Sum 41 ‘Tour of the Setting Sum – The Final World Tour’ Thrills at Stone Pony Summer Stage

by Josh Hershkovitz • May 12, 2024 • Arts & Entertainment, Music, PhotographyComments (0)27

I went into this show knowing I would probably be emotionally wrecked by the time it was through. Yeah I would have a great time, feel the insane energy of the bands and the crowd, but Sum 41 has been such a staple in my life the last 25 or so years that there was no way I was getting through this as if it was any other show.

Kicking things off before we even got into the legendary Stone Pony Summer Stage, I actually ran into Dave Brownsound, guitarist of Sum 41. What are the chances I would get to meet my legit idol for the first time at their last NJ show, standing on a street corner near the venue? After a quick chat and fangirl moment, we headed inside to see Joey Valence and Brae take the stage.

Joey Valence and Brae

Going into this blind, I had no idea what I was about to get with these guys. Immediately you hear them and think of bands like the Beastie Boys, but these guys have their own flair to them. Fun stage antics, constantly moving around and jumping all over the stage, and a DJ joining in on the fun? These guys had the crowd moving as soon as the first beat hit.

The Interrupters

Next up came The Interrupters. Ever since getting pepper sprayed at the Brighton Bar together, I feel like we’ve just got some shared experiences together that follow us around despite how big they’ve gotten these last few years. This being probably close to my tenth time taking photos for them, let’s just say they’ve begun to recognize me – once calling me their dancing photographer. Hard to sit still long enough to take a photo while dancing and singing along in the photo pit, but I made it work. The band has never sounded better, you can tell they were having a blast despite the rain covering their instruments, and they even threw in a bit of a Bon Jovi cover to let everyone know that they knew where they were. Anytime you see this group on stage, especially with the addition of Billy Kottage on trombone and keys, you know you’re in for a good time – and they set the stage perfectly for the headliner of the tour.

Sum 41

Sum 41.

Coming off the release of a double-length album with nothing but bangers on it, these guys came to the stage with 100% from the get-go. Playing nearly 2 hours of music from the last few decades, they reminded everyone just how many stand-out tracks they had across their discography. I still remember being 12 years old and hearing the intro riff to ‘Makes No Difference’ on their first music video and just being hooked – even requested to skip a Bar Mitzvah and asked for a guitar instead (thanks Grandma!) because I knew something changed in me. That track, plus the rest of ‘Half Hour of Power’ and ‘Does This Look Infected?’ and ‘All Killer, No Filler’ pretty much set my music taste for the last 2 decades for me. All of that came rushing back to me, and after the 3 songs in the photo pit were over, I caught myself just smiling up at the stage, knowing this could be the last time I see this group together (we can all hope for another farewell tour in a few years, right?). I spent the rest of the set with my phone in my pocket, camera put away, and screaming along to every song until my voice was gone – and then some. They ended with a bang with ‘In Too Deep’ on their first encore, then coming out to an emotional Deryck Whibley on stage, with a slower rendition of ‘So Long Goodbye’ to end the night.

Sum 41
Sum 41

As much as I will miss the band, this was as good a send off as I could have imagined and hope the guys will be back in some way, shape, or form. If the tour is heading your way, get your tickets soon and find a good spot – you won’t want to miss this.

For additional shots be sure to check out Fake Famous Photography.

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