Words by Nick Hodgins / Photo by Nick Karp
Sum 41 and Simple Plan brought their Blame Canada Tour to the Stone Pony Summer Stage this past weekend, playing back to back nights on August 26 and 27th. The pop punk legends were touring in support of arguably their most iconic albums, though with such impressive catalogs, that’s certainly up for debate. Sum 41’s All Killer No Filler and Simple Plan’s No Pads, No Helmets…Just Balls.
Originally slated for May 7th, the sold out shows saw the Summer Stage back patio packed fence to fence with late 20’s and 30-somethings ready to rock out to a couple of band’s that almost certainly helped start it all for them.
Simple Plan took the stage first, right as the sun was setting, coming out to the Star Wars Theme before blasting off into ‘I’d Do Anything’ (with the crowd taking over Mark Hoppus’s part of course). ‘Shut Up’, ‘Jump’, ‘Worst Day Ever’ and so many more classics followed, and the Montreal foursome sounded incredible with plenty of stage banter to boot. Warped Tour references, ripping songs to put on your iPod, beach balls, and a heartfelt thank you to the fans, the band was incredibly humble while still clearly having a ton of fun.
At one point front man Pierre Bouvier introduced guitarist Jeff Stinco saying, “a lot of our songs aren’t overly complicated so we’re just gonna let Jeff rip so he can show everyone what he’s capable of.” Later Chuck Comeau popped out from behind drums, switching with Pierre so he could throw on what appeared to be a hazmat suit and dive into the audience for some crowd surfing.
Shortly after that they took the crowd back 20 years with a medley of hits including ‘All Star’, ‘Sk8er Boi’, and ‘Mr Brightside’.
While Simple Plan may be notorious for the old stuff, their song ‘Iconic’ off their latest release, Harder Than It Looks, brought an energy and an unexpected heaviness, proving that these guys still have plenty left in the tank. They wrapped up the set with ‘Perfect’, beginning with Pierre on acoustic before it crescendoed with the full band and crowd in full unison singing that oh-so classic chorus.
At 9:05, Sum 41 took the stage to a wall of red Marshall Amps and a tinted blue and red drum set, complete with bass drum plastered with that legendary logo. After a short TNT intro, the band wasted no time ripping into All Killer No Filler, opening with ‘Motivation’ but adding the Metallica inspired outro from 88 off Chuck onto the end, reminding the crowd just how metal they are.
The set list was most definitely All Killer and absolutely No Filler, leaving very little on the table. Tracks played from the 2001 studio debut included ‘Motivation’, ‘Summer’, ‘Never Wake Up’, ‘In Too Deep’, and of course, ‘Fat Lip’. Derrick led into ‘Summer’ saying, “All Killer No Filler turned 20 this past year, so in spirit of that, we’re gonna play a song we hardly ever play anymore – Dave you take it.”
The Ontario boys ripped, with the legendary Dave ‘Brownsound’ Baksh and Tom ‘Brown Tom’ Thacker holding down guitar duties, while Derrick Whibley put on a clinic of how to command a crowd, while also picking up the axe for a handful of songs. They also featured Frank Zummo on drums and Jason McCaslin on bass, with everyone sharing in on backup vocals.
Derrick teased ‘Smoke on the Water’ and ‘Seven Nation Army’ riffs, declaring “fuck I wish that was a Sum 41 song.” He went on to say, “Ladies and gentleman thank you for putting up with all our fucking stupid bull shit tonight, but honestly seriously we do mean this, we love you, we appreciate you, we thank you very very much. Because all the fucking shit you guys go through tonight just to be here in this crowd, all the money, the lines you have to get into, the fucking traffic, the plans you have to make, losing cell phones in the pit, getting kicked in the fucking face, all the fucking bull shit that you go through. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU, we honestly appreciate it. So this next song is dedicated to all of you.”
Cue ‘Fat Lip’, one of THE most iconic riffs of the 2000’s, a song that’d lay the foundation for an entire era of music, a song that’d get thousands and thousands of kids into punk, metal and all the other countless sub-genres that this band was no doubt a gateway to.
It’s a pleasure to be able to watch these guys still do it. Be sure to keep an eye out for their upcoming release, a double album titled Heaven & Hell – with one side being pop-punk and the other being metal – and hear all the new iconic riffs still yet to come.
SIMPLE PLAN SETLIST
I’d Do Anything
The Worst Day Ever
Wake Me Up
Welcome to My Life
All Star/ Sk8er Boi / Mr. Brightside
What’s New Scooby Doo
Where I Belong
I’m Just a Kid
SUM 41 SETLIST
Motivation (with 88 Outro)
The Hell Song
Over My Head (Better Off Dead)
We’re All to Blame
Never Wake Up
In Too Deep
Makes No Difference
Smoke on the Water / Seven Nation Army
We Will Rock You
TheWaster.com | Asbury Park