Sum 41 Become Fun Sordid Ones At NY Club Gig

The band turns legendary venue CBGB into their playground.

NEW YORK — "The last time we were here," declared Deryck Whibley

from the stage, "two girls came up and made out."

The pronouncement by Sum 41's singer/guitarist Tuesday at CBGB was met with

screams and raised hands, an indication that several fans were willing to

participate in a reenactment.

"This time we have to top it," the adorable, spiky shorn frontman added, and

approached bassist Cone McCaslin, tilted his head and parted his lips.

Psych! Both pulled away at the last second. "No way!" they said in unison.

The fourth stop on the band's Sum On Your Face club tour wasn't filled with

such homoerotic near-misses, but the juvenile joke was a slice of the kind of

fun Whibley, McCaslin, guitarist Dave Baksh and drummer Steve Jocz were

having in the intimate setting (see "Sum 41 Ready For Intimate Sum On Your

Face Tour").

Billed as a live preview of new songs such as "Over My Head, Better Off

Dead," "Hell Song" and "All Messed Up" from their new album Does This Look

Infected? due November 26 (see "Sum 41 Ask, Does This Look

Infected?"), the show served as a

fitting playground for Sum 41 to boast confident punk skills while flaunting

their inner metalheads.

Baksh was first to cut loose with a behind-the-head guitar solo on set opener

"Machine Gun," off 2000's Half Hour Of Power, before closing the song

with a guttural scream that would have made Cannibal Corpse proud. Opposing

"Nothing on My Back" and other straightforward songs their fans adopted as

anthems were those that served as vehicles on which to hang recognizable

riffs from Judas Priest and Mötley Crüe. Iron Maiden, whose

signature guitar scales greatly influence Does This Look Infected?

received the greatest homage when their classic "The Trooper" was given a

honorable send-up. Even the Strokes got skewered when Sum 41 launched into

the Tom Petty-purloined bridge from "Last Nite," whose video is the target of

Sum 41's parodic clip for Infected's first single "Still Waiting" (see

"Sum 41 Spoof Strokes, Stripes, Vines In 'Still Waiting' Video.")

On their three records, Sum 41 use time-tested punk elements like jabbing

stomps and whoa-whoa choruses to engage their audience, and their live shows

are no different. The problem Tuesday was that not everyone at the show was

receptive to the bait. Sure, "special" New York gigs are notorious for being

filled with distracted members of the music industry, but considering that

the only way attendees obtained their tickets was through Sum 41's Web site

and the local rock radio station, the overall level of enthusiasm was

surprisingly low. When Whibley called for a "41 Salute" — four raised

fingers on one hand, and only the middle digit standing tall on the other

— only the first three or four rows heeded his words.

Excitement surged, naturally, for the singles. Even the casual fan, industry

personnel or a parent chaperoning their 16-year-old showed signs of life for

"Motivation," prompting the crowd's pogo-ing peak, "In Too Deep," and "Fat

Lip," which fostered a sing-along for the slacker mantra, "Don't count on me"

in the song's bridge.

After fulfilling a request for Half Hour of Power's "Makes No

Difference" as an encore, Whibley thanked the crowd and informed them that

"All She's Got" would be Sum 41's last song of the evening.

Though another tune was rendered, Whibley wasn't lying. "Pain for Pleasure,"

by Sum's alter ego Pain for Pleasure, featuring Jocz and Whibley swapping

instruments, closed the set with metallic mastery. Jocz's soaring vocals

climbing way up in the operatic register, and the show ended fittingly

tongue-in-cheek — even if not everyone in the room thought the flavor


For more sights and stories from concerts around the country, check out MTV News Tour Reports.

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