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Sum 41 Kicks Off Final Tour In Omaha!

Story and Photos: Spencer Fleming

Last Friday night (4.19.24) The Astro in La Vista hosted the legendary Canadian pop-punk band Sum 41 as they kicked off their final tour dubbed "The Tour of The Setting Sum". The show had to be moved indoors since the weather was a chilly 45 degrees, but once inside things heated up in a flash!

As I arrived to pick up my photo credentials I heard the staff telling some folks there were only a couple VIP seats left for sale. At a near sell out the place was packed for this amazing package of Sum 41, The Interrupters, and young guns Joey Valance & Brae.

After picking up credentials my son Phoenix and I made our way inside and I got him situated towards the front only a couple rows back. Phoenix and I had the pleasure of seeing Joey Valance & Brae "JVB" last year at The Waiting Room in Benson so we were stoked when we heard they were coming back with Sum 41. At The Waiting Room show we got to do a post-show meet and greet and take pictures. It's those small interactions that really help build a fan base. The Sum 41 and Interrupters combination was already great, but having that awesome first experience with JVB made this show a can't miss for me personally.

As the house music died down the DJ said "Are you ready for Joey Valance & Brae?" and the crowd lit up. The guys stomped on stage in sunglasses and 90s threads. Joey V in a thrift store soccer team shirt and Brae with the NASCAR jacket, these guys were looking fresh! They kicked the set off with "Watch Yo Step" making sure to hold the mic out for a few die-hard fans in the front row. There were a lot of people there experiencing JVB for the first time, but by the end of the set they had the crowd hyped. When Joey announced they have a new album dropping in a couple months the place exploded with energy! Before the last song "Punk Tactics" dropped everyone got down to jump up in celebration as the bass dropped. I told JVB's DJ after their set that I hope they can be welcomed back soon, hopefully to a sold out Waiting Room show. If you haven't heard JVB yet put them on your radar! Their live show is super fun, you'll leave with a smile for sure.

After JVB tore the roof off it was time for the L.A. ska masters The Interrupters! I've had the honor of shooting photos for The Interrupters twice before so I knew what a treat the crowd was in for. They recently toured with Dropkick Murphys visiting the same venue except that show was outdoors in the chilly October weather. The music started and "Ghost Town" by the Specials played over the house speakers. Amy Interrupter and crew stepped out to raucous applause. One guy in the front row I spoke with said he follows The Interrupters on tour and has seen them I believe he said 19 times? That's some awesome dedication! He was super loud as the band stepped forth. They opened with their classic "Take Back The Power". It's so catchy I found myself singing along as Amy got close to the end of the stage. I was really hoping she was going to point the mic to me, but not this time. Probably best she didn't anyways, it's been a long time since my choir days haha!

For the next 45 minutes The Interrupters had the room skanking like there was no tomorrow. Towards the end of the set guitarist Kevin Bivona told a story about Sum 41 coming to one of their shows the last time they played in Canada. The bands partied into the wee hours and said "Hey we should tour together sometime". When Kevin heard the news that Sum 41 was doing one final album and tour he thought they'd never get that chance, but the band got the call and now they're living the dream! Kevin also gave a nice shout out to JVB saying "Their energy was incredible, I was thinking to myself, we have to follow that?" The Interrupters themselves are super high energy, no ska ballads to speak of, so that is a really great compliment". As the band closed their set with the monster hit "She's Kerosene" the whole room lit up to dance and sing along. The party energy really got the people going and fired up for the closers Sum 41.

You can check out The Interrupters latest release In The Wild wherever you stream music today!

At last, it was time for Sum 41's final Omaha performance. Very rarely do retirements stick for bands in their early 40s, but if this is truly the last tour I'm so glad I was there for it. This set had everything you want from Sum 41, old stuff, some new stuff, some really old stuff, skulls, fire, explosions, even a couple cover songs! Sum 41 put a lot of thought and effort into how they wanted to go out (if this truly is the last time). The huge backdrop was plastered with images of past album covers and miscellaneous Sum 41 moments.

As the stage lit up Sum 41 kicked into "Motivation" from their breakout major label debut All Killer No Filler . Derek and the boys had the crowd on their feet from the very first note. After the song Derek saluted the crowd and thanked everyone for coming out. "We're going to get crazy tonight! This is the first night of the tour. You guys get to see all the surprises first!" It was so cool getting to cover the very first night and take everything in. I loved that several times throughout the set Derek had the same sentiment. He asked for the house lights to see everyone in the "Sum 41 family" and really savor the moment.

Sum 41 made sure to hit all the classics like "Still Waiting", "Walking Disaster", and "Underclass Hero", but some of the coolest moments were the throwbacks and covers. Derek brought out a gold guitar and he went on to explain that the guitar was used by the legendary Mike Ness to record Social Distortion's album White Light, White Heat, White Trash so Derek dubbed the guitar "White Gold". The band played a cover of Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire", but in the style of Social Distortion. Later on they did another cover of Queen's "We Will Rock You" but sped up punk rock style. The crowd really go their money's worth with all the set variety and production extras.

Before the encore Sum 41 took it back to Does This Look Infected? with the mega-hit "Still Waiting". At the conclusion of "Still Waiting" Derek said "Ok, thanks bye" and ran off stage. Knowing it couldn't just end like that the crowd chanted "One more song!".

We were treated to the super old school "Summer" from 1997 and the smash single "In Too Deep". As confetti rained down on the crowd the celebration had come to a close. I almost teared up as Derek and the boys soaked it all in knowing this could be the last Omaha show for Sum 41. They took an extra few moments hitting the sides of the stage to wave goodbye and throw out guitar picks and drum sticks. If this is truly the end they surely went out with a bang. This was one of the best shows of the year so far. I'm going to call it now and say this show will be on our Top-Ten wrap up in December. If you've never seen Sum 41 this could be your last chance. Don't look back and say "I wish I would've gone". They have plenty of tour dates left so make the most of it, get those tickets today!

A huge thank you to Sum 41 management for photo access and to the Astro staff for their great hospitality. We'll see you at the next one!

Sum 41

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