NOFX A license to hate, Dad jokes and kick ass women. It was a line-up devised as much for the bands’ enjoyment as it was crowd pleasing.


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Moose Blood Pretty Tron lights charge up the stage to welcome Moose Blood before bathing them in hues of pink. Opening with ‘Talk in Your Sleep’ off their brand-new album ‘I Don’t Think I can Do This Anymore’ which was just released on 9th March. As soon as they blast into ‘Honey’ from 2016’s ‘Blush’ the crowd surfing begins in earnest to set the tone for the rest of the night before the place erupts at the opening bars of ‘Bukowski’ when Eddie’s vocals are lost to those of the crowd as a sea of eager faces experience their first ever gig.


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The Front Bottoms The Front Bottoms take the stage in a misty orange glow surrounded by wafts of incense. Opening with ‘You used to say (Holy Fuck)’ – the opener from last year’s ‘Going Grey’, this slow build see the crowd swearing at the top of their lungs. As ‘Going Grey’ is the current album they’re touring its extended cover acts as the backdrop; presenting the crowd with a giant penis just behind front man Brian Sella’s shoulder.


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Touché Amoré Touché Amoré are in the business of misery. The band’s journey mirrors the life and times of lead singer, Jeremy Bolm, through his hyper confessional lyricism that sees their latest release ‘Stage Four’ echoing the grief of an age-old tale that’s constantly raw. ‘Stage Four’ is universally hailed as their best record, with a European tour pressing selling out before they embarked upon the UK leg; a quick, foiled outer sleeve pressing ltd to 175, was rushed through to be hand numbered by Jeremy. With 19 copies available each night the early birds caught the worm.


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The Hotelier The Hotelier can only ever open with one song “An Introduction to the Album”. The sound has been a bit ropey throughout the supports but it's all resolved for these headliners from Massachusetts.


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The Front Bottoms The Front Bottoms have barely left the UK over the last couple of years, which shows how they've gone from playing the Temple to the Main room here tonight. The stage is dressed to feel like a cozy living room, filled win standard lamps and a sofa complete with jaded girl glued to phone. ‘Scream’ plays on an old TV and only the double mirror ball fun denotes the occasion.


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Interview with Frank Carter Gig Junkies’ Lee and Kirsty sit down to chat with Frank Carter of Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes about life on their sold out tour, the new album ‘Modern Ruin’ and 'the suit'. There's even a bit of word play thrown in for good measure.


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Black Peaks + Heck Black Peaks take the headline spot and are welcomed on stage by a whistling crowd. Opening with ‘White Eyes’ they deliver a pitch perfect set. I have to confess I've yet to listen to their debut album, I had intended to listen the shit out of it, as Black Peaks singles have been a slow burn for me. Instead I was waiting to blown away live.


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Slam Dunk Festival Midlands 2016 Slam Dunk arrived and certainly left its mark. The Midlands leg of this festival found itself a new home at the NEC complex, thanks to a refurb at its regular Wolves home. There was a vastness that felt sterile and dispersed the usual pent up energy, sweat and hormones synonymous with Slam Dunk. However, it didn't take long for the crowd to make it their own, sit wherever they could find space and bring a festival scuzz to the shiny Genting arena.


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Busted As someone who is becoming increasingly jaded about generic pop punk you may wonder what has brought me to the Genting Arena to see Busted. The infectious fun of the McBusted documentary and the return of Charlie has me intrigued to see them live.


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Crossfaith Crossfaith really are a guilty pleasure, and in all honesty after seeing them 4 times now I can’t decipher how they haven’t quite blown up yet. They are a band you need to experience live. Their one by one, riser posing entrance never gets old and I always want to know what leather jacket keyboardist Terufumi will be wearing this time. Sadly nothing compares to the Akira red jacket but tonight’s slogan emblazoned back of ‘New Age Warriors’ is promptly second favourite.


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Mayday Parade Opening with ‘One of Them Will Destroy the Other’ off their last album ‘Black Lines’, you can’t help but liken the logo to a vertical Black Flag logo. The energy levels are ramped up as lead singer Derek Sanders bounces around the stage with abundant enthusiasm.


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Cancer Bats Having last seen the Cancer Bats on a joint headline tour with ‘While She Sleeps’ it's great to see them perform to a united front. Joint headline tours often suffer from a divided crowd but tonight there is no mistaking the horns in the air and big shouts for these guys.


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Judas Priest

Local lads Judas Priest certainly know how to play to a home crowd. The stage is shrouded in the best curtain I have ever seen; showing an industrial skyline at night of the factories that inspired the genre it simply stated ‘Welcome to the Home of British Steel’ in the corner. Before the curtain drop the lighting changed to red illuminating the sky on the curtain to reflect the origins of the Black Country name.



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