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Review: Sum 41 & Simple Plan at The Ritz

Sum 41 and Simple Plan blessed the halls of The Ritz in Raleigh on Friday night as they kicked off their Blame Canada tour.

Opening band Set It Off made the most of their 40 minute set. Lead singer Cody Carson took to the stage, donning bright pink hair and immediately began leaping across stage. The performance had a certain feat of athleticism to it, as all band members put everything they had into the production. Their command of the crowd was also deserving of praise. They encouraged the audience to think about how fortunate they are to be able to see live music again after years of uncertainty.

Set It Off

Additionally, they also briefly discussed letting go of stress before powering into "Why Worry" with the audience freeing themselves of whatever pent up anxiety they've been harboring over the past few years. Even those seated in the balcony at The Ritz danced along as they warmed the crowd up for the show to come.

Between each set there were impromptu pop-punk singalongs that were able to maintain the crowd's spirit throughout the night.

Simple Plan

Simple Plan took the stage in a burst of high energy as they tore through their classic hit 'I'd Do Anything.' They then launched into their numerous pop-punk anthems that still hold up beautifully in 2022 - especially in a live setting. 'I'm Just A Kid' is an easy singalong, and to make it even more memorable, drummer Chuck Comeau threw on a hazmat suit and dove into the crowd.

Along with the band, the stage production also had a certain wow factor. As they launched into 'Shut Up!' each chant in the chorus was perfectly punctuated by shots of steam from the stage. Simple Plan put on a show for the ages and after they left the stage, the crowd was hungry for more.

There was palpable electricity in the air as the crowd waited in anticipation for Sum 41.

Before the final set of the night, an audience member was hoisted up on to someone's shoulders while they slowly rotated around holding a hand-painted sign that said "PIT" with downward arrows. Although the thought was appreciated, the crowd didn't seem to need any direction as they packed in towards the middle of the venue to claim their spot.

Excitement mounted as the overhead lights dimmed and the stage was flooded with red light. 'T.N.T' by AC/DC then began to play while the crowd chanted along, amped and ready to go wild. Sum 41 then rushed on to the stage, bursting at the seams with energy and charisma.

From the balcony, concertgoers were able to view the multiple mosh pits, moving like whirlpools in the crowd below. The audience had venue security working hard - multiple crowd surfers were pulled over the barricade and were released back in to the fray to do it all again. The energy and passion of the crowd was unrestrained, cathartic, yet gracious all at once.

The band seemed immensely appreciative to be back on stage after a few years of not performing live, and those feelings of gratitude came through in their performance as they gave it their all.

A confetti cannon erupted as the group exploded into their 2001 hit 'Fat Lip' that had the crowd screaming every lyric - a fitting celebration for the 21st anniversary of their album All Killer No Filler.

Sum 41

It was a night that nobody wanted to end, but fortunately there will be more to come in the future for fans of these pop-punk icons. Sum 41 have an upcoming double album entitled Heaven and Hell, which will be their eighth studio album. Simple Plan also has a new album out on May 6th entitled Harder Than It Looks.

As the show came to an finish, a sea of brightly colored hair and amped-up punks dispersed in waves, fatigued and dehydrated, yet energized and wanting to relive the night as soon as they reached their cars. It seems like the only thing we can blame Canada for is showing us a good time.

View the full photo gallery below:

Photos by Keira Lindgren


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