2017 has seen a lot of tours so far but one of the most interesting and widely unexpected pairings was the announcement of the ‘We Will Detonate Tour’ featuring post-hardcore giants Pierce The Veil and punk icons Sum 41. The tour was announced in early March and revealed that the trek would span 21 days as well some select stopovers at the largest festivals in the country. From opening night of the tour in Ogden, Colorado the spanning Columbus Crew Stadium at Rock on The Range – music fans everywhere were getting their tickets in advance for this one of a kind tour package. This past week it was Pennsylvania’s turn to ‘detonate’ as the tour rolled through the Freedom Hall Convention Center in Lancaster for a crowd that was roughly 1,200 strong on a Tuesday night.
Fans had been in line for hours and were ready to see two of their favorite bands come together for one night only in their town. The stage was color washed a vibrant shade of crimson red as the crew made the final preparations for Sum 41’s set. Fans of this band will know how special it is that they are out on the road again – for those don’t Deryck Whibley struggled with a few years back that almost claimed his life (Google it if you aren’t familiar as it is a long story.) Needless to say Whibley made a triumphant recovery and the band formally returned last year with new music to tour behind. With nothing to prove and everything to show for it Sum 41 burst on to stage with an iconic level of ferocity. Lancaster was treated to a performance that the Freedom Hall Convention Center was never built to host – a true punk showcase.
Whibley pulled some fans out of the crowd after the first song and brought them side stage to rock out for the rest of the night, he never let the crowd gain their breathe as the band jumped from song to song. They had no doubts about mixing the new material into the set as “13 Voices” debuted as strong as any of their other albums – the fans embraced it quickly and “Fake Your Death” has quickly become one of the most listened to songs in the discography on streaming services.
From “Make’s No Difference” to “War” and of course the well known “Fat Lip” and “In Too Deep” Sum 41 left everything on the stage as they tossed a tight performance the crowd’s way who returned the favor by moshing and crowd surfing all night. Beach balls and curse words, cover songs and blistering solos, heartfelt thanks and flawless playing – these are what made Sum 41’s set exactly what it needed to be in Lancaster. When the set was done Whibley shouted “See ya” as he walked off stage dropping his guitar as he went. Back from the dead and better than ever – don’t call it a comeback as Sum 41 never truly left but it is certainly nothing short of remarkable no matter how you slice it. (Full Photo Gallery Below)
A bellowing white curtain was dropped and a single projector cast a spanning logo across it, Pierce The Veil. The crowd took a chance to catch their breathe after Sum 41’s set but quickly reformed with water, beer, pretzels and more as the headliner was yet to take the stage. The band is out in support of their most recent release “Misadventures” and has been having continued success as they have for the past 4-5 years. This was not their first time at the Freedom Hall Convention Center as on their previous tours saw them come through with Sleeping With Sirens on a similar night of music. Though this show was different as it began with a bang – and that isn’t a pun.
The curtain dropped and a detonated was revealed. Seconds later it was deployed as strobes and Co2 cascaded around the band from side to side. Within an instant of the start of “Texas is Forever” security had to spring into action as crowd surfers began pouring over the barricade. Vic Fuentes worked his guitar in ways only a skilled guitarist can during the set as he tossed, spun, and even danced with his guitar when away from his microphone. Pierce the Veil has truly refined their performance as band over the past five years, chaos is still abound but the technical aspects of each song shine bright and doesn’t get lost in all of the action going on around them.
The setlist focused heavily on their new material as has been a growing trend for them over the past few tours, a welcomed trend though as “Misadventures” has some of the strongest songs they’ve ever produced as a band on it. “Floral & Fading” is a song that a 2008 Pierce the Veil couldn’t have tackled with the same level of authenticity that they have today, a remarkable feat as this band has been at it for a decade staying true to their initial sound but growing all the while.
Would it be a Pierce The Veil show without confetti? It would but the set concluded in their typical, almost signature, style as huge cannons detonated to conclude the tour. The band left the stage stronger than they were the last time they performed in Lancaster, hopefully this is a growing trend and their next performance here will be even better yet. On a Tuesday night a crowd of 1,200 was treated to one of the best performances Pierce the Veil have given in the state of Pennsylvania during their now decade spanning career. The sky is truly the ceiling for this band as they continue to release strong material to tour on, Lancaster was ready to detonate and they did. Hopefully we don’t have to wait too long to do it again but there is no doubt that the fans will flock when Pierce The Veil returns again.