REVIEW: Slam Dunk Festival – South, Hatfield (29/05/17)

During the build up to this years Slam Dunk Festival the main things we were looking forward to here at Rebellious Noise was the incredibly stacked line up and in particular the Fireball Stage. This stacked stage alone felt like an early 2000s Pop Punk kids dream and had so much to offer, but that was only one stage and as mentioned in our Slam Dunk episode of the Queue & A each stage had it’s own line up poster, which really made each stage feel like an individual festival line up and when you realise they’re all actually one huge event it definitely gave off a “big time” feel to the festival.

As we arrived in Hatfield the atmosphere was already booming, the train journey down there was packed with people wearing band shirts with pure excitement in their faces. We decided to stop off at The Great Northern Pub before heading to the Hatfield Campus of the University of Hertfordshire and subsequently on the way back too, if you’re ever in Hatfield for Slam Dunk and are waiting for that train back or just fancy some pre drinks then be sure to hit up this lovely pub with a nice atmosphere and friendly staff.

As we arrived along college lane and saw the floods of people coming into the campus it really started to get exciting as the warm weather combined with stacked line up made for an exciting atmosphere. The first piece of business was to check out Fenix TX open the Fireball Stage, with a great sound and a kick full of energy the Texas Pop Punk boys got the crowd going.

We spent some time roaming the festival site to check out the food on offer, get our bearings with the other stages and take in the atmosphere whilst filming an episode of the Queue & A. The layout for the stages was actually really well done, with not much of a walk between each of them which was even more impressive when you realised that no sound was leaking in from nearby stages, therefore each area did feel like it’s own concert without an awkward background sound of another stage to hinder the band that you were watching.

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One big thing that you would have noticed within the first minute of walking around the festival site was the ever increasing site of Don Broco frontman Rob Damiani’s face as it was on the heads of many festival goers to re-create scenes form their latest music video ‘Pretty’ in which there is some gruesome face swapping going on. The entire festival was flooded with these masks, which was a clever tool to direct people to the bands music video and also make people feel part of something…something gruesome, but still…something. Don Broco and Enter Shikari were some of the most anticipated acts at this years Slam Dunk Festival, all day we were hearing about both bands and how much people could not wait to see them, especially local boys Enter Shikari who hail from St Albans which is just a 20 minute car ride away.

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The general vibe was a party one, no band embodied this more than Reel Big Fish who it has to be said were probably the highlight of the entire day. Never afraid to poke fun at themselves the band made their set feel special with their own brand of comedy that made them stand out. Reel Big Fish didn’t just speed into the next song each time, but instead spent time talking to the crowd and even playing some covers such as ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit‘, ‘My Own Worst Enemy‘ and ‘The Impression That I Get‘ and at first insisting that they were their own huge hit songs from the 90s and then when owning up and admitting that they were by other bands but still insisting that they were by Pearl Jam, Bowling for Soup and Less Than Jake. Shortly after the band went into their actual huge hit of the 90s ‘Sell Out‘, which went down very well. The crowd really had a boost of energy when the band were on stage and all around us were groups of friends dancing and having the time of their lives.

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Another highlight from the Fireball Stage was the performance from Goldfinger, who started their set with a great performance of “Spokesman“. The band had high energy which was so intense it couldn’t be contained to just the stage when John Feldmann decided to get in the crowd himself. The band has gone through significant line up changes in recent years and that can sometimes take away from an experience but this touring version of Goldfinger featured a “Supergroup” type line up with Mike Herrera of MxPx on Bass, Philip Sneed of Story of the Year on Guitar and Cyrus Bolooki of New Found Glory on Drums. Feldmann dedicated the song “Superman” to video game lovers in reference to the song featuring on Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater.

Zebrahead’s vocalist Ali Tabatabee rocked a Manchester United Away shirt with “Manchester” on the back throughout their performance which was a nice touch as a homage to those effected by the recent terrorist attacks in Manchester. With the attack still fresh in people’s heads it was reassuring to see the great presence of police and security on site to keep everyone at bay. The festival goers were in high spirits and didn’t seem bothered by armed police, it felt like a modern day “Blitz Spirit”.

