Last night, Monday May 14th,2018 the 15 Year Anniversary of Does This Look Infected? tour took on Philadelphia at the Electric Factory and it was a night to remember. I got to see Sum 41 one other time in the Warped Tour setting so I was extremely excited to see them in an actual venue. This was my first time to Electric Factory and the venue itself has to be one of my favorites I have been in.
The show kicked off at 7:30 after an hour of people flowing into the venue after a MONDAYS work. With support from Seaway and SuperWhatevr, the openers fit perfectly with what the night was. First up was Hopeless Records' band SuperWhatvr. Not knowing this band at all, I was happy I went into their set blindly. That is the way to discover new music. I was nothing but impressed with SuperWhatevr. Each song had edge, and kept your head bobbing. With unique melodies, and lyrics, front-man, Skyler McKee, spoke to the crowd about being an advocate for therapy and how that it saved his life in tough times. Hearing McKee state this was really refreshing as many people in that room turn to music as an outlet for their hardships. As the set moved on you could tell the crowd grew more and more fond of the California based band. My recommendation.... jump on the bandwagon now because this band is going places.
Shortly after, the first of two Canadian bands took the stage. Pure Noise Records', Seaway stepped to the stage and you saw the shows energy take a nice jolt. Crowd surfer after crowd surfer, it got to the point where front-man, Ryan Locke, had to acknowledge that fact. "We have all the crowd surfers tonight, eh?" Seaway kept the high energy rolling through out their set encouraging Philly to give them everything they had.
Seaway was the PERFECT direct support for this tour and played the role great. They killed their set while getting the crowd excited for the rest of the night to come.My favorite moment of the set was that, "This is a cover song moment." Instantly pumped to hear their rendition of Get Free by the Vines, it brought me back so many years. It made me realize how much influence that 90s rock/grunge stage has had on today's current music scene. The crowd surfing and moshing continued and you began to think to yourself, "Will this crowd have any energy left for Sum 41?" Little did I know the answer should have been obvious.
White curtain hung in front of the stage, AC/DC's TNT blasting through the PA system, that long anticipated moment everyone was there for finally arrived. The album has been certified Platinum in Canada and Japan, Gold in the United States and Silver in the UK since it's release in 2002. Celebrated as one of the most essential Pop Punk albums of all time, Does This Look Infected? was full of iconic hits like "Still Waiting," "The Hell Song" and "Over My Head (Better Off Dead)” each played last night but Sum 41 did it differently. Front man Deryck Whimbley pointed out to the crowd, "If you didn't notice we are doing this 15 year anniversary thing differently." The band didn't play the album in order from front to back. Instead picking where each song or cover went, and let me tell you the set had an awesome flow. From start to finish they kept their fans engaged, from bringing select few fans on stage for the night to encouraging all to sing along. They made known that once they released the album, that music that was theirs became their fans and ultimately what we all in that room were celebrating.
While looking back at the past and the music we were celebrating, I was happy to hear that Sum 41 plans on another release. More recently, Sum 41 released 13 Voices, which peaked at #9 on the Billboard Top Albums chart. It looks like the sky is the limit for the Canadian Pop-punk band as long as they keep at it. For me, last night was enough for me to say that there is, Sum 41 is the best pop-punk band to come out of the 1990s.