Sum 41 premiered their “Does This Look Infected?” tour at the House of Blues in Chicago with one hell of a show, and to prove that it was one hell of a show, they even opened their set with “The Hell Song” off of their sophomore album Does This Look Infected? My inner child knew I couldn’t miss this show and when I was there I even slapped myself across the face to make sure it was real.
The band - Deryck Whibley on guitar and lead vocals, Jason McClasin A.K.A. “Cone” on the bass, Steve-O 32 on the drums and an imposter of the original Dave Brownsound on the lead guitar - came out with more energy and enthusiasm than the 20 other times I saw them previous to this show.
I had the honor to shoot the first three songs from the pit. I kept finding myself singing along to the lyrics of the songs regardless of taking pictures and being kicked in the head by crowd-surfers. Once my three songs were up, I handed my camera to my friend, jumped into the crowd and made sure to throw down in the mosh-pit. As the show progressed, the crowd continued to rock out like it was the year 2002. The mosh pit was a very friendly environment with a very consistent handful of human beings being launched in the air every second as if they were canon balling into a pool similarly seen in Sum 41’s music video for the song “In Too Deep.” This was the only show that has ever influenced me to feel like my twelve-year-old self again. The crowd was filled with a bunch of twenty-somethings, which gave Sum 41 exactly the energy they had hoped for.
Throughout the show, Deryck would scream out random things such as “I think they like the metal music lets play some metal!” and “Who’s louder? You guys or you guys?” - which was extremely effective in keeping the crowd alive. Once the band finished their album Does This Look Infected? in its entirety, they played a handful of the older classics including “Motivation,” “In Too Deep,” “Fat Lip,” and “Pain for Pleasure.” The band also played some of their newer hits such as “We’re All To Blame,” “Walking Disaster” and “Underclass Hero.” Surprisingly, the only song they played off of their newest album was “Skumf*k.” Sum 41 covered a couple of songs, including “We Will Rock You” and “Sabotage,” to which they added their special touch, giving the songs their own meaning.
Sum 41 was the soundtrack to my middle school days. I remember convincing my mom to buy me their album as I covered the explicit label on the front of the album cover with my thumb. She later listened to the lyrics of the songs and threw out the album. Fortunately enough, this was the beginning of a new era; The Napster era where I could download and re-download Sum 41 whenever I wanted. This show brought me to a nostalgic place that I haven’t been able to go in quite sometime. Deryck and I have come to the same conclusion about the show, Deryck’s last words before leaving the stage were “That’s the show, so fucking what?!”