Review: Sum 41 at O2 Institute, Birmingham

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Canadian punk-pop rockers Sum 41 headlined this year’s ‘Kerrang! Tour’, performing a 21 track long setlist for those in attendance last night at the O2 Institute in Birmingham.

I got there just in time to catch the main support act for the evening, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes. Former Gallows frontman Carter upheld his reputation for being an absolute nutter, thrashing around and crowd surfing from the off. Whilst crowdsurfing he did his trademark ‘stand on the hands of the crowd’ below him, but he wasn’t content with just this. Carter climbed up onto the balcony of the Institute, much to the surprise of those sat in their seats. The band suitably managed to fire everyone up for the main event, who soon followed.

Sum 41 were actually meant to headline the ‘Kerrang! Tour’ back in 2012, but unfortunately had to pull out due to an injury to frontman Deryck Whibley’s back. All was forgiven however, as those in attendance sang and chanted along to every track played on the evening.

The group played a mixture of songs from all five of their studio albums. Of course the tracks that went down best with the mixed aged crowd were from their 2001 debut, All Killer No Filler. However tracks such as ‘Underclass Hero’, the title track of their fourth album released in 2007, ‘Screaming Bloody Murder’, the title track from their last album, released back in 2011, and ‘Pieces’, from 2004’s Chuck, also went down an absolute treat.

The return of original lead guitarist Dave Baksh seemed to give Sum 41 their former cutting edge. The old chemistry was back and Baksh seemed to thrive in the limelight, receiving a lot of attention from those in the first few rows. Whibley also seemed to be enjoying himself again, after the past few years of letting himself go and just going through the motions. He even treated the fans to a few well known riffs, ‘Seven Nation Army’ and ‘Smoke On The Water’, which he said were the first things he learnt when he first picked up a guitar. He also seemed to absolutely love it when the band played a cover of Queen’s ‘We Will Rock You’ towards the end of the set.

Unsurprisingly the whole place erupted when the final song of the set, ‘In Too Deep’, came on. Due to the fact that the whole venue was singing along so loudly meant that, because I was standing towards the back, I actually struggled to hear the band! But that just proves how big a part Sum 41 have played in so many peoples lives, and how many people their music has reached over the past 15 years. The band then retired for a few moments, before returning for their encore, performing ‘No Reason, ’88’ and, of course, everyone’s favourite, ‘Fat Lip’. Again, the place erupted, but even louder than before. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a show where a crowd has sung so loudly, but it was incredible!

Many said that Sum 41 were dead buried, but this latest tour has proved to everyone – they’re back.

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22 years of age and Live Editor here at The Edge. In my spare time you'll either find me on a basketball court dunking like Jordan (that may have been a dream...), going to gigs or attending stand-up comedy shows!

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