Sum 41 Fills The Bronze Peacock With Aggressive, Pop-Punk Anthems

Deryck Whibley and Frank Zummo of Sum 41
Deryck Whibley and Frank Zummo of Sum 41 Photo by Matthew Keever
Sum 41
The Bronze Peacock
May 2, 2019

Sum 41 wasn't kidding when they named their current outing the “No Personal Space Tour."

On Thursday night, the Bronze Peacock — which has a capacity of just 300 — was overflowing with fans bathed in sweat and smiling from ear to ear as they eagerly waited for one of the most iconic pop-punk outfits of the 2000s to take the stage. By the time the band finally emerged, there was barely room left to breathe inside the venue.

Sounding as energetic as ever, Sum 41 rattled through nearly 20 songs in barely 90 minutes during their latest visit to Houston. Deryck Whibley's voice was propped up throughout the evening by a throng of admirers who chanted along in unison while the rest of the band gave attendees a serious case of tinnitus.

A much tighter setting than the punk veterans have grown accustomed to, The Bronze Peacock gave dedicated followers an opportunity to see the Grammy-nominated musicians up close and personal, an experience that hasn't been afforded in nearly 20 years, when the group was a NOFX cover band.

But this was no acoustic tour. Just one of Sum 41’s slower cuts made the set list: 2007's “With Me,” which began with Whibley strumming an acoustic guitar as he sang, "I don't want this moment to ever end."

Longtime favorites "Pieces" and "Some Say" were notably absent Thursday night. In their place, the Canadian rockers performed some of its heaviest material, including "Still Waiting," "No Reason" and their latest single "Out For Blood." Deep cuts - including "Machine Gun" and "What I Believe" from the band's 2000 debut, Half Hour Of Power - abounded and were greeted with glee.

It wouldn't be accurate to describe the brash performance as intimate, but it sure felt personal because no one on site was a casual listener. Before the show, a fellow photographer told me she had served as inspiration for the 2007 hit “Walking Disaster" before proudly displaying two of her Sum 41 tattoos.

Between all the crowd-surfing and mosh pits, Thursday night felt like a callback to the recently defunct Warped Tour, its former glory restored for a fleeting moment as fans found themselves united, if only for an hour and a half, as heroes of the underclass, crammed inside a venue that left absolutely no personal space for anyone in attendance.

The Hell Song
Walking Disaster
Handle This
Out For Blood
Jessica Kill
Fake My Own Death
Breaking The Chain
The People Vs...
Over My Head (Better Off Dead)
No Reason
Machine Gun
With Me
In Too Deep
Still Waiting
What I Believe
Fat Lip
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Matt is a regular contributor to the Houston Press’ music section. He graduated from the University of Houston with a degree in print journalism and global business. Matt first began writing for the Press as an intern, having accidentally sent his resume to the publication's music editor instead of the news chief. After half a decade of attending concerts and interviewing musicians, he has credited this fortuitous mistake to divine intervention.
Contact: Matthew Keever