As I walked up to the State Theatre in St. Petersburg, FL, the line to get in wrapped around the corner and extended a couple of blocks away. On the marquee next to Sum 41‘s name, it stated “Sold Out”. Not a bad way to start the evening. I thought it was cool that they chose such a small venue to play in- as it made it feel like more of an exclusive event. I can compare Saturday night’s concert to a nuclear reaction. Like atoms tightly packed in plasma, fans were bombarded with energy from Deryck Whibley and Company. Notes, chords, beats, and rhythms were hurtled at the crowd like musical neutrons. Each song intensified the crowd, creating a cyclic pattern of uncontrolled chain reactions; getting bigger and bigger until the listeners exploded with elation.
I was totally impressed with the stage set-up. And a quick warning to all of you out there, if you are an epileptic, you might want to stay away from this show. Marshall amps stacked on top of each other dripping with red paint, rotating lights flickered red, blue and white, and air cannons boomed. There were some genuine moments sprinkled in the show, the band connecting even more with the audience. Whimbley touched on his battle in the hospital and the comeback he’s made to bring him to this point and how grateful and appreciative he was for every fan, new and old, to be there sharing in this experience. At about the middle of the show, Deryck turns to guitarist Dave Brownsound and spoke extremely highly of his metal guitar playing ability. As he was saying this, Dave made a heart out of his hands as if to say “I love metal”. Deryck then implores him to play any metal song he wanted. He then started the unmistakable intro to “Paranoid” by Black Sabbath, and then the entire band joined in. After a minute, Deryck stopped the song abruptly and said laughingly “that’s it, because after this I don’t know where it goes”. They played for well over an hour, indulging fans with a 23 song set including “Fake My Own Death, “Motivation”, “Walking Disaster”, “Fat Lip”, “Underclass Hero”, and “13 Voices”
Their new album, 13 Voices out now, is a testament to their longevity, creativity, and the extremely arduous task of coming back from an event that almost took the life of their frontman. This is by far my favorite album they have released, it is raw, meaningful, and has a heavier feel to it. This makes me excited to see where Sum 41 goes from here. Catch the guys on tour with As It Is and Senses Fail, making this Don’t Call It A Sum-Back tour a must see.