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Back to the Zebrahead performance though, the band put on an amazing show throughout and were constantly engaging the crowd. The band even created a sea of a constant flow of crowd surfers and then during ‘Hello Tomorrow‘ sent an inflatable boat with a man inside to go across the crowd to the sound desk and back (both of which were incredible visuals and featured in our Queue & A video). Zebrahead also brought out Reel Big Fish’s brass section to help them out on their song ‘Anthem‘ which got a huge response including a pretty large circle pit. There was also a period where at least 25 footballs were flying through the air during their set, which also happened during the Goldfinger set, I have no idea where they appeared from though!

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A band that I was interested to see were Cute Is What We Aim For, a band that had experienced so much hype and coverage between 2006-2008 but seemingly disappeared shortly after. Despite that, they were a band that I never really paid much attention to even though plenty of friends had. I really did enjoy their performance on the Monster Energy Stage and it was a refreshing down to earth one that really made me connect with the band, lead singer Shaant Hacikyan explained his gratitude to the fans for not forgetting them having seemingly gone through a difficult period after the bands early success and the turmoil it created. You could tell that this tour really felt like a homecoming for them and their fans, with quite a few special moments in for good measure.

Over on the Jagermeister Stage we saw Japanese Metal heavyweights Crossfaith put on an amazing show as well. There’s a great clip in our feature of the crowd jumping and a girl passing by who starts jumping herself that really demonstrates the infectious energy Crossfaith were bringing to Slam Dunk. The band brought a welcomed harder edge and so many people were bouncing and moshing in the pit throughout their entire set. Plenty of people that we spoke to had said that Crossfaith were a highlight of their time at the festival and it’s really no surprise as the band just leave you with such a lasting impression from their performance.

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Some of the food at Slam Dunk really deserves a shout out too, the pricing was generally decent for festival food and the quality was up there too. I got a tasty pepperoni pizza from the Pizza Bus for just £6.50 and could not stop telling people about it (as the Queue & A special shows)
I also had an “Italian hot dog” which was covered in a rich tomato based sauce and cheese as well as “Italian fries” covered in herbs and cheese in the guest area. I’m not sure if they were available in the main area too but either way, they deserve a shout out!

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Another great thing was the easy access to a cloakroom as too often cloakrooms are far away, poorly staffed or don’t even exist at events. It may be a minor thing for some people but it was really refreshing to have somewhere so easily accessible to drop off our stuff especially as the weather was quite warm and pretty humid. The hot and sticky weather meant that even when it did begin to rain it was fine to wear a T-shirt but when it got too much it was not hard to grab your jacket. Plus, there was a bar right near the cloakroom so it made for a perfect pit stop before heading back to your preferred stage.

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There were plenty of good bands on show in Hatfield but these are just some of our highlights. We would highly recommend going next year if you are a fan of day festivals, it’s a great opportunity to see tons of awesome bands on every stage and with an environment and atmosphere like this one it really is worth putting a day into.

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CONFIRMED: Floyd Mayweather v Conor McGregor

After months of speculation one of the most anticipated fights in modern history has been announced. Floyd Mayweather will fight Conor McGregor in a 12 round boxing match. The fight will be the most high profile Boxer vs MMA fighter fight in history and is due to take place on Thursday August 26th.

UFC boss Dana White has said that he expects McGregor to make around $100 Million for the fight and it has been said that Mayweather Promotions will handle the matchmaking of the undercard. Floyd Mayweather has a record of 49-0 and is considered to be one of the greatest boxers of all time, whilst Conor McGregor has been the face of MMA for the past few years after winning several titles and a record of 21-3.

Both fighters have now confirmed the match up on Twitter with McGregor using a picture of Floyd Mayweather Sr. instead. The fight will cap off what is expected to be one of the greatest builds of a fight in the history of sport with two of not only the greatest athletes in their profession but greatest talkers. Get ready for wild press conferences, great memes and a fight to remember.

