Sum 41 have sold millions of albums in the Great White North. One would think that impact would still mean something south of their border, half a decade after their heyday. Yet they landed in a quarter-full, medium-sized club in Lancaster on a rain-drenched weeknight, having to put on a show for the mallrat faithful. Touring behind a greatest hits package and in the midst of recording a follow-up to 2007’s Underclass Hero, Deryck Whibley and company stepped into the small stage’s spotlight and laid out a set full of sum-thing for everyone.
Singalongs like “Sacrifice” and “Ain’t it Too Deep” kept the barely post-teen crowd hopping in their Hot Topic couture. A swatch of songs from the less “Green-182” portion of their repertoire was surprisingly rifftastic and the fauxhawked lead guitarist pulled out some solos and power chords that kept the mosh pit swirling in their spit- shine clean Vans.
Mr. Whibley is a well prepared showman, smiling his way through staged self- deprecating banter, politely asking the all-(under-)ages crowd, “Who’s gonna be my drinking buddy?” while tossing bottled water into the eye of the pit. He even treated the camera-happy crowd to a “song we haven’t done this entire tour” and crept into “Better Off on My Own.” The night may have been just another tour stop for these platinum pop Canucks, but the crowd was too busy singing along to every song and letting way loose on a school night to notice.