The Don’t Call It a Sum-Back tour electrified Chicago last night as punk rock favorites and specialists Sum 41 and Senses Fail and pop punk newcomers, As It Is, took to The House of Blues stage. These three’s never-ending stamina and dauntless spirit provided for a night full of euphoria as the crowd raised together to rejoice along with their favorite bands.

As It Is took the stage as the youngest and opening band of the night, but performed with an energy that spread quickly like an epidemic throughout The House of Blues. Their quirky pop punk tunes and personalities served as a youthful addition to the ticket. Though early on in their career, As It Is are an extremely talented band and though older punk fans might not like to admit it, they’re pop punk charm worked its way into their hearts. Between their booming energy and their hunger to grow and succeed in such a thriving punk community, As It Is’ performance was just as inspiring as it was entertaining to watch.

Senses Fail took the stage next. After As It Is, the crowd was by no means prepared for what was in store as Buddy Nielsen ferociously dominated the stage with his karate chops, gymnastic abilities, wild antics, and calendar poses. Yes, calendar poses. You heard that right. I’m now in full support of a Senses Fail 2017 calendar after witnessing that spectacle, which can be seen below in the Senses Fail photo gallery. Warning: Once you see it, it can’t be unseen. But, it was completely entertaining to watch as they not only had an extremely solid set but also an engaging and lively performance that could only be surpassed perhaps by Greg Puciato of The Dillinger Escape Plan or Jason Butler of letlive. In my world, that’s a huge compliment. There was less reckless abandon to Senses Fail set, but it still contained a fantastic amount of utter chaos. Fans who’ve been with Senses Fail from the beginning were extremely pleased as they played a good amount of songs from Let It Enfold You and Still Searching, like “You’re Cute When You Scream,” “Calling All Cars,” “Buried A Lie,” “Rum Is For Drinking, Not For Burning,” and “Bite To Break Skin,” classic, monumental Senses Fail tracks that will be with us until we die. They didn’t, however, neglect their newer releases, but provided a healthy dose of nostalgia and the good old days when Senses Fail broke out into the scene only to become one of the most influential bands of their time. It was a true experience to see them in a live setting, one that everyone should experience in their lifetime.

Related Post: Sum 41’s 13 Voices Exceeds All Expectations 

Then, came the moment we had all been waiting for: Sum 41 would soon be taking the stage. The room buzzed with excitement as jets of fog combusted amongst the stage. Lights frantically bursted along with Sum 41’s intro melody that ever-so fittingly ended with Metallica’s “Master of Puppets.” Soon after Sum 41 emerged from side stage with their arms up in the air and giant smiles on their faces. You could tell just from the look they were giving the crowd that they had been waiting for this moment for hours. It wasn’t just another concert to them or another stop on the Don’t Call It a Sum-Back tour. For Sum 41 it’s much more than that, it’s a chance to spend time with their fans, and a chance for them to celebrate not only how far they’ve come and the obstacles they’ve hurdled over, but also the people who have stuck with them throughout 20 years of the ups and downs, the failures and the triumphs, and the bad and the good. They say Don’t Call It a Sum-Back, but after seeing Sum 41’s passion and drive unleash upon the stage last night at The House of Blues in Chicago, I can’t describe it as anything but the biggest sum-back of the year.

Though I say that, it’s important to note that Sum 41 have always been relevant. Their music is the kind that just holds up with time. That became even more clear as they opened up with one of their classics, “Hell Song”. Behind me, the crowd went absolutely ballistic, full of nostalgia and excitement. It was electrifying and inspiring to view the interaction that occurred between Sum 41 and the crowd. They fed off of each other’s energy, and when one gave more, the other responded with the same amount of fire if not more. There was a connection that formed over the course of the night. It wasn’t just your typical band on stage, crowd in front kind of feel. Instead, it was more of a “we are in this together” type of feel. That became further evident as they transitioned into “Over My Head (Better Off Dead)” and the venue’s floor literally began to shake as people began to move and jump along to the beat of the song. Everyone raised their voices as Deryck began to sing, the rasp in his voice drenching every word and encasing it in emotion. Cone kicked his foot up into the air as Dave stood next to him veraciously chugging away at the guitar with that characteristic cheesy, infectious smile on his face. You couldn’t help but smile along with him, as always. Everything about Sum 41’s performance last night was infectious from their energy, to their personalities, to their smiles. When you see someone enjoying what they do as much as Sum 41 does, you can’t help but connect with them that much more.

Sum 41 is one of those bands that just lives and breathes their music and that becomes very evident after you see them live, especially now that they have their killer release, 13 Voices, to be so proud of and add to their set. They really shined as they played “Fake My Own Death,” the first single they released off of the new album. Yeah, it was phenomenal to see them rocking out to songs from earlier releases like Does This Look Infected, but there’s something special about 13 Voices in their live setting. During “Fake My Own Death,” the energy they exhibited in the beginning of the set was amplified even further. It’s just beautiful to watch. Mainly because for awhile there it was unknown what would happen to Sum 41 and rightfully so. There was a lot of tragedy that struck the band, but to watch them ignite the stage after all they’ve been through, showing that you can be kicked down a million times but you can come out stronger for it, that is what makes Sum 41 so amazing as a band and as people. The Don’t Call It a Sum-Back tour, in the end, will make you feel something that’s real. Make sure you check out Sum 41 on the remainder of the Don’t Call It a Sum-Back tour or this tiny writer is going to give you fat lip. If you’re still not convinced, well then, you’re just better off dead.

Don’t Call It a Sum-Back Tour Photo Gallery

As It Is

Senses Fail

Sum 41

Have you been out to the Don’t Call It a Sum-Back tour? Share your thoughts and love for Sum 41 with us in the comments!