Sum 41 at Mill City Nights, 3/30/13

Sum 41 at Mill City Nights, 3/30/13
Photo by Youa Vang

Sum 41 with Hollerado, Hunter Valentine
Mill City Nights, Minneapolis
Saturday, March 30, 2013

Some people may have relegated Canadian band Sum 41 to their dusty CD shelf, but Minneapolis was in for a throwback to their teenage years Saturday evening at Mill City Nights. Red was the theme for the night, it seemed. Red T-shirt, red hair, and red lighting that never changed throughout the show.

Lead singer Deryck Whibley channeled Jack Torrance (channeling Ed McMahon) when he took to the stage with his guitar and a fake cleaver, declaring, "Here's Johnny!"
While not the most attractive rock star, Whibley has a certain stage presence and charisma that is not readily found. Prowling the stage, the singer let out a "Thank you, thank you, thank you," to the restless crowd. As the sound tech was running around tending to some problems, Deryck picked a group of fans to rock out onstage -- although they were confined to a taped-off section of the stage.

Known for their punk characteristics, Sun 41 showed their pop teeth on "In Too Deep" from the band's breakout album All Killer No Filler. Before heading into "Walking Disaster," Deryck told the crowd how great it was to be back in Minneapolis, especially since Whibley was sick the last time  they were in town and ended up missing their Warped Tour date.

Sum 41 at Mill City Nights, 3/30/13
Sum 41 at Mill City Nights, 3/30/13
Photos by Youa Vang

The show was peppered with language you wouldn't use around your grandmother, hence the band's "Skumfuck," which was dedicated to the resident skumfucks in the crowd. Wanting to make sure the audience was enjoying themselves, Whibley asked, "You guys having fun? I feel a lot of love in this room tonight. People don't realize it, but we're all about love. Everybody thinks we're a bunch of dicks, but we're really a bunch of pussies. are what you eat."

A tribute to a lady that was taken away from us too soon came in the form of "A.N.I.C." -- standing for "Anna Nicole Smith is a C*nt." The song is short and to the point, with the repeating lyrics "You're an asshole."

Perhaps it may just be the Twin Cities, but Deryck was once again sick for Saturday's show, apologizing in advance in case he puked on anyone. This made the perfect segue for the fast-paced "Sick of Everyone." For the last song of the regular set, the band took to their least hopeful, but most serious piece "Still Waiting," which touches on their lost of faith in humanity with its lyrics, "So am I still waiting, For this world to stop hating, Can't find a good reason, Can't find hope to believe in."

If Sum 41's set was a nice, juicy steak, their encore was the ultimate dessert to finish off the evening. Opening with a cover of Queen's "We Will Rock You," the band led into their biggest hit "Fat Lip." The song is an anthem for the misfits, the ones who don't fit in -- basically everyone in the audience Saturday night.

Critic's bias: I remember when "Fat Lip" came out back in 2001. My initial thought watching their video was "What the fuck?" but it soon worked its way into my formative years. Who knew that I would still be singing along to it twelve years later?

The crowd: Twenty somethings reliving their youth.

Overheard in the crowd: "I wonder if Avril [Lavigne] is here?"

Random notebook dump: Photographers were moved to the side of the stage during the third song to make room for the sound tech. There was probably ten or more groupies watching the show from the side of the stage.

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