Slam Dunk Festival
- By Hannah Mahony -
- Jun 01, 2012
Some bitter folk may claim that pop punk is dead – but the sun did nothing but shine (and maybe burn) the various aged attendees of Slam Dunk 2012.
The one day festival that takes place in both Hatfield and Leeds was a total sell out this year, with a nostalgic yet well-picked modern line up. A spot-on mix of both pop punk and heavier rock ensured that no ‘punk’ went home unhappy.
Say Anything kicked off the day for me, playing perhaps the best set of the day - polite, pitch-perfect and working hard to please the already eager large fan base that gathered by the Jagermeister stage to see them play. Although perhaps a little too warm to jump around, energy was still spent by audience members jumping on shoulders and dancing in select exclusive gatherings.
Currently finishing off their tour of the UK and having played a some-what mediocre set last year, Set Your Goals set out to impress the packed out hall they played to within the Hatfield Campus. No movement was spared indoors (oddly) as teens and elder (mostly boys), viciously swung their arms around, occasionally with rhythm. The band’s energy, banter and stage presence kept all eyes on stage despite the sweaty boxed nature of the room.
Other bands victorious in proving pop punk is still well and truly kicking, were Save Your Breath, Don Broco and the beautiful Portia Conn - who played a brilliantly melodic acoustic set to a quiet, appreciative and awe-struck audience packed into to the bar.
For most, the headliner band of Slam Dunk 2012 was a choice between clashing bands Taking Back Sunday and Funeral For Friend. Despite having once interviewed the lovely lovely Welsh chaps from Funeral, I decided to revel in the warm evening air a little longer and catch the nostalgic screamy emo lyrics of Taking Back Sunday – what a mistake.
The lyrics, yelped by (once hunk of a front man, now odd long-haired stranger), Adam Lazzara was only accompanied by what sounded like an awful backing track and even worse PA system. Fans looked around some-what confused, hoping that the volume button may be turned up, or sound system properly plugged in.
For the latter part of their set, Adam was rarely even anywhere to be seen – floating somewhere at the front of the barriers, leaving guitarist John Nolan looking confused and lost as to where the set was going. Needless to say, Taking Back Sunday did nothing for the pop-punk cause that day, leaving many fans disappointed and fed up.
Yet, where Taking Back Sunday failed – the likes of Don Broco and Save Your Breath excelled, hoping to one day not end up like ‘Taking Back Pop-Punk’ – and prove that the genre in the UK will perhaps reign once again.