w/ Senses Fail, As It Is
The Regency Ballroom
San Francisco, CA
November 1, 2016
Don't you love it when you have expectations for a show, and then that artist either meets or completely exceeds your expectations come showtime? This was easily one of my most anticipated shows of the entire year, and I'm happy to say that Sum 41 did not disappoint in the least. The last time I saw the band (other than this year's Vans Warped Tour) was several years ago in the same venue as Tuesday's show, The Regency Ballroom. Deryck Whibley did not look healthy. The band sounded fantastic, but my friend and I looked on from the pit and could tell that something was wrong. I have to say that I was a bit worried.
In May 2014, just two years ago, Whibley announced that he had been in the hospital for over a month due to a severe battle with alcoholism. The photos shown on the band's page depicted a completely different person. As time progressed, it was evident that he was getting better and better. Fast forward to 2016, and we now have the Sum 41 that we truly know and love, firing full force and selling out venues across the country. I can't even begin to tell you how awesome it was to see these guys back in action.
The show was kicked off with two fantastic opening acts, the first of which was Fearless Records newcomers As It Is. They were by far the most "pop" act on the bill, setting them apart from acts like Senses Fail and Sum 41, who were a bit on the heavier side of things. It didn't stop the crowd from showing their support, and they received a great reaction from the crowd throughout their thirty minute set. The five-piece group performed tracks from their upcoming record, okay., which will be available this coming January.
I must say that I truly regret not seeing Senses Fail sooner. They've been at countless festivals I've attended, yet I've never been able to catch their set. Buddy Nielsen, their vocalist, honestly looks like he's having the time of his life up on stage. Every member of Senses Fail carries with them a ridiculous amount of energy that helps them power through their lengthy setlist, much to the delight of the fans in attendance. Their set comprised of material that spanned across a large number of albums in their catalogue, showcasing both the heavier and pop-rock side of their work.
Around 9:30, the lights go down, the All Killer No Filler intro track bellows out of the speakers (you know the one) and Sum 41 makes their return to the San Francisco stage. They waste no time, and launch immediately into Does This Look Infected?'s "The Hell Song". Chaos ensues. Crowd surfers come flying over the barricade. The crowd is almost as loud as Whibley while singing the words back to him. It's insane to watch. They go straight into "Over My Head" from the same record, and "Fake My Own Death", one of the most well-received tracks from the band's newest record, 13 Voices. Their actually included a healthy offering of tracks from 13 Voices, and those were just as well received as the older songs, proving that is truly not a record to miss out on, and one of the best Sum 41 have released in years.
At one point, I found it to be rather hot in the venue so I stepped outside to get some fresh air. Just for a moment. I walked back in, and it sincerely felt like a sauna. I could see the sweat emanating up from the GA pit into the air. I've never seen this venue that packed, or felt it was ever that hot. It was truly a sight to behold.
The band performed a truly captivating hour and a half long set that included tracks from throughout their entire career, a delight for any Sum 41 fan in attendance. The group concluded with a three song encore that was capped off with cryo tanks, loads of confetti, and a giant inflatable skeleton looming over the entirety of the stage. The stage prop showcased the band's "41", signifying the numbers four and one: four fingers on one hand, and one on the other. In true punk rock spirit, I'm sure you can figure out which figure was used for the number one.
As It Is
This has been another Shameless Promotion.