Sum 41, who hardly ever play around DC, headlined ShamrockFest 2018 on Saturday, giving me an opportunity relive childhood memories in a wonderful opportunity to see the band play live at the Festival Grounds at RFK Stadium.
I remember learning the words to “Fat Lip” in 4th grade from my friend Kevin. I remember repeatedly watching the music video for “The Hell Song,” and I remember never taking their album “Chuck” out of my first car’s CD player for months. That was 13 years ago, and I never saw Sum 41 live before ShamrockFest! I was not going to miss a second of this set.
In what is billed as the largest St. Paddy’s Day celebration in America, ShamrockFest 2018 featured two stages, two food tents, several food trucks, a DJ dance party, some merch tents, and what might be the most important accompaniment to this day of celebration: beer.
Headlined by Sum 41, this early-ending festival (8pm) was a day full of awesome music that also included Reel Big Fish, Less than Jake, and Street Dogs. I was truly anticipating great performances from all of those bands, along with a surprise performer in attendance that I never thought I would take the chance to see! This performer definitely made the inner preteen of myself, and my twin brother who joined me, go wild. It was Mr. Boombastic himself — although he’d say it “Wasn’t Me” — Shaggy.
Other performers included were Carbon Leaf, Scythian, Barley Juice, Kilmaine Saints, DJ 2Nutz, Pat Premier, RENE, EPX, DJ Ri5e, and Clinton Matthews.
I have seen Less than Jake maybe eight or nine times; Reel Big Fish; probably five or six; Street Dogs, three times — but I had never seen Sum 41. And this leads to my only complaint with ShamrockFest: The bands’ sets started in salvo. As one band finished their set, the next band on the other stage was already playing. Unfortunate indeed, but I don’t know another way to fit in that many bands onto two stages in only eight hours! There was no shortage of great music all day.
And so sadly, I had to miss the latter part of Shaggy’s set to finally see Sum 41 in person.
But there I was, standing with my friends, when the lights dimmed to indicate the band is about to start. Sum 41 walked onto stage with the wailing intro of “The Hell Song,” and the rest kind of turned into one teenage blur of reminiscing that led to a voiceless, bruised, and sore Sunday morning for my older self.
My brother and friend seem to have the exact same memory. Good thing we have the pictures. All photos copyright and courtesy of Daniel Webb.
Other bands at ShamrockFest 2018
Scenes from ShamrockFest 2018