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San Francisco was “Still Waiting” for Sum 41

Sum 41 performing at The Warfield

Sum 41 performing at The Warfield

The Warfield in San Francisco was the first stop of the Does This Look Infected 15 year anniversary tour. The venue had an amazing atmosphere with excited fans to see punk rock band Sum 41. Originally from Canada, Sum 41 had an extraordinary performance that wasn’t supposed to happen. Let’s recap the show at The Warfield.

The night started off with Super Whatevr playing a 30 minute set. The Hopeless Records signees performed a strong set of punk and emo-influenced tracks. Lead singer Skyler McKee unique vocals were incredible to hear and fans were feeling it. Super Whatevr played fan favorites “Television” and “Good Luck.”

Seaway at the Warfield

Seaway at the Warfield

Next up were Toronto pop-punk outfit Seaway. Their music is a mix of heavy and upbeat pop-punk which got the San Francisco crowd involved. Lead vocalist Patrick Carleton walked on stage and delivered a fun performance. Carleton encouraged the crowd to jump, mosh and sing along. Throughout Seaway’s 50-minute set, Carleton and lead guitarist Andrew Elchinger traded off frenetic vocals and it was exciting to watch. Seaway performed “Best Mistake,” “Airhead,” and “London” before closing with “Lula on the Beach.”

It has been 16 years since Sum 41’s critically acclaimed album Does This Look Infected was released. On social media, fans wanted Sum 41 to tour again to celebrate the incredible record. Many fan favorites were released on the album, including “Hell Song,” “Still Waiting,” and “Over My Head (Better Off Dead).”

Before Sum 41 came out, there were many classic rock songs being played as the stage crew was setting up the instruments and mics. The Warfield crowd was fired up and continued to mosh, crowd surf and singing along to the hard rock classic tracks from Linkin Park, The Offspring, and My Chemical Romance.

The stage was covered with a white curtain and fans began to scream in excitement. The curtains were removed and fans went crazy. Lead singer Deryck Whibley walked to the front of the stage and started talking to the crowd. Whibley wanted a few fans to come on stage and watch from the side. It was satisfying to watch fans express their excitement as made it on stage.

Sum 41 started the show with fan favorite “Hell Song.” Fans danced around and sang the lyrics together. During the set, lead singer Deryck Whibley announced to the crowd that Sum 41 is writing and recording for their next album. Fans roared with excitement during the announcement and Whibley put on a big smile.

Sum 41 have been playing together for over 20 years and are still a powerful lively act. Guitarists Dave Baksh and Tom Thacker adeptly ripped through the the band’s catalog, trading off solos and heavy metal riffs incredibly fast. Frontman Deryck Whibley appeared reborn following his 2014 hospitalization for alcoholism. He was energetic, confident and engaged in his performance with the crowd.

After a few songs were played, Whibley told a story of returning to writing and recording. When Whibley was released from the hospital in 2014, he reached a near panic as he had no starting point to work from. He went back and listened to a cassette of Does this look Infected sessions and came across an unused guitar riff. This later became “Fake My Own Death,” a single from the band’s latest album, 13 Voices. It was a great story from Whibley, admitting his personal struggles and motivation to continue music.

In addition to performing Infected and All Killer No Filler tracks, Sum 41 also mixed in a few additional covers into its setlist: Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid” and a punk version of Queen’s “We Will Rock You.” Drummer Frank Zummo also honored late Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington with a thrilling drum solo medley of some of the that band’s heaviest songs.

Sum 41 performing at The Warfield

Sum 41 performing at The Warfield

Both Zummo and Whibley performed at the Hollywood Bowl tribute show for Bennington last October. In the second half of the set, there were more flashy production, including strobes, lasers, confetti, smoke cannons and a giant skull with glowing eyes adorning the stage. This offered a thrilling backdrop for the band to rip through some of its biggest hits.

Sum 41 closed out its set of Infected material with “Hooch” before returning for a trio of singles: “No Reason,” “Motivation,” and original smash “Fat Lip.”

Many times throughout the show, Whibley thanked all the old and new fans for sticking with them through the years. Whibley was very gracious and the fans gave him respect. Sum 41 loved playing in San Francisco and will return soon.

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Arik Ruiz

April 29th, 2018

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