wall of death! The biggest shock however was the surprising number of people singing along to most of the songs, bringing a smile to Bennett’s face and making it a sure thing that Grumble Bee will be welcomed back to Slam Dunk with open arms in the future. 8/10 JF