It was a crazy, weird, psychotic night as fans absolutely were jam packed in the Skyway Theater as Sum 41 headlined Menace In Minneapolis. The Amity Affliction, Bowling For Soup, Less Than Jake, The Plot In You, and Authority Zero were all there to provide one of the biggest parties that the Skyway Theater has ever thrown.
Because of the wretched traffic and endless road construction, I missed Authority Zero’s set. I did pick up their album “Broadcasting To The Nations” though and you’ll see a review of the album this week on Madness To Creation. The Plot In You was next to take the stage.
This was a hard sell for the crowd as The Plot In You’s music seemed like it was substantially darker as opposed to the upbeat punk(or ska groups) in Sum 41, Bowling For Soup and Less Than Jake. While I thought they had talent in their arrangements and musicianship, I could not get into the band. I just wasn’t feeling their set. The crowd was somewhat silent for them and I didn’t see hardly any movement throughout the night. Less Than Jake was next to take the stage.
The night felt like a total party when Less Than Jake took the stage. The ska/punk legends just ooze with charisma and a moxie that they’re going to kick your ass while they wink and smile at you. They start off with an homage to their hometown with “Gainesville Rock City” and the crowd erupted when they played their classic “Jonny Quest Thinks We’re Sellouts”. The brass section of Buddy Schaub on trombone and Peter “JR” Wasilewski on the saxophone were the perfect hype guys when they weren’t playing. I love their arrangements because not only are they fun but their parts seamlessly fit the songs without it sounding obnoxious(as some ska bands fall into that trap). Roger Lima provided a pulsating rhythm on the bass while Chris DeMakes enhanced the antics with his freaking humor along with his playing. They had a guy wearing a suit with some type of zombie mask further providing the hype on their anthem “All My Best Friends Are Metalheads”, to close out their set. Madness To Creation was lucky enough to interview Chris of Less Than Jake at the Vans Warped Tour, and felt even more lucky to FINALLY check out Less Than Jake live! Pop punk legends Bowling For Soup were next to take the stage.
First of all, I must say that I love the look of Bowling For Soup. They look like they play at VFW’s and DIY houses on the weekends, but they’re legends in the pop/punk game. I mean guitarist Chris Burney wore a shirt that said “Fat Bitch” on it, and he wore it as if he was proud to be a “fat bitch”. Plus, it was our first time seeing Bowling For Soup with Rob Felliceti on bass, who just joined Bowling For Soup in 2019, and he fit right in with the antics of Jared, Chris, and Gary. They had one of the raddest intros I have ever seen, that sounds like something from a modern day cartoon with their Bowling For Soup theme song. The whole crowd was singing along to it, they seriously need to make their own cartoon. Anyways, enough of that digression and here comes Bowling For Soup (in Chris Berman voice), rumbling stumbling and bumbling on stage with their fun ditty “High School Never Ends”. Everyone was singing just jamming out. Jared is such a charismatic frontman and he made sure that the audience was jamming out like crazy. After songs such as “Ohio(Come Back To Texas)”, “Today Is Going To Be A Great Day”, and “Punk Rock 101”, Bowling For Soup delighted the crowd with a medley of a cover of “Shoot To Thrill” by AC/DC and “Kickstart My Heart” by Motley Crue, before diving into their cover of “Stacy’s Mom” by Fountains Of Wayne. Then, they saluted SR-71 with their cover of “1985”, which is probably Bowling For Soup’s biggest song before closing it out with “Girl All The Bad Guys Want”. This band was fun and 4th of July electric, they are definitely the soundtrack to many people’s summers. The Amity Affliction was next to take the stage.
It seemed like the crowd was split right down the middle like Hulk Hogan vs. Ultimate Warrior at Wrestlemania VI. Half of the crowd was there to see Sum 41 and the other half of the crowd was there to see The Amity Affliction. The lights darkened and for some reason the hair on the back of my neck started to stand up, I knew that the audience was in for a show-stealing performance. Some type of ominous introduction was happening as the crowd let out a massive roar. Here is the moment that The Amity Affliction fans were waiting for and they kicked into their major rock hit entitled “Drag The Lake”. The Aussie group has a swagger about them that you don’t normally see in a metalcore band, they know that they are really freaking good at what they do and they had the audience in the palms of their hands as people sang “Drag The Lake” from the depths of their soul. Dan Brown definitely packs the clean vocal punch while he wails on the guitar and Joel Birch provides the screams with occasional clean/raspy vocals, while Ahren Stringer and Joe Longobardi slay it in the rhythm section. Keep in mind that this is the first time that I’ve listened to The Amity Affliction outside of “Drag The Lake”. I felt the power of the breakdowns and the emotions behind “All My Friends Are Dead” and “Chasing Ghosts”, and I really felt their powerful set when they closed it out with “Shine On” and their major hit “Pittsburgh”, which has amassed over 18 million hits on YouTube. The Amity Affliction stole the night. I can see why they are continuing to ascend the top of the rock mountain.
