If meeting the band was not enough, then the concert surely was. This past Sunday I had the opportunity to meet up with Stevo and Cone of Sum 41. After a great interview, they even were able to lend some time to talk about Vegas, their new CD and other topics on the side, even if they were admittedly hung over from a previous show in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Unfortunately, I was unable to witness the opening act, Dead Country, as House of Blues box office lost the guest list for Sum 41, which left me and others outside the venue for over an hour waiting. On a side note, this is the second time this has happened to me at this venue, so what is with the sketchy service?
So, for me the opening act was The Darlings, a punk rock band from Redondo Beach, California, and former winner of the Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands. Surprisingly enough, I heard from several members of the crowd they were there to see just them. They were able to run through their 40 minute set with high energy and active engagement of the crowd. Certainly, this is a band I enjoyed viewing for the first time and plan one seeing them once again. With their old school rock sound, even covering a song from The Misfits, this band gave me a feel that they knew the roots of punk rock and they try to keep it sacred through the sounds of their music. Go give them a listen: http://www.myspace.com/thedarlings
After a 45 minute wait, headliner Sum 41 came on stage, and did not disappoint. With their 80 minute set time, the band was able to whip through classics from every one of their CD’s and even gave fans a preview of two new songs “Screaming Bloody Murder” and “Skumfuk” which are on their new album Screaming Bloody Murder, which hits stores today.
Being famous for large consumptions of alcohol before shows, this show was no exception for them. Deryck Whibley, lead singer, kept a wide eyed grin through the set without losing any tempo of the concert whatsoever. I was impressed by his skills as a front man and hearing his voice in person also was able to impress me because instead of drunken slur he still gave me the sound of punk classics I grew up with.
After the band finished the first part of their set, they walked off to the usual chants of “encore” which they did not leave fans hanging as Deryck came out and sang a solo of “Pieces” from the album Chuck and after the band rejoined to play the crowd favorite “Fat Lip”. To close the concert, drummer, Stevo, came forward to sing “Pain for Pleasure”, a song the band features as a song from their alter-ego band, Pain for Pleasure. It was nice to see the drummer get up and entertain the crowd from up front instead of behind his set in the back.
Great concert, great set list, great set of bands. Catch these guys sometime.