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DS Review: Karina Goes To Slam Dunk (The Menzingers, Spanish Love Songs, Sincere Engineer, Bowling For Soup and more!)

Dear Diary, I’ve returned from England. And damn, let’s talk about Slam Dunk and maybe talk about some of the things that need improving for next year. But first, we should thank Slam Dunk for getting me accredited this year. It was awesome. The weather was terrific; it was sunny and bright, which many English […]



Dear Diary,

I’ve returned from England. And damn, let’s talk about Slam Dunk and maybe talk about some of the things that need improving for next year.
But first, we should thank Slam Dunk for getting me accredited this year. It was awesome. The weather was terrific; it was sunny and bright, which many English people didn’t expect – so towards the evening, as the sun was going down, there were a lot of sunburnt backs and faces. Even I, the ginger that lathers in sunblock, had a bit of red, but it disappeared. Amazing company! Okay, before I get into how I loved sharing important bands with some of my favorite people…the cell reception sucked and we lost a friend somewhere and didn’t find each other until the end of The Offspring and Enter Shikari’s set. Goddamn! But she was still there. But yes, they are amazing people to watch some of my favorite artists with and share some memories with, even on the shuttle to the afterparty. So, you know, we lost one friend, but a different team of Danes was there as well, and we also spent some of the day trying to find each other. This is ironic because we spent most of the time at the same stage. BUT, happy ending, y’all, and weird moment during Slam Dunk, we all found each other on the same shuttle bus. Friends, all ended well. As for what could be worked on for next year? Well…let’s begin our review of Slam Dunk ’23! Be ready.

Sincere Engineer

So, Sincere Engineer came up at 11:30 in Kerrang! Tent Right Stage. Zand and The Tyne played in different tents, so the crowd wasn’t huge. But it was awesome enough because those who were there were there to see Sincere Engineer in action. Like me, because let’s be honest, this band will be playing big venues in due time. So, starting with no difficulties on the stage, Sincere Engineer played a bit for everyone in those 30 minutes, which I discovered for myself wasn’t enough time. But they did manage to play the bangers, of course. The setlist included, which is not in a particular order, “Overbite,” “Fireplace,” “Trust Me” and “Corn Dog Sonnet No. 7.” They even played the new single, which I didn’t get the name of!

But overall, the best band to kick off Slam Dunk ’23 for me.


Hehe, my biggest guilty pleasure band was on site! And to be honest, I was super excited to see them. I might have been even more excited to interview them after their set, hear who they were excited to see at Slam Dunk, and find out if they’ll ever visit Copenhagen, Denmark. So, what did Travis Mills and Nick Gross say to me after their set? Well, we’ll get to that, but first, let us discuss their set.

And, huge thanks to my friends for watching them with me even though they aren’t fans.

Their set was good. The set list was excellent and varied, mixing their first record and newest EP. They have much energy and could’ve benefited from being placed on the Kerrang! Stage, but that’s my opinion. The fact is, they came and served. Now let’s get to the interview because that was a true highlight of my trip, and as a bonus, I’ve added a nice picture of me and the lads below. And yes, my dear DyingScene readers, I am forcing pop-punk on you.

When I asked Travis and Nick about their tour with Avril Lavigne during her EU tour, Travis said, “It was mindblowing, a dream come true, and she’s the best.” Following up with the question that they started the band two years ago, Travis corrected me and replied, “Two and a half years ago”, leading me to the following questions, what they did before this and how they met; “I had a solo project, and Nick has been in bands since he was a teenager. He played drums for one show for my solo project, and we never played music again. And then we started girlfriends.” Travis told me. I asked Nick which bands he was a part of and boy, we know him. “girlfriends, and Goldfinger” but if you google him, his CV is more impressive than mine. I complimented the chemistry between Travis and Nick, as it genuinely seems they’ve been playing together their whole lives. The boys cracked some jokes about dating, and that’s why the band is called girlfriends, and that’s fine with me.

So, who were they going to watch at Slam Dunk? Travis had the following answer when I asked: “to no surprise, it’s the homies The Maine, The Hunna, we definitely gotta watch JXDN, Sueco, we’re just trying to catch all our homies”. To my curiosity, where was the name, Charlotte Sands? Well, that’s their girl, so no doubt they would catch her set. As lovely as I am, I’m also extremely cheeky in that I may have asked if they knew who was, but they didn’t. But now they did, and it’s MEEE. So I asked what they had to say to fans.
“One, thank you for listening and giving our band a chance. Two, there’s a revival going around (on the scene), as in the early days when bands had friendships and real relationships. And that’s what the scene was missing, and it’s cool to see it come back around” and while some of you readers will disagree, please remember to have a friendly tone about it. Aaaaand to end the interview in the best way possible, I hope this can give the Danish fanbase some hope for some time. I did ask if they had any plans on coming to Copenhagen – but in my defense, I didn’t ask when. But here’s what girlfriends had to say. “We must come to Copenhagen. This isn’t even a question. We must do it, Copenhagen here we come.”