Mayweather v McGregor will take place in Las Vegas at the T-Mobile Arena, ticket prices for what is sure to be the hottest ticket of 2017 have not yet been released yet. Keep checking back for more coverage on the build up to the most anticipated sporting event of the year here at Rebellious Noise.


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VIDEO: Slam Dunk Festival | Queue & A

Rebellious Noise head to Slam Dunk Festival in Hatfield to live out some Pop Punk & Pizza dreams.

Scott gives festival goers a “Queue & Aabout their favourite performances, festival food and the atmosphere at Slam Dunk South.

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Microsoft announce plans to add Xbox Original games to Xbox One library

Since launching the backwards compatibility feature in 2015 the Xbox team have been adding Xbox 360 games to their Xbox One library, which currently boasts 385 games. Today Microsoft announced at E3 that they would be adding original Xbox titles to the library as well.

Xbox boss Phil Spencer did not announce any games other than the much requested Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge, however we expect to have more news closer to the launch of the new feature later this year.

Microsoft also announced the latest addition to the Xbox One family, the most powerful console in the world and smallest console from the team ever, Xbox One X.

 


Xbox announce the worlds most powerful console “Xbox One X”

Xbox have made the announcement at E3 that they will be releasing a new console towards the end of the year. The new console is said to be the most powerful console in the world and it’s also the smallest Xbox ever.

Originally nicknamed Project Scorpio, the new system will feature a CPU that is 30 percent faster than the current Xbox One and also boasts a GPU 4.6 times more powerful that the current Xbox One. The new console will also have 12GB of GDDR5 memory, Teraflop GPU clocked at 1.172 Ghz and 326 GBs of memory bandwidth with true 4k resolution at 60fps. Head of Xbox Hardware Engineering Kareem Choudhry was the one making the announcements about the updated Xbox specs and also said that the console will feature a liquid-cooled vapor chamber that has previously only been used for high end PC’s.

All Xbox One games and accessories will work with the new console which will also coincide with faster load times and updates.

Not only will the latest version of the Xbox One bring games in glorious 4k but it can also do what the Xbox Team are describing as “supersampling” which essentially means it will also look better in 1080p as well, so even those without a 4K TV can experience enhancements.

New games were announced too, including Forza 7, Assassins Creed Origins and Metro Exodus. The team announced a total of 42 games with 22 of them being Xbox/Windows 10 exclusives. The Xbox One X will be released worldwide on November 7th and will cost $499 in North America.

Microsoft also announced plans to bring Original Xbox games to their backwards compatibility feature on Xbox One.

More to follow…


Talk and Beans: The Phantom Menace

Episode #24 of Talk and Beans is Part Four of Scott Wars – The Phantom Newbie.

We dive into the prequels for the first time in Scott’s journey into the Star Wars universe and it brings up quite a bit of debate.

Scott and Tom are joined by Patrick on this episode as they discuss, Tom being against Gungans, Darth Maul’s acrobatics, the Justice for Jar Jar campaign and how the order people watch the films impacts their view on the series. Plus much more!

 

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VIDEO: Finn Balor talks about his Jack the Ripper entrance at NXT TakeOver London

Scott sits down with WWE Superstar Finn Balor to ask him about his iconic entrance as Jack the Ripper at NXT TakeOver London. Finn discusses where the idea came from to create Finn the Ripper and the way it was executed on the night as well as some of his other iconic costumes and best entrances. Finn Balor also teaches Scott how to do the ‘Finn Freeze‘.

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Slam Dunk’s Fireball Stage is an early 2000s Pop Punk kids dream

It’s not often a festival captures a specific atmosphere, timeframe or niche so perfectly unless it’s accidentally stumbled upon during a time when a scene seems to be naturally growing anyway. But Slam Dunk have put together a great line up for one of their stages this year that will be like a snapshot into one of the most beloved alternative scenes and a golden age for the bands in it. The line up is definitely a nostalgia fuelled one and that’s why we love it, but that doesn’t mean that the bands feel out of place at the festival either, they just fit so perfectly on this specific stage together that it’s created something quite exciting.

