Metro// Chicago, IL // May 4, 2019
The Metro’s main floor turned into a moving sea of crowd-surfers and mosh pits.
There was a bit of a breeze as the crowd waited to get into the Metro to see PUP. The Canadian pop punk group were slated to play a sold-out show alongside Ratboys and Casper Skulls, and the energy in line was already electric. By the time everyone got inside and found their spot, the main floor was completely packed. I sat in the photo pit and looked around at how many women were in the front row, ready to mosh and throw their head back. By the time the show was over, half of those women had moved to the back and crowd surfed all the way to the barricade again.
When PUP came onstage, the entire room erupted in applause, and I could feel the barricade start to jerk back and forth. Before the band had even played their first note, people were jumping up and getting ready to mosh. They started the night off with “Morbid Stuff”, the title track off their newest album, which came out just last month. This third album of theirs has a much more aggressive and angry vibe than their earlier work, and the fans love it. They still maintain their catchy pop punk roots, but their new songs feel more urgent, more pressing. Frontman Stefan Babcock’s vocals sounded raspy and hard, like he’d been pushing himself to the limit every night on tour.
One of the highlights came during “Free at Last”. The band put the lyrics up on YouTube and encouraged their fans to come up with the melody and rhythm. “We got over 250 covers, and most of them sucked”, Babcock said to laughing fans. “But one of the best ones came from a band here in Chicago!” Before PUP played their version, local band Kodakrome played what they think it should have sounded like, and it honestly was pretty great. When PUP played their version of “Free at Last”, the crowd lost their collective mind. Throngs of crowd surfers made their way to the front as Metro’s security pushed them back to the main floor.
“We’re not gonna do an encore…we’re not gonna go off and come back on, cuz that’s dumb”, Babcock said towards the end of their set to massive applause. “Instead, we’re just gonna keep playing!” They finished the night with “If This Tour Doesn’t Kill You, I Will” and “DVP”, two massive fan favorites. PUP will be back in Chicago on May 23rd, and I bet the crowd will be just as amped as they were for this show.
PUP will be touring the U.S. and Canada through July. For tickets and more info, click HERE.