–by Jordan Pettibone
–photos by Greg Artime
BAM! Energy from right out the gate best describes the St. Louis stop for the Blame Canada 2022 tour. The Pagent sold out Saturday night for the crowd to relive their teenage/early 20 pop-punk lives all over again from bands Sum 41 and Simple Plan.
Set It Off were first up. The Tampa group opened with hits “Killer in the Mirror” and “Ancient History,” engaging the crowd and raising the energy level for the following bands. A few hits from their 5th studio album, Elsewhere, were sprinkled through the set (“Skeleton” – according to lead singer Cody Carson – is a reminder to not sleep with your ex). During “Projector,” Carson couldn’t resist to walk near the crowd and start surfing. The energy level went up from there. Rounding out with “Dangerous,” “Better on Your Own,” and then “Why do You Like” from Elsewhere, Set it Off delivered a great opening act and hyped up crowd.
Then, it was time. Holy cow. Sum 41 casually strolled out to “TNT” by AC/DC, and then hit the gas pedal for an hour and fifteen minutes. Excessive light show? Check. Crazy fog cannons spraying in the air? Check. Confetti, too?! Yup; check! “Guitar solo!” (as lead singer Derek Whibley yelled frequently throughout the set)? Double check.
Sum 41 hadn’t been back to the area since 2019, and were excited to make up for lost time. From jumping in with “Motivation” through the end of “Still Waiting,” Derek and the boys from Toronto reminded the crowd of what the punk part of pop-punk is all about. The band was celebrating the 21 year anniversary of All Killer No Filler, and made sure to sample the hits, and a few deep cuts from their first two albums. Derek also let the crowd know their double album Heaven & Hell is about to drop.
After storming through the first half of the show with hard guitar chords and beach balls, Sum 41 slowed it down in the middle with “Waking Disaster” and the emo “With Me.” But two slow songs was enough. Back to the celebration with “In Too Deep” followed by pop-punk gold “Makes No Difference to Me.” After some riffing around with some classic chords on the guitar, Sum 41 finished with more lights and energy with “Fat Lip” and “Still Waiting.” It was amazing to think there would be a follow up after this stage show.
During the 2nd intermission while setting up for Simple Plan the Pagent did a great job keeping the fans attention with pop-punk songs (I recall hearing Blink 182, Jimmy Eat World, YellowCard, Good Charlott, and Fallout Boy) piping through the background.
With the loud first trumpet bursts to the opening of Star Wars, Simple Plan marched out, stood up tall in the front of the stage, and let us know we were about to get rocked! Starting with “I’d Do Anything,” the boys from Montreal kept thanking the crowd for the warm embrace since they were last in town. The light show was loaded with massive blues, yellows, and bright-as-hell whites strobing as much as the human mind can take. “Shut Up” and “Jump” kept the energy going, stopping just for the band to mention the 20th anniversary of No Pads, No Helmets… Just Balls and getting back into it with “Addicted” and their new song “Wake Me Up” from their Harder Than It Looks album.
Not to be outdone with the ball game, a dozen or so beach balls were let loose during “Summer Paradise.” During “Take My Hand,” I’ve never seen a light show tech rock out as hard as the band. Greens, Blues, and lots of strobing white. Wow! Calm down lighting dude, we still have 1/3 of the show to get through!
Another new song “Iconic” had great guitar chords, and a classic pop-punk feel to it. Continuing from lighting dude’s energy, the band performed party medley of some pop-punk songs (“Sk8er Boi” had me grimace a smidge), leading into “What’s New, Scooby Doo?” After “Where I Belong” and “I’m Just A Kid,” drummer Chuck Comeau couldn’t take standing in the back with his set and just had to crowd surf.
With our new normal, Chuck was of course in a hazmat suit & mask surfing the crowd. Simple Plan rocked the house tonight, finishing with “Perfect,” and thanking the crowd tossing picks and sticks. An equally grateful crowd ate it up and left with big smiles and memories taking them back 20 years.
Be sure to check out the photo gallery after the setlist below.
Set it Off
Killer in the Mirror
Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing
Why Do I
The Hell Song
Over My Head (Better Off Dead)
We’re All to Blame
Goddamn I’m Dead Again
In Too Deep
Makes No Difference
Pieces (Smoke On The Water/Seven nation Army riffs)
We Will Rock You (Queen cover)
I’d Do Anything
The Worst Day Ever
Wake Me Up (When This Nightmare’s Over)
Welcome to My Life
Take My Hand
All Star / Sk8er Boi / Mr. Brightside
What’s New Scooby Doo
Where I Belong
I’m just a Kid