“This band got me through middle school.” – Felix
My brother, Felix, is a huge fan of Sum 41. He had never seen them before so when I found out they were coming, I told him about it. He was down for it. I wasn’t heavily into Sum 41 but once he said lets go, I got into them. When I was buying the tickets, I found out there was meet and greet. He asked how much they were, I told him and he said yes. So it went from we’re seeing them to we’re meeting them, too. This was my first show with my brother.
At first, he wanted to be on balcony which was cool. I kept trying to convince him for floor but he said no because of the pits and stuff. Well one day, my family went out to eat and he was telling his girlfriend, Julie, that we were going to the show. Out of nowhere, I heard him tell her “if we get front row, I’ll go on the floor.” That was all I needed to hear.
With m&g you get to go into the venue first. Knowing me, I only went to school for 2 periods and then left. My parents and I hopped on the train to the venue. There were already people lined up. Then this lady came over and told people if you don’t have m&g, you have to make line elsewhere. A lot of people then got up and left. Then there was like 4 people, including myself, waiting in line. Right away I knew I was front row. My brother got to the venue after us because he was coming from Normal, IL since that’s where he was going to school.
We were just chilling. Talking to the people next to us in line. Then some people came out to hand us our VIP laminates. We were like 4th and 5th person to meet the band. Obviously, my brother met them first and I recorded him.
I love how my brother said, “bring it in.” Then I went up to meet them. I also gave them hugs. They were all smiling and saying hi, which was cool. After we met them, we got a poster and their ’13 Voices’ album on vinyl. Then we went back out in line waiting for the doors to open.
Doors opened. At the House of Blues in Chicago, after they scanned our tickets, there’s stairs going up onto the floor. Everyone was running trying to get front row. Before we got on the floor they were giving us wristbands to go on the floor. All I know is that my brother got his first and then disappeared. Next thing I know, he left my ass and got barricade. I got next to him and he was extra happy to get front row.
First band was As It Is. They’re actually how I found out about the show. The vocalist, Patty Walters, did a lot of covers on youtube which is how I discovered his band. It was cool to see them live, also a first for me. They played songs from their album ‘Okay’ and their EP ‘This Mind Of Mine’. It was a cool laid back set. No pits or anything like that.
Senses Fail was next. I had never heard of them or their music. But my first impression was they were energetic. The vocalist was very into his set. He was everywhere on the stage, dancing, doing tricks with his mic. It was entertaining and kept you engage in the set. The music, wasn’t what I expected. He started screaming and I was like woah, I enjoyed it. A pit got going. Their music was a mix singing and screaming. I think they fit in great in the line up. Easily impressed with their set.
Sum 41 was stunning. They started with the Hell Song, and towards the end of the song, they called people up to watch them side stage. I think it’s amazing they do that. Felix knew all the songs including myself. We were jamming out to the music. Both of us headbanding. They performed a hand full of their old stuff but also incorporated their new songs. They played ‘Fake My Own Death’, ‘War’, ‘God Save us All’. Then some of the OG stuff, ‘Still Waiting’, ‘In Too Deep’, ‘Motivation’. All that good stuff. We were getting hit by crowd surfers left and right.
Not once was there a dull moment in the set. I was barricade, so I was able to see everything. All of the guys looked like they were enjoying themselves as well. The energy from the band and crowd made the show a lot of fun. They ended with ‘Fat Lip,’ holy shit, that was the best way to end the show. Everyone yelling “storming through the party like my name is el niño” plus all the confetti. Man, that show was something else.
Right at the end of ‘Fat Lip’, some person behind us threw foam fingers. One with a middle finger and the other with four fingers, representing Sum 41. And they threw it so my brother asked one of the gaurds to pass it to him. So we only have the one of them which is still pretty sick. Also they were throwing picks, but I never caught one. I’ve always gotten them off the floor. I have Cone’s bass pick. On the back of the pick, it says “down to the cone” and the other side had Sum 41. I thought that was funny. Overall, such a fun night.
So a little tip for all the ladies who go to shows. Never wear a bra that clips in the front… I wore one to this show not thinking anything. Right when the show ended, I felt something weird. I realized my bra broke. In my head I’m like holy shit. I told my brother and he said “go fix it.” I said “no, its broken!” Then he was like “oh” then he handed me his vest. Since I’m short, the barricade goes up to my chest. There were people pushing so obviously that caused it to break. I found it really funny. I’m not going to lie, if I noticed mid show, I would’ve thrown it up on stage. Just a little tip for y’all!
It was really cool to see Sum 41 with my brother because that’s a band he listened to growing up. In all the videos I took, you can hear him screaming the song, he was just having the time of his life. It was great that I got to go because we were able to connect through music. Even to this day, we still think back to the show and of how amazing the show was. Since then, he has seen Sum 41 again but without me. He went with his buddies, so I wasn’t invited… Absolutely next time they come, I’ll be there. I’m proud to say I took him to the show and got him front row!