Slam Dunk 2021 – Leeds Review

After almost two years since we booked tickets, multiple postponements and massive changes to the line-up, Slam Dunk has been and gone. Taking place in Leeds on Saturday the 3rd of September 2021 and in Hatfield on Sunday the 4th of September 2021.

We attended the Leeds event and it felt like something of a miracle that this even took place and that it ran so smoothly (for the most part). That is testament to the organisers and bands, we can’t praise them all enough and can confidently say we had a great time.

From entry to exit and everything in between, we have next to no complaints. From food to toilets to stages and booze to bands and merch, it was a great first-time experience for us.

The only complaint we do have relates to clashes and our usual desire to see just about everything but simply not being able too. Again, that speaks volumes about the strength in the scene that such a line-up still featured so many excellent bands.

Talking of which… that’s what this review is about! The bands and we’re going to take you through them now.

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Our day kicked off with the solid metalcore noise of Blood Youth in the Jägermeister tent. A band that delivered exactly what was expected, straight-forward metalcore noise that got the neck muscles moving and got the pits going early on.

Following that, on the opposite side of the tent on the other stage, grime-metal crossover heavyweights Hacktivist got a huge crowd and had tons of energy. Unfortunately, they fall short thanks to some vocal issues where one part of the band just isn’t loud enough. In fact, the whole performance has a dull and muted feel about it.

In between Hacktivist and what would follow them, we checked out a song or two of pop-punkers Roam on the main stage. Not enough to really judge but what we did hear sounded peppy, fun and very upbeat.

Then it was time for Loathe. One of our most hotly anticipated bands of the day and they delivered. Heavy as balls, the percussion is crushing but not dominating, it’s over way too quick and you can tell everyone in the tent wanted more. One of the best bands of the day.


Back to the main stage for a few songs by Hellogoodbye, whose over-produced and effects heavy pop sound is annoyingly catchy.

Deez Nuts absolutely kill it back in the Jägermeister tent, where the infectious energy and the band’s clear enjoyment wins over anyone who wasn’t sure about them. The combination of rap and metalcore is really strong and they never stop moving.

On the other side of the tent and directly afterwards, Malevolence makes more noise than anyone so far and it is brutal. At times, it’s a little muted and you can’t help but wonder if the volume button has been turned down a tad but it’s still a slaying set.

Creeper have ups and downs on the main stage. The ups being the songs from their first album and early EPs, the downs being the stuff from their latest bout of releases. This is a personal taste thing and the new stuff just isn’t cutting it for us. That being said, they sound fantastic up there.

Our first proper trip to the Key Club stages came next as we got up close and personal with Static Dress. A member down (no bass) and plagued by sound issues at the start, the unit quickly find their feet and smash it… literally. Chaotic and furious, energetic and fun, this is a band proving a lot of doubters wrong. The best band of the day.

Trash Boat were rocking the Jägermeister tent but it’s hard to get into them following such a spectacular Static Dress set. As well as what is to follow which was Funeral for A Friend who deliver a class nostalgia driven show. Think of every major hit the band has and be assured they played it here. Hearing a tent full of people singing the lyrics “home, now that I’m coming home” was downright beautiful.

A couple of flying visits as State Champs have the main stage rocking and later, Anti-Flag are tearing the Punk in Drublic stage apart. Flying visits as we tried to cram in as much as possible at the end around two major bands we wanted to see, Bury Tomorrow and While She Sleeps.

The former are just as strong as they’ve ever been and really puting on a show. The latter have become such experts at giving a crowd what they want and never slowing down. Both are stars in their respective scenes and both are insanely popular.

Elsewhere, Alkaline Trio being almost 20 minutes late to the stage meant we didn’t see as much of them as we’d have liked. What we did see was just… ok. Whereas Boston Manor were grabbing the bull by the horns and making sure everyone knew their position would be on a much bigger stage next time they came to Slam Dunk.

Finally, we split our time between Don Broco and NOFX, not being interested in either really. Don Broco showed just why they were given this headline spot and NOFX took us back in time for some bouncy fun to end the night.

Exhausted and drunk, we can confidently say that Slam Dunk 2021 delivered.




Slam Dunk 2021 - Leeds
  • Blood Youth - 7/10
    7/10
  • Hacktivist - 6/10
    6/10
  • Loathe - 9/10
    9/10
  • Hellogoodbye - 5/10
    5/10
  • Deez Nuts - 8/10
    8/10
  • Malevolence - 7.5/10
    7.5/10
  • Creeper - 6/10
    6/10
  • Static Dress - 9/10
    9/10
  • Trash Boat - 8/10
    8/10
  • Funeral for A Friend - 8.5/10
    8.5/10
  • Bury Tomorrow - 7.5/10
    7.5/10
  • While She Sleeps - 8/10
    8/10
  • Alkaline Trio - 6/10
    6/10
  • Boston Manor - 8/10
    8/10
  • Don Broco - 7/10
    7/10
  • NOFX - 7/10
    7/10