Photos + Review: Sum 41 at Varsity Theater (Minneapolis, MN)

Sum 41 (Ajax, ON), Seaway (Oakville, ON), Superwhatevr (Costa Mesa, CA)
May 19th, 2018
Varsity Theater in Minneapolis, MN

I vividly remember back around 2006 was when I was just devouring any kind of new music I could get my hand on and it was the summer of that year that I gave Sum 41’s whole discography a listen. I also remember quite well the days of Fat Lip and In Too Deep being premiered on TRL, so for a really long time now Sum 41 has been a part of my life. What I’ve really loved about this band is they perfectly blend together pop punk with metal. The only other band I can think of to get close to doing similar is A Day To Remember, but they seem to grab from the far ends of the spectrum, where it’s like heavy metalcore mixed with the poppiest of pop punk.

This year happens to be the 15th anniversary of Sum 41’s Does This Look Infected? and in celebration of it, the band has gone on tour playing it in full. This show was the third time seeing a set where the band played an entire album for it’s anniversary and it was by far the best. These anniversary tours are such a good idea because with bands like Avenged Sevenfold where they have a large amount of hit songs, it can start feeling tedious to see them if their setlist doesn’t change. Yes all the songs are good, but you can only see them be played so many times before you get bored. Anniversary tours break up that monotony, let’s fans see certain songs live that barely get played, and will still leave people wanting to see more.

Chuck will always be my favorite Sum 41 record, but Does This Look Infected is fantastic in it’s own right. I’m super happy to have seen “Over My Head, Better Off Dead” live. “The Hell Song” is great as an album opener, but sounded even better opening their set. I was starting to get extremely tired from the night before’s concerts, and working both days, but being up front with this song coming on perked me right up, as well as everybody else in the crowd; the crowd went nuts. I was also nice seeing Dave Baksh playing and back in the band killing it. He’s always been a favorite of mine and have always thought him as incredibly underrated as a guitarist.

The band Superwhatevr opened up the night, and while I didn’t really connect with a lot of what they played, I’d be lying if I said that they weren’t good. I gave them a listen in the car a couple days beforehand and their sound translates really well live. If you like a dark, grunge-y sound, almost like current Thrice, to your music then Superwhatevr will be right up your alley.

Finally seeing a band like Sum 41, one I’ve liked for close to 20 years at this point, leaves a good chance for disappointment, but it lived up to all of my hopes. The only thing I can hope for now is a tour in celebration of Chuck.

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