Spanish Love Songs

…. Words can’t describe this set. But it’s fair to admit that I am a massive fan of Spanish Love Songs. As soon as the first note from “Routine Pain” started, I started crying. But not sad tears. Okay, both happy and sad tears, but seriously this band is fantastic.
They also played “Haunted” from their upcoming album No Joy. Eight songs played, and off the stage they went. Along with The Menzingers – but we’ll get to them, their set was probably the one that seemed like it flew by the most.


I may have forgotten that Fireworks also had a set and actually randomly stumbled upon them outside. So this was an impromptu show between Spanish Love Songs, interviewing girlfriends, and catching Charlotte Sands. It was a good show, and it was just a shame that the microphone seemed to be a bit too low. But overall, I didn’t leave disappointed. I’d like to see them again. And people in the crowd were talking about how they looked forward to seeing Fireworks and how they liked the album they released this year.

Charlotte Sands

“I’m throwin’ a tantrum, coming in so chaotic…” and that is precisely what she did! Okay, the sound could’ve been better. But she isn’t the sound tech, so it’s not her fault. But damn, her pipes came and conquered! When I describe her to people who haven’t heard about her, I call her Michelle Branch if MB is emo. But in reality, Charlotte Sands is much more than that. And I think her performance at Slam Dunk was good; the mistakes that happened were out of her control. But her performance is so energetic, and her talent did shine through.

The Menzingers

No hello, The Menzies come out and pop things off with “Charlie’s Army,” which is one of my favorite songs by them. And, uh, what a set. They performed the goodies like “Good Things,” “America (You’re Freaking Me Out),” “After The Party,” “Midwestern States,” “House on Fire,” oh fricking hell…they spoiled us with a new song from their upcoming album! The song was called “There’s No Place In This World For Me” and I wasn’t expecting anything new, so my head exploded! I cried a bit, but let’s face it…this wouldn’t be the last time I cried a bit during Slam Dunk. The Menzingers were flawless, but now I need that new album!

The Academy Is…

“My eyes can’t believe what they have seen…” as William Beckett jumps around like he hasn’t aged. Sure, the brown locks have a hint of grey in them. But to be honest, I’m okay with that. As a few might have read, TAI does have a special place in my heart, an inside joke between my deceased uncle and I kept going up until last year. And now I saw them, which was emotional and overwhelming at best. Sadly I didn’t return home with a TAI tattoo, but I did return home with bragging rights that I’ve shot concert pictures AND screamed along to their songs. Can we all agree that they were exceptional?! Hands down, one of the best performances on Kerrang! Left stage.

Bowling For Soup

Did you know that next year BFS turns 30? Yeah, I did not. I thought they came around in ’98, but it was ’94. Oh well! It looks like Dying Scene will again be finding its way to the UK to celebrate that anniversary.
So, what can I say about the show? It was fun! This took place at the Dickies Stage, and what a turnout it was. They played the hits and had fun on stage. I enjoyed being in the photo pit, singing along to the bangers, and dancing. Most of all, let’s be honest – this band is a bit iconic to us that grew up in the ’00s. Being from ’92, they had their fair share of love from me during my early years. So I was genuinely excited to see them (finally). As a bonus, here is a private photo of me and Jar. See you in Feb, fellas.


Second time seeing Yellowcard perform live; I’ll admit that the first time wasn’t as good as this time. Maybe because it was in 2015, and those I went with weren’t big Yellowcard fans. But this band was entertaining on stage, and the photo pit was exceptionally crowded. Hence, it was hard to move around without stepping each other over the toes, meeting the hands of fans tapping your shoulder, or nearly assaulting security with the front of your camera. Okay, the last part was a joke, but honestly, having a band that size in the Kerrang! Tent was just silly planning from Slam Dunk. But oh well, it didn’t change the fact that they, once again, blew me away. Damn, I regret I didn’t get any of their merch. Let’s move on to the last bands. Yes, bands.

The Offspring / Enter Shikari

So, we weren’t allowed to take pictures of The Offspring. Hm, thanks for that, guys. But I did manage to go listen to four songs before they decided to… disappoint a little bit. Firstly, I DON’T MIND THE NEW ALBUM. But I love the old with this band; they served all the good shit at the end. Next time fellas. And please, no bloody cover songs?

But I do not like having my time wasted, so my friend and I decided to go see watch Enter Shikari was up to. And that was… Actually fun, but the volume was a bit low. And actually, can we just take a minute? This is my formal complaint.
Dear Enter Shikari, a 2023 updated version of “Sorry, You’re Not A Winner” is not acceptable. Let’s try again another day. But hell yeah, they were a party.

I’m lowkey alright about catching the first half of The Offspring and the last half of Enter Shikari. Overall they all sounded good. I had a great time. So, same time next year?

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