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Sum 41 make their final UK festival appearance at Download 

The band unleash an explosive greatest hits set to say a final farewell to Donington Park

The Apex Stage crowds are stretching so far it’s surprising those at the back even know what band they’re about to see – but Sum 41 are making their final UK festival appearance. As part of their farewell world tour the pop-punk kings are primed to rattle through almost three decades of hits, and by the looks of it, Download couldn’t be more ready.

A yellow backdrop behind them depicts each one of their album covers, and the chimes of spoken word intro ‘Introduction To Destruction’ sound out as the band make their way onstage to huge cheers. Frontman Deryck Whibley immediately sets his focus on riling up the already rowdy crowd, a panda stuffed toy donning a Sum 41 shirt dances amongst the masses as flames burst out for 2001 hit ‘Motivation’ and skate-punk anthem ‘The Hell Song’.

With guitarist Dave Brownsound ripping gnarly solos as Whibley encourages the audience to take note of the words ‘Let’s Dance’ plastered across his vest, it’s a party like no other. The UK is clearly nowhere near ready to say goodbye to the Canadian band, as Whibley notes that this is the last time we’ll see them on this stage, a round of boos rings out.

“It’s been almost 30 years of Sum 41… hasn’t the world had enough?” he asks.

A scream of “No!” fired back at him, the frontman smiles. Feeling the love, across their hour-long set the quintet pay tribute to everything they’ve built. From pop-punk ragers such as mosh pit starter ‘In Too Deep’ and ‘Landmines’ (a vibrant track taken from their parting gift of double album Heaven :x: Hell) to the blistering heaviness of 2004 cut ‘We’re All To Blame’, it’s a celebration of everything Sum 41 have done for the scene since this first began. Guitarist Tom Thacker kicks off a raucous singalong cover of Queen’s ‘We Will Rock You’ before Brownsound delivers another mind-blowing solo; each member given a chance to say their goodbyes. 

“Let me just be real for one second,” Whibley pauses as their moment reaches its end.

“We love you, we appreciate you. You mean the world to us, and we are going to f*cking miss you.” A thank you that feels remarkably heartfelt before a big finale of slacker anthem ‘Fat Lip’ and rage-filled hit ‘Still Waiting’, no pair of feet remains on the floor. With one last chance to jump to the sounds that defined our adolescence on grounds that feel like home to many, it’s a special moment. Phones tucked away as Whibley encourages a goodbye consisting of, “just you, us, and the music,” this is what it’s all about. Taking a bow before Whibley quips that there may be one last chance to see them on UK shores before the year is out, there’s no doubt that Sum 41 will be sorely missed.

Tickets for next year’s Download Festival are on sale now here.

Photo credit: Marie Ladisch