Sum 41 was last to take the stage and did they bring it! I mean THEY BROUGHT IT! They show why they’ve been around for years! Hell, I remember when “Fat Lip”, “In Too Deep”, “The Hell Song”, and “Pain For Pleasure” dominated MTV’s Total Request Live. A medley of “Black Betty” by Ram Jam and “Back In Black” by AC/DC poured through the speakers and here comes Deryck Whibley and the Sum 41 posse ready to rock your faces off. They kicked into “The Hell Song” and “Motivation” which included the outro of “The Bitter End”. This band doesn’t eff around live as they have so much energy. I’ll tell you what, Deryck’s drinking problems were well documented and he looked good, it’s almost like he didn’t age at all. After “We’re All To Blame”, Deryck proclaimed to the crowd that he was feeling sick, which is how he knows winter is coming, but that’s not going to stop him from being here tonight. The audience roared in resounding approval and Deryck said, “This means I’m going to shut up and get as many songs in for you guys as possible tonight”. The audience approved of the cuts from “Order In Decline”, and after Frank Zummo’s amazing drum solo, they went into the anti-Donald Trump anthem “45(A Matter Of Time)”, where Sum 41 called for President Trump to be impeached and removed from office, which the audience approved loudly. They decided to have some fun with their amazing cover of “We Will Rock You” by Queen, and the crowd erupted with their TRL smash “In Too Deep”, and the power went out in the middle of “Still Waiting”. Despite the brief power outage, that did not kill the band’s momentum as they came back for a three song encore of “Welcome To Hell”, “Fat Lip” and “Pain For Pleasure”. What a freaking awesome night from one Sum 41. All these years later, they continue to write the blueprint on how to make a live show work while continuing to be consummate professionals although one is sick and when there’s a brief power outage.
There are still some dates on the “Order In Decline” world tour featuring Sum 41 with The Amity Affliction and The Plot In You. Check out the dates below:
Sun. 10/13- Showbox SoDo in Seattle, Washington
Wed. 10/16- House of Blues in Las Vegas, Nevada
Thu. 10/17- Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles, California
Fri. 10/18- SOMA in San Diego, California
Sun. 10/20- Marquee Theatre in Tempe, Arizona
Tue. 10/22- Gas Monkey Live! in Dallas, Texas
Wed. 10/23- Revention Music Center in Houston, Texas
Thu. 10/24- Soundstage at Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee (w/Vagrants)
Sat. 10/26- The Ritz in Raleigh, North Carolina
Sun. 10/27- The Fillmore in Silver Spring, Maryland
Mon. 10/28- Hammerstein Ballroom in New York, New York
Tue. 10/29- The Fillmore in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Thu. 10/31- Palladium in Worcester, Massachusetts
Sum 41 “Order In Decline” Canadian Tour with The Offspring and Dinosaur Pile-up
Sat. 11/2- The 27th Annual Halloween Howler in Edmonton(one-off) *No The Offspring or Dinosaur Pile-up
Tue. 11/12- Scotiabank Centre in Halifax
Wed. 11/13- Avenir Centre in Moncton
Fri. 11/15- Meridian Centre in St. Catharines
Sat. 11/16- Sudbury Arena in Sudbury
Sun. 11/17- Place Bell in Laval
Tue. 11/19- GFL Memorial Gardens in Sault Ste. Marie
Thu. 11/21-Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg
Fri. 11/22- Mosaic Place in Moose Jaw
Sat. 11/23- Affinity Place in Estevan
Mon. 11/25- Canalta Centre in Medicine Hat
Tue. 11/26- The Palace Theatre in Calgary
Wed. 11/27- Western Financial Place in Cranbrook
Fri. 11/29- South Okanagan Events Centre in Penticton
Sat. 11/30- Abbotsford Centre in Abbotsford
Mon. 12/2- Sandman Centre in Kamloops
“Order In Decline” World Tour with Broadside
Sat. 12/14- Bogart’s in Cincinnati, Ohio
Sun. 12/15- The Apollo Theater in Belvidere, Illinois
Tue. 12/17- The Cowan in Nashville, Tennessee
Wed. 12/18- House of Blues in Orlando, Florida
Fri. 12/20- Clyde Theatre in Fort Wayne, Indiana
Sat. 12/21- 20 Monroe Live in Grand Rapids, Michigan
For tickets and further information on any of the shows listed above, click here.
Fans can find SUM 41 at the following locations: