Due to transport problems (i.e. a bit of snow caused all the trains to panic and hide in their little sheds like track-bound wimps), Roisin was late getting to the show. As a result, our multi-talented photographer Gary has been kind enough to scribe some wordage for the first two bands of the night…
The Kerrang Tour 2016 hits Glasgow’s 02 ABC tonight with Biters, ROAM, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes and the headliners Sum 41. The crowd is round the corner and up the hill when I get there all eager to get a good spot, but due to the time it takes to get in openers Biters from Atlanta USA are already in full swing. They are rocking it with their first track “Low Lives in Hi Definition”, a great slice of rock n roll. If you like you like guitar driven rock then these are the band for you. We head back in time now to “1975” from last year’s Electric Blood album. Check out the official video for the track, a bit like Cheap Trick meets The Sweet – nice.
The band head into the first track from last year’s Electric Blood in the form of “Restless Hearts”, another slice of early USA rock’n’roll. It is during this track that the band invite a member of the audience up on stage, which leads to an unfortunate incident. The said member of the audience gets handed a glass bottle of beer takes a swig and then incredibly launches it into the crowd. I don’t know if it hit anyone, I hope not and I believe the gent in question was quite rightly asked to leave the venue after doing something so bloody stupid. The band did say they asked him to do it in what was probably a moment of non-thinking madness on their part and they did ask that he be let back in, but whether that happened I don’t know.
The band then carry on with “Heart Fulla Rock ‘n’ Roll”, a great track with a swagger all it’s own. “The Kids Ain’t Alright” follows, another from the excellent Electric Blood with its nod to the 70’s and with a great hook line for the crowd to sing with. The band end a short but sweet set with “Loose From The Noose” which the crowd lap up. They are a bit different to tonight’s other bands in that they are more rock’n’roll as opposed to pop/punk but they fit in nicely. I will be checking them out again in the future, hopefully with a longer set as – incident aside – I really enjoyed them.
- Low Lives in Hi Definition
- Restless Hearts
- Heart Fulla Rock n Roll
- Kids Ain’t Alright
- Loose From The Noose
Next up is the UK’s pop punk band ROAM touring on the back of their debut album Backbone, who blitz through a high energy set barely standing still. With Alex constantly telling the crowd to jump, they happily oblige. The album intro “The Desmond Show” lets the crowd know what’s coming as they head into “Warning Sign” – very much up there with the majority of their USA compatriots and would not look too out of place on one of the headliners’ albums.
They kick it “Over Your Head” next with its angst-ridden lyrics quite typical of today’s pop/punk bands. That said, this is what the crowd are here for and they lap it up with much gusto. The band are going over well tonight. The songs take on a totally different vibe to the recorded versions which is actually as it should be. There is nothing worse that just getting the record version at a gig, they should always be tweaked for a live audience.
Another new one next in the form of “Leaving Notice” followed by a USA-infused “Hopeless Case”, which in turn is quickly followed by the slower pace of “Tell Me”. The frantic “Deadweight” follows with the band all bouncing about as they have done from the off, followed by the eager crowd. It is with a bit of a “Head Rush” that we end a short but sweet set from the young lads. If they can get that break, especially in the USA where they would fit in no problem, then they have a good chance to make it.
Setlist (from Setlist.fm):
- The Desmond Show (intro)
- Warning Sign
- Over Your Head
- Leaving Notice
- Hopeless Case
- Tell Me
- Head Rush
And then Roisin made it into Glasgow, just in time for the top two bands on the bill…
Due to terrible Glasgow transport I missed the first two bands of the Kerrang! Tour, so my colleague took care of that above. But I made it just in time to catch Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes and boy am I glad I saw them! Previously I saw Frank Carter’s last band, Pure Love, in 2012 and from what I remembered the man has excellent stage presence. It was confirmed the minute he opened his mouth to speak to the crowd.
I think one of the most important things as a band up on stage, trying to gain followers, is your crowd interaction. Frank Carter is one of the best in the business when it comes to that. He doesn’t sugarcoat it, he tells people exactly what he thinks. His cheeky northern accent adds to the humour of what he talks about up there. Music wise? He’s got that down too. Along with the rest of his band, it’s hard to be in one successful and good band but Frank Carter has managed to do it 3 times now. Props to him.
The cool thing about the Kerrang! Tour is that the bands usually are of mixed genres, which I quite like. It’s diverse and brings a lot of different types of people and if it’s a hit, people go home and open their mind to a genre they aren’t usually into.
The overall sound of the band is notably a great mix between punk and hardcore. Two genres that sometimes don’t always mix too well but they pull it off. Since I’m not a fan of the band I only really caught the name of one song, which happened to be one I ended up liking a lot – “I Hate You.” Frank introduced this song as his dedication to everyone for Valentine’s Day. An ironic joke obviously, but a great song. His rough voice makes the song so likeable. When you hate someone it’s harsh and rough, just like the song itself.
Setlist (from Setlist.fm):
- Primary Explosive
- Devil Inside Me
- Beautiful Death
- I Hate You
After Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes’ performance, the crew entered the stage and swiftly set up Sum 41’s kit. Luckily though, this was one of the quickest set changes I’ve ever seen in my 8 years of gig-going. Props to the crew for that one. The lights went down and the crowd cheered, something that is expected when the headline act is coming on.
They opened with the classic “Over My Head (Better Off Dead)” which was kinda confusing as on previous dates of the tour they opened with “Motivation”, although the opening song did give the band enough justice. For guys in their 30’s they have a ton of energy. Deryk Whibley just doesn’t stop. Ever. And rightly so, it’s his band and his show. He kind of reminds me of Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day.
I was pleasantly surprised to hear “Motivation” was second on the setlist. As a kid growing up I loved All Killer, No Filler. I would put the album on when I had a bad day. “Motivation” as cliché as it sounds, always cheered me up and made me feel better about things. It gave me, well, motivation.
I was totally blown away though. Like completely mind blown. They put their all into the show, the songs and making sure the fans knew “Sum 41 are back and here to claim the pop punk throne”. “The Hell Song” is another favourite of mine, I used to listen to it in school and relate to how much I hated life, we all had an emo phase, okay!
Jason McCaslin on bass caught my attention a lot. His sick bass lines were incredible to watch, another under-appreciated bassist in the industry these days. His skills were amplified when they played “Screaming Bloody Murder”. Deryk told the crowd that they’d be playing a song from their first album, Half Hour of Power. The crowd went crazy, hearing a song from their first album was a huge deal. “Summer” is one of those typical pop punk songs that gets you really pumped up and ready to dive into a mosh pit. Nevertheless though, the throwback song brought a lot of memories back to a lot of fans in the room, a lovely nostalgic moment.
“Walking Disaster” is a song that begins with a slow, ballad feel to it but kicks into a fast, upbeat punk song. Again, I really like this one so it was another throwback to my early teens where I thought skateboarding was life and emos ruled the world. An epic drum solo at the end of “King of Contradiction” by Frank Zummo blew me away and, I assume about half the crowd, away. After the solo they jumped into a cover of “We Will Rock You” which was impressive I must say. They handled every single part of the song with grace and enthusiasm that confirms they’re back and will dominate this genre once again.
Deryk’s stage presence and persona is one that I have always admired and encouraging the crowd to sing along like they did, impressed me even more. “Still Waiting” has always been one of my favourite songs so when that began I lost my shit a little. The crowd moshed, shouted and screamed the words back at the band which is always nice to see. It makes the whole concert experience worth it to see people enjoying themselves.
They ‘finished’ on “In Too Deep” an absolute classic song from the band. I challenge anyone to call it anything but an anthem for the ages. In fact I doubt many people went to parties in the mid-2000’s without that song being played. It’ll go down in history as a pop punk classic. Dave Baksh performed the solo, in a fashion very similar to the way he did in the music video. Jumping on the platform and shredding the shit out of the guitar.
The song ended and the band left the stage, pretending they were finished but came back on for two more songs: “Underclass Hero” then onto “Fat Lip” and closed the show with a huge, well deserved cheer and applause.
For me, Sum 41 are my pop punk heroes. They’re up there with the greats, the founders of the checked shirt wearing, backwards capped, pizza loving guys and gals all over the world. The band put on a phenomenal show, and I’m not shocked to say that they were one of the best live bands I’ve ever seen. If you get a chance then catch them on the remainder of the Kerrang! Tour, if not next time they play a show near you!
Setlist (from Setlist.fm):
- Intro: Introduction To Destruction
- Over My Head (Better Off Dead)
- Motivation + Raining Blood Outro
- The Hell Song
- Skumfuk + Blood In My Eyes intro
- We’re All to Blame
- Screaming Bloody Murder
- Sick of Everyone
- Walking Disaster
- What We’re All About
- My Direction
- King of Contradiction + drum solo
- We Will Rock You (Queen cover)
- Still Waiting
- In Too Deep
- Underclass Hero
- Fat Lip
Photos by Gary Cooper