The final show in 2014 Slam Dunk run was a much pared down version of the festival, with just 5 bands playing in Cardiff University.
First to play were popular local boys Save Your Breath who put in an energetic performance full of tracks from the bands new album There Used To Be A Place For Us, I really like this band and they are top notch live. Stay Young got a big response, and excellent set closer Nothing Worth Having Comes Easy drew the biggest cheers.
Decade were up next. They’re a band I’m not familiar with, but a lot of the crowd were, with many of them cheering and singing along in all the right places, and the bands spirited, very british pop punk definitely went over well. I need to check Decade out further.
It seemed a lot of the crowd were here for Neck Deep, judging by the reception they got as they came onstage. The bands high energy brand of pop punk was spot on, drawing the first wave of crowd surfers and turning the place into a sweat box. Vocalist Ben did not stand still once and spent most of the time at the barrier rather than up on the stage. Acoustic song A Part Of Me was stunning, with most of the crowd singing the whole song back at the band, a great moment. A great performance from this band who are getting bigger and bigger.
Ohio’s Hit The Lights played a blinder of a set. Vocalist Nick Thompson is a great front man and the bands energy and enthusiasm is incredibly infectious. Stay Out is a killer song and goes over great live. The band also played some new tracks which bode incredibly well for the new album.
Headliners We Are The In Crowd emerged to load cheers and headed straight into Long Live The Kids, which had most of the crowd singing along with gusto. They ramped it up with The Best Thing (That Never Happened To You). Vocalist Taylor Jardine was spitting the lyrics with venom.
The band had the lively crowd in the palm of their collective hands from that moment on, and played a great set full of older tracks interspersed with some new songs from the bands new album Weird Kids. It was a high energy performance and they really seemed to be enjoying themselves onstage, with lots of interaction between the band members.
Kiss Me Again prompted a mass singalong, and the main set finished with Never Be What You Want. The 2 song encore featuring Both Sides Of The Story and Rumour Mill definitely wrung the last bits of sweat out of the Cardiff crowd.
A great night, which I hope shows that Wales should get it’s own full Slam Dunk festival next year.