red lights

Sum 41 - the Punky Pranksters

Sum 41 / Goldfinger
The Rave
Milwaukee, WI
April 29, 2002
Sum 41
Bizzy D (right) and Cone get it on.

Review and Photos by Phil Bonyata

Sum 41, the upstart Canadian pop/punk band, made a stop at the Rave to slather some post punk jams on the mostly high school-aged audience. The men of Sum 41, all between the ages of 20-22 years old, came straight out of the shadows, cocksure and ready to fire off on all cylinders. Singer Deryck "Bizzy D" Whibley, looking the part in a red and black stripe shirt and baggy brown pants, jumped off the speakers and crashed landed on the stage just as the buzzsaw chords of "In Too Deep" jackhammered free. Jay "Cone" McCaslin's heavy, but simple basslines mixed nicely with Steve "Stevo32" Jocz's booming drums. This let Bizzy D and Dave "Hot Chocolate" Baksh roam the stage while they kept their chord changes simple, yet raunchy. "Motivation" had Whibley shout out the lyrics so loud that his mouth nearly engulfed the entire microphone. They played almost all of their material from their breakthrough debut All Killer No Filler. Is it sophomoric? Of course, but in a natural and self-winking way.
Moving about the stage like hyperactive toddlers just freed from the constraints of their soiled diapers, the boys jumped, kicked twirled and slid with no sign of fatigue. Sum 41 aren't accomplished musicians, but they play each limited chord and drum beat with a bus load of verve and enthusiasm. The band is invariably compared to Green Day and Blink-182. Sum 41's sound is harder and faster. They cull the best of both bands and put their own stamp on it. They have the raw edge of Green Day (without the self-importance) and the irreverence of Blink (without the bad music). The boys from Canada, like to shrug off their misery and just make fun of themselves and the world around them.
Sum 41 writes songs about alienation and youthful frustrations, but they weren't here tonight to exploit the kids anger. They're just out to have fun and take as many people as they can along for the ride.
Opening for Sum-41 was the James Bond inspired band - Goldfinger. Lead singer John Feldman churned out some mean rifs that anchored his clever lyrics that speak about the important things in life like getting dumped by your girlfriend. The ska tinged music peppered with a grinding rhythm section angled for an identity, but fell short of finding the Midas touch.

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