Mastodon Now onto the big boys, Mastodon. The crowd are obviously looking forward to it and there is an almighty growl as the lights dim before they've even hit the stage. These boys know how to make an entrance and starting with 'The Last Baron' means from he start of the show everyone is in unison.


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Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes As is customary on ‘these types’ of evenings the ‘Facial Hair per attendee’ ratio was a good 30% higher than a normal gig. Yes ladies and gentlemen a certain Mr Frank Carter was in town with his Rattlesnakes to deliver their own unique brand of English hardcore punk. It was gonna be wild, gonna be raucous and gonna be a whole lot of fun.


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Mark Lanegan Before he starts playing, Mark Lanegan demands that the minimal onstage lighting be dimmed even more and when he is satisfied he begins his ninety minute set with Death’s Head Tattoo from his latest album Gargoyle.


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Every Time I Die Every Time I Die need no introduction and have been smashing shows like this for nearly 20 years! Just let that sink in, 20 years and still more hungry and passionate than most new bands. Even in a cast Jordan Buckley flails around the stage like a man possessed. Brother Keith conducts the carnage and grins manically as he paces the stage. It was great to finally hear tracks from Low Teens in their natural environment and they sound magnificent.


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Papa Roach It’s sometimes hard to believe how long Papa Roach have been together. Halfway through tonight’s show, lead singer Jacoby Shaddix points out they formed back in 1993 which makes half of the crowd feel very old and the other half realise they weren’t born at the time! They released their 9th album ‘Crooked Teeth’ a few months ago which has received great plaudits from critics and fans hailing it as their best work in a long time!


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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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Avenged Sevenfold Bringing their show to the Genting Arena, Birmingham tonight are a trio of metal rock goodness. Support In Flames plus a double headliner of Disturbed and Avenged Sevenfold.


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Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes There is always a moment when you know the band you're about to see is on the verge of exploding. Tonight holds that moment and it’s bittersweet. It means the end to a show fuelled by raw hunger, an energy searching for acceptance and instead is replaced by a sense of arrival. Wolverhampton was the last date on the tour to sell out and is often a rarity for a Slade Rooms show, in fact Midlands dates in general. It seems us Midlanders can be lackadaisical in our approach to supporting bands passing through our fair towns; which further reinforces the magnitude of what’s next for this band.


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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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Jesca Hoop and Sam Beam FORTUNATELY I was not disappointed by Beam & Hoop. I’d heard one track of theirs shared by a friend who loved both their solo careers, and I instantly bought the album. I’ve since listened to it incessantly, and LOVE their harmonies, but was largely unfamiliar with them as individuals or as solo artists. Part of me worried there would be an aloof hipster-esque snobbery to them and their performance – standoffish. Nothing could be further from the truth!


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Funeral For A Friend Tonight Birmingham bids farewell to a band that have seemingly always been there, that band that you’re pretty sure that you support, that band you once saw, that band that have a tonne of songs you didn’t know you knew... that band is Funeral For A Friend.


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Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes The air was thick with building anticipation for Frank Carter's latest incarnation and what promise of former brutal delivery. A break to the tension was found as the crowd heartily ooohed along to Weezer's 'Buddy Holly' and as I scanned the room one couldn't help but wonder if the venues for this tour were scouted for hardcore parkour potential. The crowd still left a semi circle of open dance floor and after the cheers for The Rattlesnakes entrance, Frank declared "I haven't seen something like this since I was 14, get in". His combination of humbleness and assertiveness never fails to gain idolatry; “Thanks for coming to see a band with only 3 songs I wouldn’t have done that”.


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Us lucky Gig Junkies got to go along to this year's Slamdunk Festival 2015 at Wolves Civic. Every year the question of stage location raises it's head. This year they realised a riser under the marquee wasn't gonna cut it when it became the Impericon Stage of Hardcore. And so a new outdoor stage was birthed outside the Wulfrun and thus the joy of crowded corridors within the Civic was born for the crowds.


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