Wow! Does This Look Infected is 15 years old, nothing like an album anniversary tour to make me feel older. I can’t think of a better place to throw a party than Vegas and given it has actually been 5 years since Sum 41 played a show in Australia (2013 Soundwaves) I am more than keen to put my punk rock party hat on and take a trip down memory lane.
The first thing that strikes me tonight is the venue, the Brooklyn Bowl is unlike any venue I have ever been in. It is an open floor space with carnival decor, bowling lanes side of stage so you can literally bowl and rock n roll, an upstairs rafter overlooking the stage and behind every bar is a huge tv that plays all the action from the stage with unique camera angles that give you a feel of watching a live feed with awesome sound. Man, I got to tell you it is worth checking out any band at this venue any time you’re in Vegas.
Sum 41 explode on to the stage as a glitter bomb showers the crowd, they open with The Hell Song, the opening track from Does This Look Infected. About halfway through the song, frontman Deryck Whibley invites fans from the crowd up on stage and they begin to play My Direction, it is now clear that this will be no ordinary anniversary album show where the band plays the album from start to finish. No, frontman Deryck declares this is a celebration and they intend to mix things up a bit, to which the crowd have no objections.
The Vegas crowd were rowdy as hell man, crowd surfing, moshing and slamming into to each other all night, the intensity from them never letting down. Billowing smoke machine’s and a gnarly stage backdrop mixed in with flashing lights are all just part of what made this show great.
Frontman Deryck was so full of intensity and talks to the crowd in between songs about all things including their love of metal, and that’s when original guitarist Dave “Brownsound” Baksh who only recently rejoined the band, led us into a Metallica medley which was truly awesome, the crowd going hard at it too. Baksh wasn’t the only member to be featured, drummer Frank Zummo got to be let loose doing a solo to a Linkin Park mix. The whole cover thing didn’t end there though, Queen’s We Will Rock You had all us singing and stomping and also the use of Pink Floyd’s Another Brick in the Wall as the intro to Billy Spleen.
Songs you expected to hear like All Messed Up, Blood in My Eyes, and Over My Head (Better off Dead) were played with the crowd showing much appreciation for them. The band really delivering the goods on an 18-song setlist. For the encore, they re-emerged with three more songs No Reason, Motivation which had The Bitter End outro tacked on and finished things off with Fat Lip the crowd giving it their all on what was a total night of punk rock frivolity no slow songs just fast furious punk with just a tiny bit of metal.
I loved every moment of the show tonight from the moment I set foot inside the venue, the music obviously being the highlight of the evening. Sum 41 were everything I remember them being and more, giving us a set list to love and celebrate their music. Deryck even commenting that the band should not even be on the road but in the studio, this just adds to how special this moment is for all of us in the room. Sum 41 absolutely bowled us all over on what was the second last show of the tour down at the Brooklyn Bowl in Las Vegas. This is a band that truly love their fans, let’s hope that love sees them return down under sometime soon because after seeing this show I can tell you they will not disappoint.
Review – Chad
Photo Gallery – Christian Ross