Last night, the veteran punk rock legends of the North took The Cowan in downtown Nashville by storm, sending the packed house of faithful fans into absolute chaos as they danced, jumped, moshed, and crowd-surfed the night away! This southern stop stood as one of Sum 41’s final shows of the calendar year, and they pulled out all the stops for their die-hard fans, from classic anthems to brand new music, and all the in-between hits we’ve come to know and love.
Opening for the Canadian rock band was Broadside, an up-and-coming pop punk band from Virginia. Their spectacular set was full of amplified energy, with one catchy hit after another. Lead singer Oliver Baxxter’s voice provided the “pop”, while guitarist’s Dorian Cooke’s voice was definitely the “punk” aspect of the equation. Prior to tonight, I had never heard of this band. Now, however, they’ve earned a permanent spot on at least a couple of “angsty” playlists. Toward the end of their set, Baxxter explained that a simple YouTube video they uploaded some time ago is what got them to where they are now, and he humbly thanked the cheering fans in the packed out crowd. Seeing artists so truly appreciative of their fans is always a refreshing experience, and Baxxter’s “thank you” was appreciated and well-received by the crowd.
After the killer opening performance was completed and Sum 41’s equipment was all set up, the lights cut off and the crowd grew silent, anticipation rising as we all waited for the five-piece to take the stage. The energy in the air was palpable and the fans were animated. As the band made their way to their places, the lights came up and silhouetted them as they began the first song of the night. They chose to open with “Turning Away,” the leading song on their new album, Order in Decline. The crowd went wild from that moment on, with many die-hard fans singing every word to every song. It was amazing to sit back and take in the crowd having the time of their lives.
Lead singer Deryck Wibley’s voice sounded like it did the day I heard the hit song Still Waiting for the first time over ten years ago, full of energy and grit. Drummer Frank Zummo kept the energy going up until the very end of the show, smiling at the crowd while keeping the beats strong and steady, while guitarist Dave "Brownsound" Baksh delivered some great guitar solos that will be remembered (at least by me) for quite awhile.
The band went all in when it came to their production, with a great light show, an animated screen displaying their name and their new album’s art, and high-intensity smoke machines that transformed the packed venue into a perfect place to get wild. These elements added so much allure to the experience and kept things interesting for the entire set, while providing a great atmosphere for lots of crowd surfing and mosh-pitting (yes, I do believe I just made up a new word).
Thankfully, the guys made sure to include some old school fan favorites, including Fat Lip and In Too Deep. Their set ended with what might be their most recognizable song, Still Waiting, before the crowd begged and pleaded for an encore. They came out once again, to everyone’s surprise, to perform two more songs for us before exiting the stage for good. As I left, I bumped into many people who mentioned how great the show was and that they can’t wait for the next one. Sum 41 = 10/10.
Review and photographs by Courtney Davis