Photos + Review: Sum 41 @ The Armory (Minneapolis, MN)

Sum 41 (Ajax, Ont), The Interrupters (Los Angeles, CA), Joey Valence & Brae (PA)
April 23rd, 2024
The Armory
in Minneapolis, MN

30 years of Sum 41 just sounds wrong. Actually, it’s right, but how has that much time passed? Makes me feel old, which is why it seems wrong.

The Tour of the Setting Sum has come and passed through Minneapolis last Tuesday the 23rd, and holding hands with that event were all the feelings of nostalgia and a major chapter ending in my life. Fat Lip came out 23 years ago almost exactly to the day on April 22, 2001, and I very much still vividly remember its release along with its music video and watching it all the time on MTV and TRL. Nothing quite sounded like what this group of punks were doing at the time, and that’s held true ever since, with Fat Lip and also other singles after like In To Deep and Still Waiting becoming Pop Punk classics and playlist staples.

A handful of years later during my high school summers, while I was in the midst of finding my way in my musical taste journey, Sum 41 became essential listening and ate up so much of my listening time on the hour long trips to my family cabin. I remember absolutely loving the guitar and bass tone for Does This Look Infected and being surprised, and equally impressed, with how heavy they went with Chuck. There were many times I tried to convince metalhead friends to give them a chance (“They’re so good! And so heavy now!”). I even remember writing poetry and stealing the rhythm of some of their choruses as my writing cadence. Boy am I glad those don’t exist.

All that to say: Sum 41 is an institution of a band to me. For a band that has very openly talked about where they’ve taken their influences, in turn I am someone who is just as much influenced by the music that they’ve put out, and easily millions of others, exemplified by the crowd that showed up for last Tuesday’s date. It was a night of saying goodbye and reliving old times, but also a celebration of a well spanned career.

The Tour of the Setting Sum was announced in tandem with the band’s newest album, Heaven :x: Hell, as both going to be their last. The concept of it being one half the band’s pop punk side, and the other their heavier more metal side, intrigued me, and I’m glad that I can say that they pulled it off. And live, in particular, the new stuff hit well. “Rise Up” and “Waiting on a Twist of Fate” were fantastic, and “Dopamine” while I wasn’t too fond of on first listens, was enjoyable and has crept back into my mind often over the last week. Chuck will always be my GOAT and seeing We’re All To Blame will always be the main highlight. My biggest wish would be to have seen “88” played in full. The end breakdown at the end of “Motivation” is really cool, but would have been nicer to get the full thing.

What’s blows my mind, and something I now consider myself blessed to have been able to be a part of, is six years ago I got to see the band for the first time at Varsity Theater, a venue that’s 1/10th of the size as the Armory. I cherish that I’ve gotten to see them in a smaller venue to see Does This Look Infected played in full, and will cherish this one last time seeing the band before they call it quits. With lots of pyro, confetti, cheer and jumping, this seemed like Sum 41 at their fullest potential. So long, goodbye.

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