OCTOBER 28th 2016
SUM 41

Review by Lana Muirhead
Photos by Peter Ruttan
Gallery: http://www.metaltitans.com/concertpics/sum-41/

Kick-starting Halloween weekend was a throwback show at the Commodore on Friday, October 28th.  A triple bill saw As It Is, Senses Fail, and Sum 41, share the stage for a considerable crowd as diverse as the streets of Vancouver themselves.

As per usual the anti-rock gods worked against me and I was unable to make the two opening bands, however I did catch Sum 41 in its entirety.  After almost 4 years off the grid while lead singer and guitarist Deryck Whibley battled substance abuse issues, got clean, and battled his way back to Canadian glory, the band saw some old faces and new ones join their ranks.

Whibley spent months in pain from the complications of substance abuse recovery and the medications to aid him with these tribulations, forcing him to re-learn to not only to walk, but to stand and play guitar. He spent much of this time putting music to films on mute, and thus began the journey to Sum 41’s 6th studio album, “13 Voices”.

Whibley fronts the band that saw the return of guitarist Dave Brownsound, continuing members Tom Thacker (guitar) and Cone McCaslin (bassist), and officially welcomed drummer Frank Zummo.  It was this lineup that treated Vancouverites to a taste of tunes both old and new.

The band came out to AC/DC’s “T.N.T.” and immediately launched into “The Hell Song”.  They followed this up with “Over My Head (Better Off Dead)”, “Underclass Hero”, “Motivation”, “Still Waiting” and “In Too Deep”, to name a few.  They sprinkled in new tunes “Fake My Own Death”, “There Will Be Blood”, “War”, and “God Save Us All (Death to POP)” which were all well received and seemed to be as known as some of the oldies. As a tribute to the metal godfathers, Sum also hit up a couple of covers through the set, including Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid” and Queen’s “We Will Rock You”. It worked to rile the crowd, but let’s be honest: Sum 41 does best with it’s own stuff. There was also a three-song encore, which had Whibley take on the keyboard as opposed to the guitar for “Pieces”, then was back to guitar for title track “13 Voices”, and finally the universal jump song “Fat Lip”.

All parties sounded great, though I would have liked the vocals to be a little louder for the majority of the first half of the set.  The sound folk straightened this out, however, and the crowd jumped and sang the whole way through. I haven’t seen Sum 41 live since I was in high school (no we won’t go into how long ago that was) but let’s just say I was due for an injection.  And Sum gave it hard and strong with zero holds barred.  It’s nothing but incredible that they were able to come back from such a dark time (specifically Whibley) and hit back with such a strong and solid album.  This tour has put Sum 41 back on the map as a Canadian gem and will continue to storm North America delivering an alt-y/rock-y/punk-y infusion not to be dismissed.