The end of February saw pop-punk legends Sum 41 kick off their ‘Don’t Call It A Sum-Back’ UK tour with fellow Canadian’s Hollerado. We were there at the Leeds date to bring you this review!
Hollerado (6) came onstage welcomed by a packed out O2 Academy. The Ottawa (definitely NOT from America as they clarified from the start) four-piece played a short set that opened with their newest song, ‘Grief Money’. Whilst their music feels somewhat bland at times, it does have its moments with some hooks that make you want to sing a-long and some guitar work that takes you by surprise at times. The band seemed to have won the crowd over by the time closer ‘So It Goes’ came around.
This was always going to be a bit of a question mark for me going in given everything that had happened with Deryck Whibley a few years ago, however, any scepticism was quickly erased as the curtain dropped as Sum 41 (8) took to the stage and opened with ‘A Murder Of Crows’ and ‘Fake My Own Death’ off their latest release 13 Voices. The band came on stage full of energy and maintained it throughout the night. They launched into two fan favourites in ‘The Hell Song’ and ‘Over My Head (Better Off Dead)’ which receives a fantastic response from the audience.
From the start it’s clear to see that everyone is in for a fun night and everything isn’t being taken too seriously with big inflatable balls falling from the ceiling as the band storm through more songs like ‘Underclass Hero’ and ‘War’. The setlist is a great mix of the greatest hits spanning their entire back-catalogue and a handful from last years studio release, though this doesn’t stop them from throwing in a cheeky snippet of Black Sabbath’s ‘Paranoid’ and a very Sum 41 cover of Queen’s ‘We Will Rock You’ later on in the night.
As Sum 41 draw towards the end of ‘Makes No Difference’, Deryck disappears from the stage and a lot of “Hello there” and “Excuse me”’s can be heard over the soundsystem, it soon becomes apparent that he is making his way through the crowd to the sound desk where he plays a beautiful rendition of ‘With Me’ which results in a massive sing-a-long which really created a sense of being part of a family which is something that was echoed by Whibley throughout the night. He makes his way back to the stage for another song before latest addition to the band Frank Zummo performs a mesmerising drum solo. The rest of the band return to the stage for a few more high energy songs before closing with ‘In Too Deep’.
A piano is brought on stage for a couple more sing-a-longs with Whibley as he plays ‘Crash’ before being joined by the rest of the band for ‘Pieces’, ‘Welcome To Hell’ and ‘Fat Lip’, which was only made so much better by the icing on the cake that was a special appearance from Pain For Pleasure to top off the night. A fantastic performance overall and nothing but fun throughout.