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Sum 41 rocks out Sacramento

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From all-female rockers to an eclectic rock duo, there was a rock band for every style this past Wednesday, Jan. 16, at Ace of Spades in downtown Sacramento.

If you have any doubt that all-girl rock bands no longer exist, you will be mistaken once you hear Canadian-based rock group Hunter Valentine.

Kiyomi McCloskey of Hunter Valentine showing off her vocals on the Ace of Spades stage.

Not your sweet and innocent girly group, Hunter Valentine brings a masculine femininity to the rock genre.

With a raspy yet distinguished voice, lead vocalist Kiyomi McCloskey, accompanied by Laura Petracca (drums), Veronica Sanchez (bass) and Aimee Bessada (guitar and keyboards) set it off with her band, making a great opening to the night of rock ‘n’ roll.

As McCloskey engaged with the crowd, she let them know, "Just because we are girls doesn’t mean we are going to play some folk songs."

Showing a tough exterior similar to rebel pop singer Pink, it’s evident that McCloskey is nothing but a strong female. With spiked dark hair and tattooed sleeves, McCloskey and Hunter Valentine give the image of a hard rock band, but have the lyricism of strong females ready to make a riot.

Closing their set with “Liar, Liar,” off their recent album release, “Collide and Conquer,” McCloskey sang "You said we’d keep this pact forever/A polite way of laying your curse from the start/you had your hands in my pockets/Taken everything I had/I keep my mind straight, get my mind straight."

With heavy guitar riffs and loud noise, this wasn’t your average fluffed-up pop rock, and was a great opener for a night full of rock ‘n’ roll.

“Where Did You Go” was the opening song for the next opener, Detroit-based band IAMDYNAMITE.

Just a two-man group, Christopher Martin (lead vocals, guitar) and Chris Philips (drums) had the energy and musical talent of a full band.

IAMDYNAMITE jamming on stage.

With catchy lyrics and an upbeat sound, IAMDYNAMITE got the crowd amped up with their eclectic sound.

From a glance at Phillips, wearing an old-school Michael Jackson shirt, teal glasses and a black bandana, it was obvious that this band doesn’t take itself too seriously.

The laid-back style of IAMDYNAMITE gives you the feeling that you’re just watching two friends jamming in the basement.

With an eight-song set, the last song, "Ms. Jones," off their debut album “Supermegafantastic,” was the perfect closure to their set.

With an opening reminiscent of a White Stripes song, “Ms. Jones” layers in three parts. It starts with a slow tempo, and a hymn style of singing. Drums come in, and the tempo and lyrics pick up. Then, cycling back to the opening of the slow tempo, it gradually progresses to a psychedelic instrumental break that has similarities to the crazy commotion of a Mars Volta song.

Strong and creative bands IAMYDYNAMITE and Hunter Valentine were a perfect collective sound to open for the evening’s headliner, Sum 41.

Deryck Whibley rockin’ his red hair at Ace of Spades.

Making their band a household name back in 2001 with their debut album “All Killer, No Filler,” Sum 41’s 10th anniversary tour, “Does This Look Infected?” showed how their sound has matured through the years. From hard rock style-songs (“Blood In My Eyes,” from their “Screaming Bloody Murder” album) to their slower ballads and fun songs (like “In Too Deep,” from their “Does This Look Infected?” album), Sum 41 is one of the few diverse bands left.

Opening their set with "Part of Me," front man Deryck Whibley and his band members, Steve Jocz (drums), Jason McCaslin (bass) and Tom Thacker (guitar), took the stage. Whibley appeared with fire-red hair and wearing a red shirt with a black vest, dropping f-bombs throughout the set.

From crowd surfers to mosh pits, Sum 41 did not disappoint their fans, putting on an unforgettable performance.

Packed house at Ace of Spades for Sum 41.

Whibley showed his personable personality by bringing up a few audience members on stage to rock out with the band.

Their set list included the songs “Still Waiting,” “In Too Deep,” “A.N.I.C.,” “No Brain” and “My Direction.”

Of course, coming back out at the end of their set for an encore, Sum 41 had some fun covering a few songs, including Queen’s “We Will Rock You,” and Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage.”

Diverse, loud and passionate about their music, Hunter Valentine, IAMDYNAMITE and Sum 41 rocked out the stage at Ace of Spades, and showed that rock music is still alive and in style!

Editor’s note: The “News Digest” goes out every Tuesday morning and highlights our best stories, photos and videos from the week prior. Sign me up.

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