Sun-Soaked Slam Dunk Festival Epic Evening Conclusion – Part Two

This was a day of racing between stages to soak up as much fun as possible at Slam Dunk South. The earlier part of the day was full of vibrant, incredible music, such that our energy levels were pumped up as the Festival moved towards its crescendo.

Slam Dunk Festival South – Hatfield Park – 25 May 2024

Hatfield Park, Hatfield House – 25 May 2024

Words: Carol Giannattasio

Photography: Antonio Giannattasio

Against The Current - Slam Dunk Festival South - Hatfield Park - 25 May 2024
Against The Current – Slam Dunk Festival South – Hatfield Park – 25 May 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk
Against The Current

With Silent Stranger, Against The Current ignited the Kerrang Stage with an unforgettable entrance, showcasing their raw talent and stage presence. Chrissy Costanza, Daniel Gow, and William Ferri have been on this musical journey together since 2011, and their first-ever performance at Slam Dunk was a momentous occasion.

Against The Current - Slam Dunk Festival South - Hatfield Park - 25 May 2024
Against The Current – Slam Dunk Festival South – Hatfield Park – 25 May 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

Despite facing technical issues, Against The Current rose above every imperfection with their incredible music, poignant lyrics, and Chrissy’s mesmerizing vocals. Chrissy’s voice has been an inspiration to me personally, as it effortlessly blends softness, power, and passion, conveying a wide range of emotions.

Songs like Lullaby, That Won’t Save Us, and Gravity shook the Kerrang Stage, while their rendition of Legends Never Die took the experience to a whole new level.

Against The Current - Slam Dunk Festival South - Hatfield Park - 25 May 2024
Against The Current – Slam Dunk Festival South – Hatfield Park – 25 May 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

From start to finish, their performance was a captivating journey, leaving the audience in awe. As they closed their set with Weapon, Against The Current proved once again why they are a force to be reckoned within the music scene.

Against The Current - Slam Dunk Festival South - Hatfield Park - 25 May 2024
Against The Current – Slam Dunk Festival South – Hatfield Park – 25 May 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk
Palaye Royale

Before leaving the Kerrang stage, we saw a performance by a band that completely surprised me. For my second time at the Slam Dunk, Palaye Royale’s performance was a revelation, completely changing the trajectory of my day.

Palaye Royale - Slam Dunk Festival South - Hatfield Park - 25 May 2024
Palaye Royale – Slam Dunk Festival South – Hatfield Park – 25 May 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

From the moment they took the stage with Mr. Doctor Man, their raw energy and passion captivated me. The brothers expressed their joy at returning to England, announcing their upcoming biggest show at the OVO Arena Wembley in London in November, an exciting prospect for fans.

Palaye Royale - Slam Dunk Festival South - Hatfield Park - 25 May 2024
Palaye Royale – Slam Dunk Festival South – Hatfield Park – 25 May 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

While I had known of Palaye Royale through the labels, seeing them live for the first time was a game-changer. Their live performance was nothing short of breathtaking, delivering a true rock ‘n’ roll experience with songs like Black Sheep, No Love In LA, Fucking With My Head and Little Bastards.

Palaye Royale - Slam Dunk Festival South - Hatfield Park - 25 May 2024
Palaye Royale – Slam Dunk Festival South – Hatfield Park – 25 May 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

The crowd’s energy was electric, and the enthusiasm in the air was palpable, surpassing any previous performances at the Festival.

For the encore, they treated the audience to Just My Type, one of their recent releases from May 2024, before ending with Dead To Me and Fever Dream. The dedication of Fever Dream to their recently deceased mother added a poignant touch to an already intense set.

Palaye Royale - Slam Dunk Festival South - Hatfield Park - 25 May 2024
Palaye Royale – Slam Dunk Festival South – Hatfield Park – 25 May 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

Palaye Royale’s performance was short but intense, a rollercoaster of emotions that left a lasting impression on everyone fortunate enough to witness it.

Asking Alexandria

Asking Alexandria’s debut performance on the Go Pro stage at Slam Dunk Festival started off with a bang as they launched into Closure, taking fans on a nostalgic journey through their past. Despite experiencing a few ups and downs with their genre over the years, they managed to deliver a set that left a lasting impression on the audience.

Asking Alexandria - Slam Dunk Festival South - Hatfield Park - 25 May 2024
Asking Alexandria – Slam Dunk Festival South – Hatfield Park – 25 May 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

Mixing old classics with newer tracks, Asking Alexandria kept the energy high throughout their set, allowing fans to go wild in the pit or on the sidelines. Songs like Down to Hell, Into the Fire, Dark Void, and The Final Episode (Let’s Change The Channel) showcased the band’s versatility and enduring appeal.

