It’s been a while since anyone heard anything from The Audition and it was the last thing we would expect that afer so many years away they would be making their return and to none other than Slam Dunk. You can see the band have grown up from the swoopy emo fringes, but as soon as they hit that stage it was like being teleported back to the noughties. The hits still stood strong and there was no doubt that everyone was enjoying the moment of nostalgia. It was all the classics – from ‘Warm Me Up’ To ‘Dance Halls Turn to Ghost Towns’ To ‘Make It Rain’. Even if you hadn’t heard these songs in years and forgotten half the lyrics, there is no denying the catchiness. Frontman Danny Stevens didn’t try to hide how much he was feeling these songs, and nor should he – it was a great dance along under the blistering hot sun.
It’s always been evident how much of an influence Say Anything has had throughout the discography, but I think you will never truly know the extent of it until you look around and see thousands of people singing along to every word. You can see everyone eagerly singing along to tracks they no doubt grew up with – there is a slightly different demographic at this set compared to some of the more pop punk bands on the bill. It’s a haven for the emos of the noughties and everyone is enjoying the nostalgic experience. Now this isn’t an easy feat but it’s also safe to say that the band’s tracks have truly stood the test of time. There was a treat for everyone as they ran through tracks across the band’s discography, from opening track ‘Belt’ to ‘Six Six Six’ to ‘Baby Girl, I’m A Blur’.
If there’s one thing Slam Dunk crowds love, it’s a good singalong. It’s a good thing then that Glasgow’s Twin Atlantic have four albums worth of mega anthems to choose from when picking a setlist. With only a 45-minute set to work with though, a few beloved songs are sure to get left out. All but one of the songs played were from the band’s last two albums (Great Divide and GLA) and we were a little sad that classics like ‘Free’ and ‘Yes, I Was Drunk’ didn’t make the cut. However, this didn’t matter a whole lot, in fact it just went to show that Twin Atlantic don’t need to rely on the old favourites to put on a good show. Massive tunes like ‘You Are the Devil’, ‘Brothers & Sisters’ and ‘Whispers’ sounded sublime while ‘No Sleep’ got the crowd dancing their arses off to its infectious groove. The Scottish band finished off with their huge hit ‘Heart & Soul’, and possibly one of the loudest singalongs of the entire festival.
Taking Back Sunday
Taking Back Sunday were the penultimate band to play the Monster Stage at Slam Dunk South, and naturally they played a slick and professional set that was a testament to just how long they’ve been doing this. Lead singer Adam Lazzara is an enigma in his own right, and has always had a wonderful command of the stage which is still blindingly apparent in 2018. Their third studio album Louder Now had the most features in the set, which was unsurprising as it offers up hits such as ‘MakeDamnSure’ and ‘Liar (It Takes One To Know One)’. A more touching moment came in the form of ‘Better Homes and Gardens’, a track that Lazzara declared on stage.