Where: Forum, Kentish Town
With their leather jackets, mops of black hair and what we can only assume is copious amounts of beer consumption, American rock ’n’ roll band Biters take to the stage to open the last date of this year’s Kerrang! Tour. Like something plucked straight out of a Wayne’s World sequel, this band were meant to live in the’80s but, perhaps in some sort of time machine hiccup, somehow ended up in 2016. They are a slightly cheesy addition to an otherwise credible line-up, but their love of rock ’n’ roll ’n’ alcohol is a great warm-up combo so we can forgive them for that.
Given that this tour is being headlined by none other than Sum 41, it’s only right that one of our own homegrown bands fly the flag for the new generation of pop-punk. That band is none other than ROAM, a wild, energetic five-piece that have come a long way from their quiet seaside town of Eastbourne. With rowdy tracks from their debut album sending the crowd into their first frenzied mosh pits of the night and their non-stop stage presence setting the first bout of genuine enthusiasm surging throughout the room, ROAM show us that this pop-punk revival still has plenty more to give.
Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes
Unafraid and unapologetic, Frank Carter is here to make the Kerrang! Tour his own. Stepping out as a true frontman more than ever before, Carter- backed up by fierce hardcore punk band The Rattlesnakes– captivates the entire venue and, love or loathe his aggressive demeanour, you can’t deny his unavoidable command of the crowd. His harsh, melodic hardcore is easily the heaviest thing you’ll hear on the bill tonight, but Frank Carter doesn’t care about that; instead, he confronts it head-on, shoving his way into the crowd and immersing himself in his own audience, creating a storm of giant circle pits and a mass of crowd surfers in his wake. If you want to see something truly impressive, after tonight, we urge you to make that something a Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes gig.
It’s been years since we’ve seen Sum 41 visit this side of the pond. We’ve missed the ‘00s pop-punk legends while they were away, and we’re all holding our breath to see if their comeback at tonight’s Kerrang! Tour was worth the wait. As they storm the stage with opening track ‘Over My Head (Better Off Dead)’, the crowd comes to life and it’s clear that, to these loyal and longing fans, this was well worth it.
Tonight is a delectable sweet shop of noughties pop-punk classics. Instead of using tonight to push their new material, Sum 41 take this opportunity to give fans what they’ve been waiting for all these years, performing a dynamic set of old favourites. From angst-fuelled singles that were the soundtrack to everyone’s teenage years, such as ‘Motivation’ and ‘The Hell Song’, to the punk anthem ‘Underclass Hero’ and the fist-pumping ‘What We’re All About’, Sum 41 don’t let up. They have what seems to be endless energy, and this crowd is more than happy to keep up with them.
As if we aren’t completely exhausted from floor-filler ‘In Too Deep’ (we are…), the band return for a frantic three-song encore. Thrashing out old-school instrumental ‘Grab the Devil by the Horns and Fuck Him Up the Ass’ and bouncing through the danceable ’88’, Sum 41 finish their UK stint with crowd-pleaser, and the ultimate anti-establishment song of our rebellious youth, ‘Fat Lip’.
We’re ready to relive the ‘00s now, please.