Crowbar, Sydney NSW
March 8th, 2019
Support: Eat Your Heart Out
A friend who knew of my love for the Sum was tasked with shooting and reviewing their Crowbar show. She knew that I didn’t have a download ticket and invited to review the show so here we are!
The night started with Newcastle locals, Eat Your Heart Out. The grunge-y power pop 5 piece dominated, their set didn’t feel like an opening band. The energy was contagious and it very quickly became airborne throughout this packed room of 500 capacity. Caitlin’s vocals are just as good, if not better live than they are in the recordings.
The setlist was a balanced and healthy mix of old and new. We even got to hear a new un-released banger! ‘Drag Me Down’, ‘Rock Bottom’, ‘Future’ all the hits! Also ‘Conscience’ a song slightly on the heavier side seems to resonate particularly well with the Download Fest crowd for obvious reasons. All in all, Eat Your Heart Out are an incredibly impressive group of humans with an incredibly impressive live set.
The lights faded and a chopped-up version of AC/DC‘s ‘TNT‘ began to play. We all screamed thinking that this was it. I think the most fun a pop punk band can have is making your entry to the stage as underwhelming as possible because as these yellow lights flashed, preparing us for the whole reason we were crammed in here. The music stopped and nothing happened… some country western song started playing and THEN we see our Canadian heroes walk onto the stage as the crowd loses it. I imagine they had the biggest grins on their faces in the process. This Sydney, Australia show was their first show of the year and that’s how they walk on, amazing.
The way that the crowd was cheering you could tell that it had been 6 years since the 2000s pop-punk pioneers had been here. It was like we were seeing an old friend. Frontman Deryck Whibley apologised that it’s been so long since they’d been here and that the only explanation for this must be that they’re “fucking arseholes”. They wasted no time. Diving straight into ‘The Hell Song’ quickly followed by ‘Over My Head (Better Off Dead)’. Look, I’m not gonna sit here and say things about nostalgia because I think goes without saying but also I still genuinely really enjoy this shit. There aren’t heaps of artists that have a repertoire with so many fucking anthems and that became so clear when their third song of the night ‘Motivation’ started.
‘We’re All To Blame’ was up next this set was full of classics and I honestly didn’t expect it. Stopping the song completely so that Deryck could coordinate us to all scream “SACRIFICE” was a nice addition. That Chuck banger was followed by one of only two songs from the most recent 2016 album 13 Voices, that song was ‘Goddamn I’m Dead Again’ this track and the one before it reminded me that Sum 41 have full on face melting solos (supplied by Mr Davey B the Brown Sound himself) and thrash sections, as if there’s a little bit of Strung Out influence sometimes maybe? ‘Walking Disaster’ has always hit me in the feels and I think that goes for everyone. The crowd participation made the hairs stand on the back of my neck stand up as if to say “look at me, this song makes me have feelings”.
After ‘Underclass Hero’ that’s when the partial covers started coming out. Totally unexpected, we all see and hear “we don’t need no education/we don’t need no thought control” which was pretty fucking cool. The Pink Floyd cover lead into ‘Fake My Own Death’ from 13 Voices. That 2016 record seems to have a healthy amount of good songs on it. Immediately after that ends, we hear a familiar riff. Yeah, it’s Black Sabbath’s ‘Paranoid’! The first 30 or 40 seconds go until Deryck demands “okay, stop, stop, stop, stop”. The band comply and tease a single short-lived chord, then a second which we all knew signified another Sabbath classic, ‘War Pigs‘! This lead into ‘No Reason’.
We’re at the home stretch from what has been an amazing show in a packed room.
A full punk cover of Queen‘s ‘We Will Rock You’ ensued. Then three words ‘In. Too. Deep’ the crowd lost it. Though I don’t think there were any moments in the set where they weren’t losing it. Finally, ‘Fat Lip’ would round off what was an amazing night, or so we thought. I didn’t realize that encores we’re still a thing but after such a desperate demand from the audience after they begged for more, Sum 41 came back out for some unexpected jams that were the perfect audible dessert, ‘My Direction’ and ‘No ‘Difference’.
The band promise they’ll be back soon, because they’re working on a new record due out this year! Fingers crossed I get to review that show too because this whole set was fucking tight.
Gig Review by Billy Puntton
Eat Your Heart Out