First go at doing one of these but quick review of my day!
William Ryan Key 6/10
First act I saw just as I arrived and watched from the back of the crowd waiting to meet my friends. Good way to start the day with a set of Yellowcard songs rather than his new solo material so a lot of big singalongs in the sunshine.
Milk Teeth 7/10
Somehow this was my fifth time seeing Milk Teeth and I've never gone to one of their own shows, always seem to be around as supports or at 2000 Trees each year. Liked the 3 piece set up and thought Em's stage banter was pretty good and the dynamic worked well. Say it everytime after I watch them that I need to spend more time actually listening to their records.
Tiny Moving Parts 8/10
Really fun band who always sound so tight in their performances while simultaneously looking like they're having the most fun in the world. Watched from nearer the back again and would probably have preferred to be closer. Just seen they've announced a tour in Autumn with Microwave (who I didn't get to see at Slam Dunk because of clashes) so will try and pick a ticket up for that. Think the latest album Swell is some of their best work so keen to hear what they come up with next.
Everyone is already talking about how good this set was so I'm just going to add my voice to the chorus here. Watched from the side as we wanted an easy exit to catch the next band but still got a good view near the front. So much energy on stage reciprocated all around the tent. Absolutely rammed and everyone was loving it. Absolutely a band to watch right now and need to just come back each year playing bigger and bigger stages.
Tigers Jaw 9/10
Left Turnstile early to get a good spot right at the front here. One of the reasons my friends and I got tickets as I hadn't seen them before (until the small club show with The Get Up Kids got announced for the Friday before). Brilliant set and just the right mix of older and newer songs. Ben and Brianna sound great together and think what they've been able to do with keeping the band going through all the lineup changes and turmoil is fantastic. Mentioned this was their biggest crowd in the UK yet so thrilled for them. Absolutely need to see them play their own show now as even after seeing them twice in three days I still left wanting more. Live performance did not disappoint and still right up there as one of my favourite bands.
Saves The Day 7/10
Missed the start of the set due to the queue at the bar, despite going as soon as Tigers Jaw finished. Didn't realise at the time but it meant I missed At Your Funeral which they opened with so that was obviously gutting. Otherwise set was good for some nostalgia and some older singalongs. Glad that I've seen them but not sure I would rush back to their own tour or anything, so ideal sort of band to get to see at the middle of the day at a festival like this.
Real Friends 5/10
Went and got some food in this gap but queues were moving quickly so was able to watch most of Real Friends' set from nearer the back. Not a band I've ever really listened to despite appearing on lineups I've been to in the past, so that probably reflects partly in the score while a proper fan would've enjoyed them more. Thought the frontman was slightly arrogant in criticisng the crowd a lot for not getting into the set more (seemed a bit like he thought they were above the set they'd been given), and the speeches between songs, although well meaning and important regarding mental health, just didn't seem to work. Overall thought they were quite forgettable and was more happy just with my veggie chilli burrito to be honest.
The Get Up Kids 8/10
Lucky enough to get tickets for The Get Up Kids own show in London two days before, so was always going to be hard to compare to a show in a small venue of die hard fans playing a longer set. Thought they did really well again though and the songs of the latest album Problems work really well even against the classics from Four Minute Mile and Something to Write Home About. Sound great and they seem to have a great stage presence and happy to be doing shows again together. Really hope the reunion keeps going with the same energy moving forward. Again one of my favourite bands who did not let me down.
Didn't really now what to expect with this one and was really just waiting for more bands I wanted to see on the Dickies Stage at this point. One of the most bizarre sets I think I've seen, frontman came out and immediately threw his shows off and started dancing around and wiggling his toes in front of all the photographers. Rest of the band are all drinking shots and passing bottles of wine between them on stage. Lots and lots of crowd interaction and frontman even used his mic lead to tie up a member of security - who didn't look impressed at all. Band also gave away at least 30 to 40 t shirts to the crowd, literally just dumping them out in huge bundles along the front. Guess they really didn't want to bring back any leftover merch. All in all a really fun set and definitely the most unexpected of the day. Absolute party throughout.
Touché Amoré 9/10
Started raining during the set which fit the mood absolutely perfectly. Probably the most emotion of any performance of the day, Jeremy absolutely gives it his all everytime I see them. Crowd were absolutely up for it. More familiar with the latest album Stage Four and played plenty from it which was great for me. Weather brightened up part way through so really had the feeling of intense catharsis as a backdrop which was perfect. Mentioned they'll be back over in Autumn so will likely try and get to that show too. Perfect band to show the more recent diversification of the festival and that it isn't all just ska or pop punk anymore.
Plain White Ts 4/10
Saw these mainly in keeping my spot near the front between Touchè and The Menzingers. Tried to like them and appreciate that they're still going with the band but I just couldn't. New stuff was uninteresting and most the crowd who'd turned up were there for just the one song for nostalgia reasons. Did have a funny story about playing Reading and Leeds main stage before Metallica where they apparently managed to get a wall of death going. Definition of a one hit wonder band really and a little confused why they had such high billing in closing out a stage, would've thought they'd have been better suited to an earlier set on the main stage at about 2 or 3pm. Got distracted part way through eagerly watching The Menzingers sound check wishing they could get on stage earlier. Honestly maybe I should've gone for another burrito.
The Menzingers 10/10
Final band of the day for me as I wasn't really interested in any of the 3 'proper' headliners and split my time between them while getting food and drink at the end. Set was absolutely packed with hits from across their catalogue and huge singalongs from start to finish. Crowd were brilliant and were treated to two rainbows opposite the stage which just provided the perfect imagery to finish the day. Mentioned they were recording a new album for Autumn so if thats anywhere near as good as After The Party it'll be following it straight into my album of the year lists again. Great to see so many of the other bands playing earlier on the same stage enjoying them too. Saw members of Tigers Jaw, Tiny Moving Parts, Touché and Milk Teeth all watching from the side of the stage. Really felt like a sense of community and shared interest between all the bands, lots of geniune shout outs to other acts and you can tell they're all actually fans of one another's music. Perfectly represents what Slam Dunk and this music scene is about for me and couldn't have thought of a better way to finish the day.