Asking Alexandria - Slam Dunk Festival South - Hatfield Park - 25 May 2024
Asking Alexandria – Slam Dunk Festival South – Hatfield Park – 25 May 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

While vocalist Danny Worsnop didn’t engage with the crowd in the traditional sense, his deep eye contact created a connection that was both simple and profound. Initially, it may have seemed unusual, but it became evident that he was simply enjoying himself and giving his all to the performance.

Asking Alexandria - Slam Dunk Festival South - Hatfield Park - 25 May 2024
Asking Alexandria – Slam Dunk Festival South – Hatfield Park – 25 May 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

And his vocals? Incredible. Worsnop’s powerful yet bright voice commanded attention and added an extra layer of intensity to each song.

As Asking Alexandria’s first adventure at Slam Dunk came to a close with Alone In A Room, it was time to make way for one of the most anticipated acts of the day: I Prevail!

Asking Alexandria - Slam Dunk Festival South - Hatfield Park - 25 May 2024
Asking Alexandria – Slam Dunk Festival South – Hatfield Park – 25 May 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk
I Prevail

Attending my first festival and finally witnessing this band live brought me immense joy. However, as vocalist Eric Vanlerberghe revealed during the set, there was a notable absence. Brian Burkheiser, another vocalist, was still recovering from surgeries for Eagle Syndrome, a rare disease.

I Prevail - Slam Dunk Festival South - Hatfield Park - 25 May 2024
I Prevail – Slam Dunk Festival South – Hatfield Park – 25 May 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

Despite this setback, I Prevail delivered an electrifying performance, with Dylan Bowman stepping in seamlessly for Brian.

Their setlist was a rollercoaster of emotions, from tracks like There’s Fear In Letting Go to Body Bag, Self-Destruction, and Bad Things.

I Prevail - Slam Dunk Festival South - Hatfield Park - 25 May 2024
I Prevail – Slam Dunk Festival South – Hatfield Park – 25 May 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

Unexpectedly, they treated us to a rendition of Taylor Swift’s Blank Space, which, although not my favourite originally, took on a new life with Eric’s powerful vocals.

I Prevail - Slam Dunk Festival South - Hatfield Park - 25 May 2024
I Prevail – Slam Dunk Festival South – Hatfield Park – 25 May 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

The bands connection with the crowd was palpable. Eric engaged with us frequently, sharing jokes and laughs between songs, creating a warm and genuine atmosphere. Since their inception in 2014, I Prevail has consistently impressed, with songs like Hurricane perfectly encapsulating their journey, bringing tears to my eyes during the performance.

I Prevail - Slam Dunk Festival South - Hatfield Park - 25 May 2024
I Prevail – Slam Dunk Festival South – Hatfield Park – 25 May 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

Ending the set with Bow Down and Gasoline was explosive, leaving everyone, myself included, in a state of exhilaration. I eagerly await the day I can see them live again, hopefully with Brian fully recovered.

You Me At Six

Closing out the first day of the festival on the Slam Dunk stage was none other than You Me At Six, who had gone from opening the main stage to headlining the entire event in just a few short years.

You Me At Six - Slam Dunk Festival South - Hatfield Park - 25 May 2024
You Me At Six – Slam Dunk Festival South – Hatfield Park – 25 May 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

However, amidst the excitement, there was a bittersweet undertone, as the band had announced their impending split in 2025, making this performance at Slam Dunk their final festival appearance.

Kicking off with crowd favourites like Save It For The Bedroom, Reckless, and Lived A Lie, You Me At Six immediately had the entire park moving to their infectious beats.

You Me At Six - Slam Dunk Festival South - Hatfield Park - 25 May 2024
You Me At Six – Slam Dunk Festival South – Hatfield Park – 25 May 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

Their energetic stage presence, punctuated by jumps, created an atmosphere of pure joy. Amidst the frenzy, there were moments of both frenetic dancing and heartfelt reflection, with tears shed and memories made.

The addition of Sean Smith from The Blackout on stage for The Consequence added another layer of emotion to the performance.

You Me At Six - Slam Dunk Festival South - Hatfield Park - 25 May 2024
You Me At Six – Slam Dunk Festival South – Hatfield Park – 25 May 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

Throughout the set, You Me At Six took time to express gratitude to their fans for their unwavering support over the years. For many, like myself, who had first fallen for their music during earlier performances, tracks like Take On The World held a special significance, especially now, as they bid farewell.

It is clear that You Me At Six are not just a band, but a group of genuine individuals with big hearts who have poured their passion into their music and shared it with countless fans.

As their set drew to a close with Beautiful Way, it was a fitting end to a perfect first festival experience for me. You Me At Six left an indelible mark on all who were there to witness it.

Sleeve Notes

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