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Slamdunk Festival 2014- Monster Stage | Live Review

The second part of HTF’s Slamdunk reviews see’s us check out the bands on the Monster Stage! Check out what we thought here.

If you fancy a head bang or a good old mosh then the Monster Stage at this years Slam Dunk Festival is exactly where you want to be. At all three Slam Dunk dates (Leeds, Hatfield and Wolverhampton) the Monster Stage was situated outside which meant that the bands had no chance to avoid any potential weather mishaps. We watched the bands all take to the stage in Hatfield and thankfully the sun shone all day: so much so when The Devil Wears Prada came onstage we had to whack on our sunglasses. Read what the HTF team thought of the bands playing!

Credit: Jade Till

Caliban- Hatfield

German metallers Caliban have always been a bit of an odd entity when it comes to performing in the UK. Over in their native country they can easily fill out academy sized rooms, yet over here they seem to struggle. You could feel the frustration from lead vocalist Andreas Dörner at the start of the set, there just wasn’t enough energy coming from this early afternoon crowd. Soon enough though, the band started to kick out the more well known tracks such as ‘Memorial’ and a number of songs off their latest, and well received album, ‘Ghost Empire’, and by the end of their set you feel that they had received the reaction that they deserved. 7/10 CT

Credit: Jemma Dodd

Credit: Jemma Dodd

Chunk! No Captain Chunk!- Hatfield

There was an odd feeling surrounding Chunk’s set. They were forced to play earlier due to I Killed the Prom Queen and The Devil Wears Prada’s tour bus breaking down. So to begin with there was certainly some confusion, but soon into their set the entire crowd were jumping and were all up for their incredible mix of pop-punk and hardcore vocals. Tracks like ‘Haters Gonna Hate’, ‘In Friends We Trust’ and their new cover of ‘All Star’ went down a treat, and by the end of it even the ‘Haters’ who were annoyed at the lack of I Killed The Prom Queen were won over and dancing along with the band. 9/10 CT

Credit: Jade Till

Crown The Empire- Hatfield

It is a rare occasion when Crown The Empire come over to the UK, but they decided to grace us with their presence at this year’s Slam Dunk. Just like Chunk! the band had to move their set forwards an hour to help accommodate IKTPQ’s broken bus, luckily though there didn’t seem to be as much of a backlash from the crowd at the start and the band hit into their stride from pretty much the get-go. Fan favourites ‘The Fallout’, ‘Voices’ and ‘Johnny’s Revenge’ were all incredible well received, with lyrics being thrown back to the band throughout the set. The band even treated us all to a brand new track ‘Initiation’, one of the new songs from their upcoming third album, coming out this summer. 8/10 CT

Credit: Ellie Mitchell

I Killed The Prom Queen-Hatfield

Sure the Slam Dunk weather didn’t quite live up to the Adelaide sunshine, but that didn’t stop Aussies I Killed The Prom Queen from giving it their all. The band faced issues earlier in the day when their tour bus broke down and were forced to play the Monster Energy stage far later in the day than originally scheduled. Despite the unexpected circumstances, the boys still put on a show. In intense tracks like ‘Thirty One & Seven’ and ‘Calvert Street’, the five-pieces’ big choruses and signature riffs quickly enticed the room, with fans jumping along to every beat. One fan even went as far as crowd surfing with a pillow behind their head. Now that’s what you call dedication. 8/10 EM

Source: Roadrunner Records

The Devil Wears Prada- Hatfield

Wrapping up their EU/ UK tour Slam Dunk could have gone one of two ways: a ferocious end of tour blow out of supreme brutality or a harsh sluggish set of shows pushing the obvious tiredness of tour. Fortunately The Devil Wears Prada show that touring can push your limits to create an amazing show despite their shared tour bus breaking down earlier in the day. Nothing will get them down! There’s little banter with the band, it’s all about the music with them but with big, bad epic breakdowns you don’t need much else. Everything about the bands set was truly big including their aptly named final track ‘Mammoth’ 7/10 RW

Credit: Ellie Mitchell

The Ghost Inside- Hatfield

The Ghost Inside had one of the best crowds all day. Whether or not people were starting to gather for both letlive. and Bury Tomorrow is beside the point. The crowd were really into their sound with everyone pushing to try and get the best view. The band opened up with a ‘Engine 45’, arguably one of the most popular tracks off their latest album, before blasting through a number of fantastically executed songs such as ‘Chrono’, ‘Outlive’ and ‘Dark Horse’. The band were properly on form Sunday afternoon and you could feel the energy surging through the crowd and then resonating from the band themselves. 7/10 CT

Credit: Ellie Mitchell

Letlive- Hatfield

Jason Butler is one of the greatest modern front-men in music. It may be a bold claim, but the amount of passion and energy that he puts into his performance is truly incredible. You can feel the love that he has for the music he creates throughout the set and the sheer amount of emotion that he shows, he really is doing what he loves. Throughout the set they powered through some of their fantastic back catalogue with inch perfect precision, such tracks like ‘Muther’, ‘Renegade 86’ and ‘Dreamer’s Disease’ all rile the crowd into unrelenting movement during the entirety of their sub-headliner set. Jason is both incredibly captivating and altogether psychotic on stage, involving the audience and getting as close to the crowd as he could. It really was one of the sets of the day but musically and performance wise. 10/10 CT

Credit: Jemma Dodd

Credit: Jemma Dodd

Bury Tomorrow – Hatfield

With their new album out just an hour after they were to end their headlining set, the Southampton lads of Bury Tomorrow were on an all-time high. Yet, similar sound issues to letlive. arise as the band found themselves slipping out of time with each other. Crowd favourites like ‘Septres’ boasted too much bass, drowning out most of the intricate riffs. Despite this, the crowd seemed co-operative enough to try and beat the 55 crowd-surfer record set the day before in Leeds. New single ‘Man On Fire’ received screams aplenty and continual pits complemented the beefy flow of metal tracks. Ending with the slightly less than perfect rendition of ‘Lionheart’, the band and crowd seemed content, and their technical troubles are no reason that this band shouldn’t be adored. 8/10 LH

Reviews by: Lizzi Hart, Rhian Westbury, Emma Matthews and Callum Thomson

Photos by: Jemma Dodd, Ellie Mitchell and Jade Till

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