Not even a month has passed us by and Leeds city centre is once again transforming into a hive of musical activity as SLAM DUNK – the city’s second festival of the summer – returns tomorrow.
Not as wide-spread as Live At Leeds, Slam Dunk takes over the streets around Millennium Square and first direct Arena on Saturday May 26 with plenty of punk rock action over seven stages and ten hours of live music.
There’s a tonne of stuff to get your teeth stuck into, but here are nine ace bands we think you should check out. And to work out any stage clashes, Slam Dunk have a handy app to sort that. Get it HERE.
SAY ANYTHING (Monster Energy Main Stage 3:20pm-4:00pm)
This Californian five-piece boast raucous sing along choruses busting through off-kilter, complex instrumentation. Having just wrapped an anniversary tour marking ten years of the brilliant In Defense Of The Genre, we’re hoping for a good chunk of tunes to carry on the celebrations this weekend.
SAVE FERRIS (Fireball Stage 3:50pm-4:25pm)
Despite covering my most detested song (Come On Eileen, FYI), this brassed-up OC ska-punk are an absolute joy. For fans of old school No Doubt, Save Ferris have been tearing it up for 23 years on and off. They’ve not been in the UK since 2001, so we can’t wait to catch up with Monique and her band.
STATE CHAMPS (Jägermeister Main Stage 4:40pm-5:25pm)
The New York pop-punkers are back with new album Living Proof and have just unveiled another tune from that this week. Mine Is Gold is all driving riffs, popping percussion and punchy vocals and it’s going to demand a huge sing-along, bringing some summer vibes to the cavernous first direct Arena away from the sunshine.
COMEBACK KID (Impericon Stage 5:40pm-6:25pm)
Canadian hardcore heavyweights Comeback Kid will be packing a mighty punch with their MASSIVE riffs and pounding energy. New album Outsider sees them offering up moments of more melodic hardcore, but don’t be fooled – this lot are contenders for the biggest mosh-pit of the day. Check them out.
TAKING BACK SUNDAY (Monster Energy Main Stage 8:00pm-9:00pm)
Slam Dunk faves, Long Island emo poster boys are back to rock Millennium Square for the third time. Powerful heart-on-sleeve lyrics meet powerful hearty guitars and effortless showmanship (Adam Lazzara’s microphone gymnastics alone make their shows worth watching), Taking Back Sunday are a force to be reckoned with live.
STAND ATLANTIC (Rock Sound Breakout Stage 8:05pm-8:35pm)
Sydney three-piece Stand Atlantic dish out cracking up-beat angsty pop-punk that wins you over from the get-go. Treading the same soundscapes as Paramore, this Aussie lot back up their bubblegum power-pop with huge riffs and leading lady Bonnie Fraser’s pretty awesome vocals.
EVERY TIME I DIE (Impericon Stage 9:20pm-10:20pm)
This metalcore foursome toured with Comeback Kid last autumn and it’ll be ace to have them back in Leeds after they tore up the stage at the Brudenell Social Club 18 months ago. Soaring, intricate melodies rip through the visceral wall of guitars and pounding drums, ETID know how to put on a show – which usually end up with stage invasions and stage diving. Just be careful if you take a selfie if you get up there.
REEL BIG FISH (Fireball Stage 9:30pm-10:40pm)
Reel Big Fish – the band that brought you the best A-Ha cover you’ll hear – are real big fun. More Orange County old school ska-punk for your bank holiday weekend, the six-piece will round off the Fireball stage action in style. Expect horns, Hawaiian shirts and high-energy hijinks with a set spanning over 25 years of ska-punk prowess.
JIMMY EAT WORLD (Monster Energy Main Stage 9:30pm-10:45pm)
What the heck do we say about Jimmy Eat World? We love them. A lot. This will be out 23rd time seeing them live (so you’d better play 23 if you’re reading this, Jim) and we still can’t get enough. From the driving riffs of Bleed American and Sure And Certain to the epic sprawls of Goodbye Sky Harbour and Pass The Baby to the tender For Me This Is Heaven and Hear You Me, Jim Adkins and co will deliver a hit-after-hit headline set which should hopefully dig deep into their 25-year back catalogue. Get me to the front already.
If you’ve not got tickets for Slam Dunk yet, fear not – there are still some left. Grab yours quick-smart HERE.