Sum 41 at Red Hat Amphitheater in Raleigh, NC

The Tour of the Setting Sum burned brightly as Sum 41 gave Raleigh fans a best hits show to remember.

Thursday night was close enough to the weekend for Raleigh, NC to show up loud and energetic for Sum 41. Warm, humid, and totally false threats of rain couldn’t diminish the excitement of spending a few hours reminiscing the old and experiencing the new as Sum 41 ran through songs from the entirety of their 27-year career.

Red Hat Amphitheater, located directly in downtown Raleigh, NC, opened its doors at 5 PM to a lengthy line of early arrivals waiting eagerly to claim their spot as close to the stage as possible. The continued appeal of the band showed strongly as many younger fans joined the older original following in the audience. 

If Beastie Boys and Salt n’ Peppa had a music love child, they would name it Joey Valence & Brae. Joey Valence & Brae opened the evening with a high-energy, tongue-in-cheek, hip-hop set that aspired only to smile, dance, and have fun. Sneakily polished with well-crafted and energetically delivered verses, the duo didn’t care that practically no one knew who they were. Like two eight-year-old boys who were just told they could perform their favorite fart songs to everyone at their parents’ party, no band had more fun on stage this evening than Joey Valence and Brae. Another good reason why coming early and seeing the opening band is a must-do.

The Interrupters are the ultimate support band. A headliner in their own right, their infectiously danceable songs lifted the now mostly-full audience to their feet and channeled head-bobbing groove energy created by Joey Valence & Brae into full body motion. Fronted by the always smiling Amy Interrupter, everyone in the band appeared rested and thrilled to be playing on such a gorgeous evening. Playing their tried-and-true setlist of danceable grooves, nothing on stage shone brighter than the smiles of the band members having a ball.

The dedicated Sum 41 fans wasted no time showing their excitement when the house lights went out indicating the headliner was about to come out. This being the final tour for Sum 41, everything they had in the van came out and made it on stage. Fire, confetti, smoke, lasers, air guns, you name it, Sum 41 probably had it. Fronted by the charismatic founder and only remaining original band member Deryck Jason Whibley, Raleigh was transported back to the early 2000s as hit after hit was performed. 

The setlist, spanning almost all eight studio releases, included favorites “Fat Lip,” “Over My Head,” and “Still Waiting.” Regularly engaging the audience to thank them for their support, Deryck toggled between a veteran performer soaking in his last time performing in Raleigh and a die-hard rocker who was having way too much fun to think about retirement. 

The Tour of the Setting Sum is advertised as the band’s last outing. As Deryck said, “After 27 years, hasn’t everyone had enough Sum 41?” It’s tough to believe but if true, and it appears that it is, Sum 41 is going out on top. Whatever the future may hold for Deryck and the band, the great memories of Sum 41 will always be cherished.

SUM 41
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About Mike Paquin 26 Articles
Mike is an enthusiast photographer in the Raleigh, NC area with a specialization in live sports, music, and street photography.