Columbus, OH, Promowest Pavilion, April 16, 2005

For some reason, Sum 41 just seems to be sitting on the fence. Although critics worldwide are quick to praise the band, other acts with lesser talent and more pop quality are surging past the fence sitters to leave their hair blowing in the wind and their metal integrity intact.

 

Sum 41’s fan base, although mostly made up of young teens in the crowd, is really a diverse mix of music lovers, as both metal head dads and diet punk kids seem to both be able to embrace the band on some level. As those not even old enough to drive, let alone consume a beer body surfed their way to the pit up front, the back of Promowest Pavilion was littered black tee shirts of bands like AC/DC, Iron Maiden and Dio. Having that fan base was no mistake, for as often as possible; Sum 41 pays homage to their metal roots, both through their daily actions and their nightly live performances. Using the Iron Maiden guitar poses, the Kiss stage antics of fun first and music second and AC/DC’s love of the power chord, Sum 41 has an appeal that crosses boundaries. So how come they are still sitting on the fence of mega-success?

 

Well, probably just for that reason. When All Killer No Filler was released several years ago, the band was making headway with their rap/rock single Fat Lip, but rather than take the route to try and make fans, Sum 41 took their own path of musical influence and diversity. With no real label to put on the band, many radio stations are having a hard time giving them a title and fitting them in a genre. Metal stations say they are light or alternative, alternative stations say they are metal and pop stations are just damn scared, so while other acts with softer riffs, happier lyrics and gelled hair are passing Sum 41 on the radio play list, Sum still stands by their musical roots and integrity and put on a kick-ass performance for anyone who wants to buck the trend and attend their shows.

 

This is a band that may never get to the level of their friends in Good Charlotte or Simple Plan, but this is also a band that will have lasting fans as those attending the shows are doing so in support of the band and their choices, not supporting the media, radio and their choices for what’s hot. Not to mention, Sum 41 puts together one of the best live shows out there today as they are one of the few bands that want to take their live show a few steps past their recorded music and give the fans an experience, not a playback of their hit songs.

Jason McCaslin
Dave Baksh
Deryck Whibley
Deryck Whibley
Deryck Whibley
Dave Baksh