It’s 2016, right? I’m not 18, heavily eye liner’ed in the clunkiest skate shoes, scheming with my best friend how we’d hang out with the band after the show? No? OK. Sum 41 ended the Canadian portion of their “Don’t Call it a Sum-Back” tour in Vancouver last Friday night at The Commodore Ballroom and wow, I don’t think anyone was sufficiently ready to have their faces rocked off as if it were 2004.

Let’s take a look at some low points for the group: Cone had gone off and created The Operation M.D (remember “Sayonara”?), Dave had Brown Brigade (his seriously awesome reggae-inspired hard rock band), Deryck…well he had the whole unfortunate stint with Avril Lavigne, um..etc. This is all just to prove good things happen when they’re together. For any punk rock-loving kid who grew up in Canada, this show was a big deal, especially being in former Gob now Sum 41 guitarist Tom Thacker’s home province. It’s been 5 years since their last album release, and even longer since a release that has really meant something to the fans. The band is now a five piece, stronger than they’ve been in ages!

Feelings of pure joy exuded from Commodore Friday night, I’m sure. Sum 41 was all rock and smiles, the crowd couldn’t hold back their excitement, and when I looked around the photo pit to see other photographers smiling and belting out lyrics, I knew I was at a good show. They started us off with “The Hell Song” and “Over My Head – Better Off Dead” – yep two songs from Does This Look Infected almost 15 years old – moving into a new track from their most recent album release 13 Voices called “Fake My Own Death”. If you were to look out into the crowd no one would know that this song was from an album released just in October, everyone knew every word.

And, since you were wondering, yes, they did play “Motivation”, “In Too Deep” and “Fat Lip”. The band could have easily performed at a huge stadium, but the fact that the show took place in the Commodore Ballroom made it a more intimate, special experience. Sum 41 are back, and hopefully here to stay!

Check out the song “God Save Us All (Death To POP)”


Danica Bansie is a music supervisor by day, writer and live music photographer by night, and arts & culture obsessed all the moments in between. You can find her with headphones on in Vancouver, Canada.