The bands chosen for the Fireball Stage are for some the main attraction to the event, capturing a time where Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater was the greatest game to invite friends over for, P-Rock still had a channel on Sky and the last time our fringes went up with strong gel before they swept to the side of our faces and then disappeared altogether. The stage even has it’s own host with MC Lars guiding the Pop Punk kids through the entertainment.

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Bowling for Soup

Headlining the stage are Pop Punk legends Bowling for Soup, which could have been so different after the
band had initially performed a UK Farewell Tour in 2013 stating that personal and financial issues had meant that touring the UK was not as viable anymore. But after a festival appearance in 2014 the band announced they were coming back to the UK for a tour in 2015 because they missed it so much. The bands “Drunk Enough To Dance” was a huge hit in the British Pop Punk scene with hits such as “Girl All the Bad Guys Want” and “Emily” that joined the already popular lead single “The Bitch Song” from their previous album on the UK alternative music channel playlists. The band enjoyed more success in the UK in the years to follow with “Almost“, “1985” and “High School Never Ends“.Girlallthebadguyswantgirl

Less Than Jake

One of the pioneers of the Ska Punk scene will be taking to the stage this weekend too with their classic upbeat tunes. “All My Best Friends Are Metalheads” is one of the most popular songs played by Pop Punk DJs at Alternative clubs in the UK and always gets the crowd going. Having been released all the way back in 1998 the song still helps gain LTJ fans through the younger generations as well as their classic “The Science of Selling Yourself Short” which was apparently a last minute addition to their 2003 release “Anthem“. The band have always had a special connection with the UK and in particular with the legendary London Astoria in Tottenham Court Road, a now demolished legendary venue that the band felt like they were attending a “home-coming” at whenever they played to their London faithful there. The band released a live album of a live performance at the London venue titled “Live from Astoria” in 2016, 15 years after it had been recorded.

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Reel Big Fish

Another big name from the Ska Punk scene to join them is Reel Big Fish. The Californian band also made it big at the tail end of the 90s with their huge hit “Sell Out” . The appeared in the 1998 film BASEketball performing in the stands to hype up the crowd with their song “Beer“. Another huge success for RBF came with their brilliant cover of “Take On Me“, which is one of the best songs to shout out of tune with your buddies as you try not to spill the beer you’ve just paid too much for in the club. The band co-headlined a UK Tour with Less Than Jake in 2014 which saw the two Ska Punk icons team up with Zebrahead just like they will on an even more stacked line up this weekend.

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Zebrahead

One of my favourites on this years Slam Dunk line up has got to be Zebrahead.  They are a band that perfectly blend genres such as Pop Punk with Rap and even hints of a heavier and almost Metal like feel with songs like “Falling Apart“, a song featured on the original WWE Smackdown! vs. Raw video game in 2004 along with another classic of theirs “Alone“. The band does have a more lighthearted side though with Pop Punk classics such as “Anthem” which comes from their first album with Matty Lewis, who brought his own unique style to the band but could still bust out the stuff originally performed by Justin Mauriello such as “Playmate of the Year“, “Hello Tomorrow” and “Rescue Me“. The first of those three is definitely something you will enjoy live if you are a fan of the bands cheeky and fun style. The constant in the band has been Ali Tabatabaee, who has brought a diverse Rap style to the group that blends perfectly with the traditional Pop Punk sound they do so well. This is one band where the two vocalists compliment each other perfectly.

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Goldfinger

You know when I mentioned Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater? Well this next band will take you back to sitting on your bedroom floor eating too many Skittles and trying to pull off those awesome combos. Goldfinger are most known for their tracks “Superman” which featured on the first THPS and “Spokesman” which featured on THPS4. I can still hear the board scraping and the timer counting down when I hear these songs to this day. The band also released a well known cover of “99 Red Balloons” that really gets a party going, the cover was featured in “Eurotrip” and “Another Teen Movie“, two films that really stick with Pop Punk fans of that generation.

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Mad Caddies

Another Ska Punk band set to take on the Fireball Stage are Mad Caddies. The band’s most popular songs “State of Mind” and “Backyard” come from their 2007 album “Keep It Going” and really capture their reggae influence. The pacing of most Mad Caddies songs are quite different to the other bands that will feature on the Fireball Stage, but the tempo change will not signal a change in quality with songs that send out infectious grooves and heartfelt lyrics. The band that was formed all the way back in 1995 have only got better and better as time has gone on.

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The Ataris

One theme throughout this list is the presence of amazing cover songs and The Ataris may have one of the best with an amazing Pop Punk rendition of the 1984 Don Henley classic “The Boys of Summer“. The famed cover came from the bands 2003 album “So Long, Astoria” which also featured successful singles “In This Diary” and “The Saddest Song“. The band also had one of their songs featured on the Spider-Man 2 Soundtrack in 2004 with “The Night The Lights Went Out In NYC“.

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Fenix TX

We come to our final band on the Fireball Stage this year, Fenix TX. The Texas hailing band are one that put their stamp on the early 2000s Skate culture. Their classic “Threesome” was a success in the UK and is a song that instantly takes many back to the early 2000s when they hear it. Break ups and side projects have meant that the band has had three different spells of performing together, with the most recent starting with their 2009 return. The band originally got recognition after touring with Blink-182 in 1999. The band also had a hit with “All My Fault” which featured Mark Hoppus prominently in the music video.

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Slam Dunk Festival 2017 will take place throughout May starting with the 27th in Birmingham at the NEC, 28th in Leeds at the First Direct Arena, and 29th in Hatfield at The Forum, tickets are available for the Midlands event here and the full line up over 8 stages is in the image below.

We will be at Slam Dunk South in Hatfield this year so if you’re about then make sure you come and say hi to us, we will be filming an episode of the Queue & A so don’t be shy!

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Sir Roger Moore passes away after Cancer battle

One of the most beloved British actors of all time has passed away at the age of 89. Sir Roger Moore was best known for his role in the James Bond movies from 1973 and 1985, starring in some of the most popular films in the series.

The actor had been battling cancer recently and his family have announced his death saying “It is with a heavy heart that we must announce our loving father, Sir Roger Moore, has passed away today in Switzerland after a short but brave battle with cancer.

Moore was the third actor to play the iconic James Bond character and starred in 7 of the 007 movies. The actors last public appearance was back in November of 2016 when he appeared on stage at London’s Royal Festival Hall.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all dealing with this loss.

 

Medical officials say Chris Cornell died by hanging himself

This story has been developing all day and it has now been revealed by the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office that “The cause of death has been determined as hanging by suicide” after initial examination. The story broke earlier that Chris Cornell had died at the sudden age of 52 and then reports throughout the day began to suggest that the Soundgarden and Audioslave front man may have died from an apparent suicide and it has now been confirmed by the medical office in charge of the case. They also added that a full autopsy is yet to be completed. The news comes after Detroit Free Press reported that Dontae Freeman of the Detroit Police social media team said that the singer had been found with “a band around his neck” in a hotel room at the MGM Grand Detroit hotel.

Earlier we reported that Chris Cornell had been tweeting about getting back on stage just before the Soundgarden concert in Detroit and that the last song he sang with the band was  “Slaves & Bulldozers” which included a rendition of “In My Time of Dying“, a song by Led Zeppelin which comes from a gospel song also named “Jesus Make Up My Dying Bed” and has been performed by Bob Dylan. The song features lyrics about dying and many have been speculating the significance of the bands finale. It has been noted that Chris Cornell also mentioned on stage “the next place we play” and seemed to be in good spirits during the show.

We would once again like to offer our thoughts and prayers to the loved ones of Chris Cornell. If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts yourself or know somebody that is then please do not hesitate to seek help from Samaritans or call them on 116 123 in the UK.