Skip to content Skip to footer

Live Review: SUM 41 @ Pier Six Concert Pavilion — 4/29/24

Going out with a bang is an apt description of not only Sum 41’s final tour, Tour of The Setting Sum, but also a pretty good summation of their new (and, for the foreseeable future, last) album, Heaven :x: Hell.

The record, released last month, is a mammoth double LP with two distinct “sides”: a heaven made of pop punk anthems, and a hell full of rock numbers inspired by heavy metal’s finest. I have to say, for a final album — a record that, for many bands calling it a day, would be mediocre at best — Heaven :x: Hell is one of the Canadian band’s finest. Just try to get songs like “Landmines,” the albums first single, out of your head even after a quick play through.

Sum 41 has released eight albums in their storied career and a little bit of everything was on display at the band’s recent stop in Baltimore. And you couldn’t ask for better weather for the beginning of the outdoor concert season at Pier Six, as pop-punk fans made their way onto the pier.

Kicking off the show were Joey Valence and Brae on April 29, a hip hop duo who warmed up the crowd with a super fun and energetic set. But it was punk ska pop of LA’s The Interrupters that put huge smiles on every face as they leaped from one side of the stage to the next, radiating positivity.

Where a lot of bands, especially when they tour a new album, will start a set with a lot of new material, but tonight was a collection of the band’s work — certainly more than a retrospective — that started off with one of Sum 41’s oldest tunes, “Motivation” from their debut All Killer No Filler.

“You better keep your energy tonight,” Deryck Whibley (vocals/guitar) told the crowd. “It’s a long night… we’ve got a lot of songs.” That was an understatement as Sum 41 proceeded to play most of their back catalog from over the last 25 years.

Tom Thacker, Cone McCaslin, and Brownsound Baksh of Sum 41

As a frontperson, Whibley, was masterful at getting the crowd up and jumping around. I saw quite a few older fans that clearly knew Sum 41’s entire discography, but I was pleasantly surprised at seeing more than a few young fans just as enthralled with the performance. It’s heartening to see a sea of hands swaying back and forth, smiles on faces, and a chorus from the crowd singing every word back at the stage. There’s a lot of hope in these future rock ‘n rollers.

As Whibley ran from one side of the stage to the next, he trades spots with bassist, Jason “Cone” McCaslin and Dave “Brownsound” Baksh on guitar, making a whirlwind of frenetic activity. There’s no standing around waiting for things to happen for this band. And things felt like they were moving in breakneck speed with a particularly fun Does This Look Infected medley of “My Direction,” “No Brains,” and “All Messed Up.”

Things really didn’t slow down until the halfway point after a brilliant drum solo by Frank Zummo when the band started on “Preparasi a Salire,” as behind the stage a huge inflatable skeleton emerged giving the audience the “Sum 41 salute” of four fingers on one hand while a, erm, single digit salute with the other. That started the “Hell” part of the evening, as Whibley put it, with the song “Rise Up,” a particularly punky anthem replete with chunky guitar riffs.

Watch the official music video for “Landmines” from Sum 41 on YouTube:

Knowing Sum 41 were big fans of Queen, it was no surprise to see a punk-ified version of the classic “We Will Rock You” and a ear-splitting guitar solo by Tom Thacker. But that wasn’t the only cover, as Deryck Whibley brought out a guitar — a ’68 Gibson Les Paul — he had just received that was previously used to record Social Distortion’s seminal record White Light White Heat to play the Social D version of the Johnny Cash tune, “Ring of Fire.”

After playing two of Sum 41’s biggest hits, “Fat Lip” and “Still Waiting,” the band returned to the stage to encore with “Summer” and “In Too Deep” from their debut. Although I’m holding out for a “reunion” down the road, if this has to be the end you couldn’t ask for a better send off.

Sum 41 continue their Tour of the Setting Sun through the Fall, ending with several dates in Canada.

The setlist included:

Motivation
The Hell Song
Over My Head (Better Off Dead)
No Reason
Underclass Hero
Some Say
Landmines
Dopamine
We’re All to Blame
Walking Disaster
With Me
Makes No Difference
My Direction / No Brains / All Messed Up
Drum Solo
Preparasi a salire
Rise Up
We Will Rock You (Queen cover)
Ring of Fire (Johnny Cash ala Social Distortion cover)
Pieces
Fat Lip
Still Waiting

Encore:
Summer
Waiting on a Twist of Fate
In Too Deep

Here are more photos of SUM 41 performing at Pier Six Concert Pavilion in Baltimore on April 29, 2024. All photos copyright and courtesy of David LaMason.

Here are photos of The Interrupters opening for Sum 41 at Pier Six Concert Pavilion:

And here are photos of Joey Valence and Brae opening for Sum 41 at Pier Six: