Toronto hometown heroes PUP kicked off their three night stand at The Danforth Music Hall in Toronto. After a triumphant year touring their critically adored second album The Dream Is Over they’ve returned to Toronto, and after playing the Phoenix in the spring have now managed to sell out three nights at the comparatively massive Danforth Music Hall. While that can be a big leap, and a lot more stage to cover, it wasn’t even a hurdle for PUP’s energetic live show. All four of the band members were full of energy and rarely stopped moving throughout the set. The setlist was split between new and old numbers, and the all-ages crowd knew the words to all of them.

Singer Stefan Babcock joked with the crowd about how they were now able to put their parents up in the balcony where they wouldn’t get spit on, and everyone in the band seemed in shock about how far they’d come since the “piss soaked basements” they used to play. They closed their set with new album rager, the Single Mothers-esque “Old Wounds” which found Babcock crawling into the crowd, then surfing on top of them, before finally crawling on top of drummer Zack Mykula which he continued playing. While lead guitarist Steve Sladkowski and bassist Nestor Chumak weren’t as directly involved in the chaos, they were musically on point and helped to hold the entire set together. Capping the night off with an encore performance of the Beastie Boys ‘Sabotage’ with a little help from the Cancer Bats’ Liam Cormier the band bid farewell to the first of three massive nights, proving more than anything they deserved to playing rooms like this.


The Hotelier

Chris Cresswell