Basically, I am no fan of spontaneous actions but when I heard about that Sum 41 concert an evening before and was told to receive a ticket for free – I decided to go! The music played by Sum 41 somewhat reminds me of my youth, summer, open-air pools and endless days spent outside – how could I ever say no? Additionally, when I heard that Zebrahead was going to be the support act for the evening, I was even happier than before.
The show took place at the Mitsubishi Electric Hall in Düsseldorf, a location I had never visited before. Official beginning was planned to be at 7:30pm. Since both my companion and I have a child at home, we decided to head off quite late – mistake #1. Who could have guessed that right before the gig started there would be no goddamn empty parking space in the entire surrounding?! We would have been in time, if a staff member of the MEH hadn’t told us to drive right into the middle of nowhere in order to park. The further we drove, the clearer it became that we did not want to walk for an hour to get into the location. Two mothers who feel to have been in charge for a thousand hours on that same day already eventually are no longer as crazy as all those young fans who decide to walk a thousand km in the perishing cold. Our friend and fellow author Maik, who also went to see Sum 41 and already was inside, sent us a picture showing that Zebrahead were already playing in the meantime. Totally pissed off we eventually found a parking lot whoever knows where but not too far away from the MEH. Mistake # 2 – parking at a location that rather feels like the meeting spot of local sex predators or kidnappers.
It goes without saying that Zebrahead was already finished when we arrived – hence we had enough time to get rid of our jackets and grab a beer. It almost hurt to pay 6,50€ plus 1€ for the cup – no Punk Rock when taking a look at the prices – I was thursty nonetheless and at least I was able to pay via ec card.
Having arrived in the hall I immediately realized that the concert was well-visited but the location itself felt quite empty. Since many people used the pause between the bands to go smoke a cigarette, visit the toilet or grab a beer, I thought that this was probably going to change later. We found a spot at the left in front of the stage – because there was a damn lot space open. Eventually, the show began – the spots remained unused, though. The major share gathered right in the middle – the space on the left stayed free. Quite cool since I was then able to see the stage the entire time although only being 1.63m tall – which is not the case too often. The stage looked quite decent but I was pretty much distracted by the look of the band itself – seems as if the years went by a lot for Sum 41 and I had to smile at how old these boys now looked – no sign of teenage band left.
During the first 15 minutes I realized quite quickly that I did not know any fucking song and because of the acoustics at the spot where we were standing, it all sounded the same. I tried to get the best from the situation just as it was and simply enjoyed the music even though I didn’t know it – and the band was able to convey the fun they had to me. During the pauses, Deryck heated up the audience and animated to join in – and he did not have to do that twice.
Although the location definitely was too big, the mood was damn good and when Deryck suddenly disappeared from the stage and turned out to be right in the middle of the audience, everybody went absolutely crazy – I was not able to see whether he was on a platform or carried by the fans, though.
When I eventually grew thursty again, my personal highlight and biggest embarrasment of that evening was about to happen. The fact that I did not know as many songs by Sum 41 as I originally imagined was quite clear to me already at that point. When grabbing a beer, though, I came across German comedian Luke Mockridge. Luke seems to be a fan of Sum 41 as well and was also thursty. He was in immediately when asked for a photograph and also initiated a little smalltalk. Then, however, the question of all questions was asked – which one is your favorite album? After having thought as hard as I could for quite some time I could not come up with any album at that point (as if it wasn’t exciting enough to meet him there already) he just looked at me and said – gotcha! He said goodbye and then I realized – damn, All Killer No Filler – at least I know one track from that album – “Fat Lip”! I was ashamed for about two days afterwards.
You can probably guess what song was up next – “Fat Lip” – YES – I know a song!
During the gig, there was a lot of confetti, balloons and many people who had a lot of fun. Only as to be satisfied I wanted to at least listen to one more song I know – “In Too Deep”. The gig was about to finish and I still did not know many songs – I almost felt sad – especially when my friend said “nice! they play a lot of old songs today!”
The gig was over and they still hadn’t played “In Too Deep”, but then they came back in stage with an encore – a song I finally even knew. We Will Rock You by Queen ! As a Queen Fan – meaning I know more than just two songs – I was absolutely happy about that and had a lof of fun. Nice action and eventually the next song that followed was “In Too Deep” – I was able to drive home happily.
All in all it was a cool gig, a nice concert and in my opinion, Sum 41 really are on fire when playing live. Answering the question whether I’d come back for a second gig I have to say that I at least have to get acquainted with their songs before doing so – since eventually those gigs where you know all the songs are always the best – when you are not only able to dance but also sing along like a madman.