LIVE REVIEW: Sum 41 plays the gig they’ve always been meant to play in Worcester
It’s fitting that Sum 41‘s Order in Decline tour ended it’s run in Worcester on Halloween night. If the closing up band, Pleasure, was anything to do with that.
But before we get to that, the crowd rolled up to The Palladium in Worcester not sure what was really to come from this night. The openers, The Plot in You and The Amity Affliction, seemed a little off brand at first, but that changed once we got past the first few songs of Ajax, Ontario’s, Sum 41’s set.
This set was something special. The venue was a perfect room for a band like Sun. The energy didn’t stop for one moment and the band put on a performance I haven’t seen from them before. Be it the incredibly intimate two tracks lead singer Deryck Whibley played from the soundboard, proclaiming, “This is the new front row.” Including smash Pieces. To the iconic Still Waiting, where Whibley said ‘That was good but I want you to lose your voice when you sing this song.’
Before that action though, the crowd was probably warmed up with the opening slots from Ohio’s The Plot in You and Brisbane’s The Amity Affliction. Both bands are no strangers to Worcester. In a beautiful way. Worcester has been a hotspot venue to play for bands in this scene and they definitely had their pockets of fans in the audience.
The Plot in You took the stage just thirty minutes after doors and left their hearts on the stage. Landon Tewers and the rest of the guys in The Plot in You’s songwriting is something we’re not unfamiliar with, but it’s something this scene has always treasured. Masked by screaming and huge instrumentation, the lyrics some artists, Tewers included, the tracks that Plot in You has produced are some of the most artistic moments we’ve had in a long time for this scene. The latest record for the band, “Dispose”, has fully put this hard working band on the map more then ever and the crowd’s reception to the band showed their loyalty. Be it going crazy for, Feel Nothing, and when the band still showed their respects to the older smashes like My Old Ways. Either way, Tewers has truly come into his own and the band has fully followed suit. Handling both the screaming and clean vocals, Tewers does it with ease and the band was a great way to start off the night.
Alike to The Plot In You, The Amity Affliction are no strangers to Worcester. Not are they strangers to wearing their hearts on their sleeves. Unclean vocalist Joel Birch has been very open about his struggles with mental health and while Amity’s music may cloak it with the heavy notes, the message is still there. It made me a pretty happy bean to see Birch rocking a shirt proclaiming, ‘The World Needs You’, giving some hope to fans that loved frontman Birch is in a good spot right now. If his and fellow vocalist, Ahren Stringer’s performance had anything to say for it, the crowd was wrapped around Amity’s finger. Leaving me even thinking we were about to lose a large chunk of the crowd, but that crowd continued to stay on for the whole night.
Highlights within, the band’s band dedication to The Plot in You, “One of the best bands in America”, with huge smash for The Amity Affliction, Feels Like I’m Dying to Shine On, both tracks the crowd went completely off too.
As Amity left the stage, the energy in the crowd shifted as the room prepared for a solid ninety minutes of nostalgia. I was able to catch the Sum dudes earlier this year when they played an intimate club run. A run that was an experience I’m sure many Sum fans believed they never would see. So after that experience, I didn’t know what to expect going into a packed Palladium show. But let’s be honest, the show Thursday night was easily the top show I have seen from Sum 41. The Palladium was the perfect setting for a show Sum 41 was always meant to play.
From the opening track choice of Turning Away to Whibley as mentioned earlier, playing Pieces from the soundboard, the show was something similar to days when the band reigned as the punk Kings of Canada. Fitting, considering the tour, while celebrating the new album, “Order in Decline”, also serves as the 15th anniversary of “Chuck” which spawned hits like ‘We’re All To Blame’ and ‘Pieces’.
In addition to showcasing “Chuck” and the new album, it also featured no misses like, Still Waiting, Walking Disaster,and In Too Deep. Easily the pinnacle moment of the set was when Whibley went, “And now a moment of silence for the Canadian national anthem,” before diving into Fat Lip.
In the last few years, Sum 41 has easily been able to sell out still huge shows and have showed serious career longevity even if it took Whibley taking a serious look at his health and coming out stronger then ever. Clearly it was the impetus for reviving the band and their fans are seemingly beyond grateful for it.
But before we close the book on a great Halloween gig, after Sum left the stage, we met the band Pleasure clad in crop tops, too tight skinny jeans and eighties curls to play their big hit, “Pain for Pleasure.” Who they were, we’ll never know, but I always knew the boys had a little eighties in them.