Whenever I tried to make a list of my favorite bands, Sum 41 was always around the top. Never #1, but never far from it, either. So, the chance to finally see them live was a no-brainer, and not even 7-hour bus drive through cold February night could make the decision any harder.
Around 2000 people gathered up in Gasometer, probably the most beautiful concert venue in Vienna, to see MTV pop-punk idols in their new incarnation, propelled with the new record '13 Voices'. Now five-piece broke their hiatus last year and made a big comeback that got them all over the world.
Even the quick look at the crowd was enough to see the band still got the relevance that many thought they lost. Everybody was there – from the “MTV Generation” in their late 20s and early 30s, to the new kids ready to take their place. There were punks, metalheads, skateboarders, and everyone between, while T-shirts varied from Green Day, Ramones and Rancid to Iron Maiden, Metallica or Parkway Drive. My Apologies to French boys Pærish, who did a great job in supporting role, even catching some positive reactions from the crowd, but this time, it was all about the headlining act.
First few songs were more than enough to prove the band still got it. With three guitars turned up to eleven, and crowd ready to have some fun, the party could start. Fun can be the keyword of this show, although the band did offer lots of serious and heavily emotional moments. Combining old and new, punk, pop, and metal, party with a punk rock show, Canadians delivered the almost two-hour set filled with good vibrations. Even the slight problems with sound on a few songs could not spoil the atmosphere.
From the smoke machines and balloons to the improvised stage in the middle of the crowd and the colossal inflatable skeleton with four fingers up in one, and the middle finger up in the other hand, everything was just so Sum 41. Even the very end and 'Pain for Pleasure' where the band went full “glam” with wigs, sunglasses and leather outfits was just what the fans wanted from them. Sum 41 did start as a teenage band, but they grew into much more than that. Their shows do offer emotion, seriousness, social and political commentary, but for more than a few moments, it’s just about fun. And maybe just a little bit of nostalgia.