In a continuing effort to prove that pop punk’s not dead, Simple Plan and Sum 41’s Blame Canada Tour touched down in Phoenix this week. The two longtime scene staples were joined by newcomers Magnolia Park to celebrate the many decades they’ve spent bringing their sound to the masses and ushering in the next generation.
Magnolia Park, like so many bands during the 2020 lockdown, found their big break on TikTok and rode that wave right into national tours. The five-piece group is loud and unapologetic, spreading the word that their listeners are not alone in their struggles. They blasted through a short opening set that included their viral hit “10 for 10” and an energetic cover of Fall Out Boy’s “Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down”.
It was Sum 41’s turn in the support slot for the night and the punk rockers didn’t waste a single second of their lengthy set. With so many bangers under their collective belt, their time on stage was a journey through their greatest hits. Singer Derek Whibley’s gymnastics are still as wild as ever, and each band member’s well-oiled performance is a testament to over 20 years in the game.
“Motivation” got the sold out room moshing, “In Too Deep” set heads bobbing and “Fat Lip” and “Still Waiting” closed things out on a sentimental note. The band even threw in a Queen cover for good measure- even though their discography could fill several more sets.
One thing can always be said about Simple Plan- they understand their audience. They’ve been playing their angsty pop punk since 1999 and show no signs of slowing down anytime soon. While their debut record was written by a much younger version of the dads on stage now, “I’d Do Anything” and “Welcome to My Life” transported The Van Buren back to the early 2000’s when no one understood our teenage pain.
Like Sum 41, Simple Plan jumps around stages with intense vigor, launching themselves from platforms and even strapping drummer Chuck Comeau into a hazmat suit and gas mask so he could stage dive at the end. Even with newer songs thrown into the mix, it was the addition of “What’s New Scooby Doo” that got everyone up and jumping.
Last but not least, “I’m Just a Kid” rang out- with fans sporting shirts with the song’s lyrics splashed across the front- and ended the night on a “Perfect” note. After such a lively performance, the only thing we’ll be able to blame Canada for is bringing such an epic show to Arizona.
Check out all the photos from the show!
Story and photos by Olivia Khiel