Sum 41: Back With A Vengeance

By Chris Heide

Sum 41 is back with a vengeance.

After a long and nearly fatal battle with alcoholism and addiction, lead singer Derek Whibley is ready for his return to the spotlight. It’s been 5 years since Sum 41 released a new album and this tour marks something of a resurgence for the band.

Just a few years ago, Whibley was released from the hospital after nearly losing the fight against his addiction. Energetic and engaged, Whibley looks better than he has in a long time.

Overall, Sum 41 proved why they have had a career that has sustained for over 15 years and 6 studio albums. Their set list incorporated a mix of classic songs, as well as fresh material.

After opening acts Senses Fail and As It Is roused the crowd, Sum 41 took the stage. The majority of the audience appeared to be made up of diehard fans- likely, individuals who have been listening to the group since its inception in 2001.

Notably, the lead singer from Senses Fail also briefly spoke of his own issues with substance abuse. The entire show seemed to be a subtle tribute to the brutality of addiction and the power of sobriety.

Highlights from Sum 41 included performances of ‘In To Deep’ and ‘Over My Head”. Probably the best number came halfway through the set list. ‘War’, a song written by Whibley during his recovery was dedicated to the audience. It is a haunting and powerful song- the closest thing Sum 41 has to a ballad.

A cohesive and rousing show, Sum 41 proved that they back and better than ever.