Sum 41 Return to Seattle With a Vengeance with Two Great Supporting Acts, By Holly Homan

Sum 41

Sum 41

On a cold and foggy January 19th, Seattle’s legendary Showbox at the Market hosted Canada’s Sum 41. I had seen Sum 41 once before at EndFest 2001 when they were still teenagers. Now, barely into their thirties, they have as much energy as ever. Front man, Deryck Whibley came out with his hair dyed bright orange and sticking up unevenly like a young Johnny Rotten from his PIL days. He had his audience in the palm of his hand from the get-go, strutting across the stage like a proud peacock and goading them into a wild frenzy. Crowd surfers tumbled head over heels over the barricade in great succession immediately. By the fourth or fifth song I could feel the sweat emanating from the dance floor while the floor heaved with all the pogoing. Everyone sang along to “In Too Deep.”

Deryck Whibley is a very dynamic and charismatic performer, switching between just singing and prancing about with a mic in his hand, to strapping on a guitar to add to the powerful punk chords emanating through the club. After about an hour, just as they riled the audience into a crazed crescendo, the band abruptly left the stage. Said audience, however, wasn’t ready to call it a night and immediately chanted for one more song before switching over to chants of Deryck, Deryck! After a short time, the other band members, sans Deryck, returned to the stage. They began churning out chords when Deryck pranced out, grabbed the mic, and immediately tore into a raucous, punked up cover of Queen’s “We Will Rock You,” that he succeeded in getting everyone to sing along with. This was followed by probably their biggest hit, “Fat Lip,” and everyone sang along to that too.

For a band who have been going since they were teenagers, it’s great to see they’re still going strong. This was an incredible show!
The band who preceded Sum 41 not only lit the night on fire, they kept the embers glowing long after they left the stage. This was an all girl punk band called Hunter Valentine.

Dressed mostly in black, and sporting a lot of tattoos, they looked like a female version of The Ramones, but with a singer whose voice was a combination of Chrissie Hynde, Janis Joplin and a smattering of Ari Up thrown in. She was gutsy and powerful and alternated personalities between dangerous and innocent. This band rocked HARD! When they left the stage, I was surprised the plaster on the walls and ceiling hadn’t crumbled to dust.

Opening the night was a duo calling themselves I Am Dynamite. At first when I saw it was just two dudes sauntering out on stage, I thought, a calm, folky duet. Was I surprised when this duo spewed out some heavy and raucous sound! These guys packed a punch. They hit the stage, grabbed the audience by the throat and didn’t let go. They were wild, they were intense and they lit the spark that would keep the embers burning long after the roadies cleared all the gear from the club.

What a night!

Holly Homan

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