Sum 41 from Ajax, Ontario, Canada. What can I say? One of the OG modern day rock bands from the 2000s that has been labeled pop punk, melodic hardcore, skate punk and alternative rock. I finally had a chance to see them on their headlining tour that they are currently on with Senses Fail and As It Is. How did I get into Sum 41 in the first place? Of course, with me, there’s an interesting backstory with these bands and me so I’m going to get into it.
The year was 2007 and I was still in my metalcore phase and hating everything pop punk, scream and emo even while in college. After many film/broadcasting projects, most notably a hilarious debate between me and a classmate about metalcore vs. alternative rock, I went to my school library one day just to hang with my dude Brian who worked there who’s a huge metalhead and another student who frequents the library had been talking to us about Chuck and Sum 41. That one name Chuck had been in my head at that time and I’m like what did Sum 41 and Chuck has to do with each other? Then the next day, I had class with the classmate whom I’ve had the debate with tell me about Sum 41 and Chuck as well, which was kind of funny because I took him as a huge hip-hop fan. Turns out he was serious because he recommended the album titled “Chuck” by Sum 41 and one of his favorite songs off the album titled “There’s No Solution”. After that, I told him that I would consider listening to the album one night. Of course, this was back when Limewire was the big thing for those who want to download music. Next time I saw my boy Brian at the college library and was talking with him about Sum 41 and their connection to metal because I remembered them playing MTV Icon: Metallica even though they’re not a metal band and he told me that they actually listen to metal but they don’t play it so one night I decided to download the “Chuck” album and give it a listen to for the very first time. In the end, it became one of my favorite albums of all time and I considered it one of my masterpiece albums. The album in general is a perfect mix of what Sum 41 has been known for for the time they have been a band while incorporating more of the metal and hardcore influences. Over the years, I have went backwards in their discography and listened to the “All Killer, No Filler” and “Does This Look Infected?” albums and enjoyed those too as well but “Chuck” will always be the top favorite for me.
Now on came the day where the leaders of the Scumfuck family made the stop in New York City on their Don’t Call It a Sum-Back Tour. Friday, October 14th, 2016 was the day where the show was completely sold out but not before I won tickets through the Thrill Call app. Funny story, my podcast co-host Ian won tickets for the same tour through the same app for the concert in his part of town. So I won the tickets to the show and while waiting for my ride because I had someone going to the show with me but I guess he got held up at whatever he was doing at his job so I made the trip downtown via subway and made it down to Playstation Theater in Times Square just to catch the last couple of songs of Senses Fail’s set before Sum 41 came on stage to perform. So picture a completely sold out show even if some people left after Senses Fail and Sum 41 comes on stage with a pretty sick intro that mixes a James Brown song with a Metallica song until drummer Frank Zummo hits the cymbals and the crowd roars in applause after his bandmates ring out their instruments and make their entrance before they jump into the first song of the set which was “The Hell Song” off the “Does This Look Infected?” album. Over the time Deryck Whibley and Co. played their set, a moment where Deryck attempting a solo during a song before the finish the rest of it so he provide the audience with some comedic shit like bringing up a fan to the stage supposedly to have him showcase his guitar skills because it was led to believe that the fan can do better, which he did a pretty good soloing job. It was all in good sport and made for a good entertainment segment during the song. Overall, the set was a mix of songs from their newest album titled “13 Voices” and a bunch of old favorites including the closing song of the encore “Fat Lip”. At the beginning of “Fat Lip”, confetti and smoke were propelled form the stage cannons and had people going nuts and everyone sang the words out loud and made for a great night ending for all those who ware partying with Sum 41 in Playstation Theater.
Setlist: The Hell Song, Over My Head, Fake My Own Death, Goddamn I’m Dead Again, Underclass Hero, Screaming Bloody Murder, There Will Be Blood, War, Motivation, We’re All to Blame, Walking Disaster, With You, God Save Us All (Death to POP), Frank Zummo drum solo, No Reason, We Will Rock You (Queen cover), Still Waiting, In Too Deep. Encore: Pieces, 13 Voices, Fat Lip.
In the end, I give the performance Sum 41 gave a 4.5/5 due to the fact they know how to put on a good show despite a few people would want Senses Fail to headline instead even if Sum 41 are clearly the veterans and are the bigger band. Also, because of the inflatable skeleton on stage blowing up during the encore songs to show the “Sum 41 salute” which I thought was dope as fuck! To catch Sum 41 one their next couple of tour dates, keep up with them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media and be sure to check out their latest album titled “13 Voices” and my co-host’s concert review, which we discussed on the latest episode of Ian Hates Music.
Oh, and I finally found Waldo.