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Sum 41’s “Don’t Call It a Sum-Back World Tour” stopped in Prague, Czech Republic last Monday night to play to a sold out crowd at a popular downtown music club, Roxy, and the PopD team caught the show. The venue was packed only fifteen minutes after the doors opened as fans eagerly waited for the pop punk legends to take the stage.
First up was Pærish, a four-piece indie rock band from Paris, France. They recently released their debut album so they were stoked to play part of their new record for the sold out crowd. Their energy was more low-key than we expected for such a big show. People were getting into the music but it was pretty clear that they were saving their energy for Sum 41. Pærish did a good job of interacting with the crowd throughout their set and building the hype for what was to come.
After a painfully long pause between sets, Sum 41 finally exploded onto the stage and the entire venue went wild. This was clearly the moment everyone had been waiting for. From the first song it was obvious that the guys of Sum 41 were seasoned performers and they completely owned the stage. Lead singer Deryck Whibley immediately addressed the crowd as “the Sum 41 family” and thanked everyone for being there.
They played one of the longest, best sets we had ever seen. Of course they played some new music from their newest album, 13 Voices, which was released in October, but most of their set featured older crowd-pleasers such as “With Me,” “War,” “In Too Deep,” and “Pieces.” Every time one of these songs was introduced, fans seemed to catch a new wave of energy and people were constantly jumping, moshing, and crowd surfing. The transitions between songs were seamless and changing guitars for different songs meant tossing them across the stage and catching them on the other side. Every little thing in the operations of their concert was turned into a spectacle. The bright colors, flashing lights, the release of huge balloons (which Whibley batted several times with his guitar), and even fog on the beat drops added elements of energy and surprise to the set.
About three quarters of the way through the show, the rest of the band let drummer Frank Zummo dominate the stage. Everyone else walked off and Zummo was left alone to wail on the drums for at least five minutes. It was the most epic drum solo the PopD team had ever seen. The fog machines were timed perfectly to the beat and at the end of the solo the rest of the band returned and they continued with their show.
After a few more songs, Whibley again thanked the Sum 41 family for being there and the band walked offstage with a short “bye!” The lights dimmed and the crowd went wild, begging for more. Shortly after they had left the stage, a piano was being set up and it was clear that they would be back. Whibley returned alone and sat down at the piano to slow it down with a few ballads. A change of pace from the rest of the concert, the crowd appreciated this short break from the energy until the rest of the band returned to the stage to close it out with a bang.
After two more songs, they ended with their token anthem, “Fat Lip,” and the crowd went absolutely insane. At the end of the song the fog machines let loose and bright confetti sprayed onto the crowd from above. Once again, the band left and the stage went dark. Once again, relentless chants of “Sum 41! Sum 41!” could be heard from every corner of the venue. Once again, after a few minutes, the band returned to the stage, but this time they had a little prank in store for the audience. They emerged in wigs and sunglasses and played a few fun solos with their instruments, claiming, “Sum 41 is gone.” Their second encore went on like this for a few minutes before the band officially took their bows and left the stage for good.
Overall, this was one of the best shows the PopD team has ever seen. Between the expert performance and the way the band made the crowd truly feel like family, even dedicating most of their songs to their “beautiful fans,” their stage presence and their music were both top notch. Sum 41 delivered an energetic and passionate performance that you won’t want to miss on the “Don’t Call It a Sum-Back Tour.”
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