Photos and words by Brenda Gomes
It's no secret that Toronto loves PUP, nor is it a secret that the band loves their hometown right back. Just last month the punk four-piece played two sold-out shows in the city as part of their massive Morbid Stuff Tour-Pocalypse, but that didn't stop them from treating their Toronto fans to a third show to close out the tour. Sunday July 21st, PUP played their largest hometown headliner ever at RBC Echo Beach and held absolutely nothing back.
Anyone who has ever been to a PUP show knows the intensity with which the band performs and that the audience always strives to match that very same energy. From the get-go, fans were crowd surfing, moshing, and banging their heads. Not a single word was missed as fans sang along to a mix of older material off of the band's self-titled debut album, 2016's The Dream Is Over, or the brand new Morbid Stuff. The band even included a couple of covers into the set, playing "Plea From a Cat Named Virtue" by The Weakerthans and bringing out Jeff Rosenstock as a surprise guest to play his song "Hey Allison!" Guitarist, Steve Sladkowski, did quiet down the crowd for just a second, however, to bring attention to the fact that the band has been partnering with local charities each night of their tour. For this particular show, PUP partnered with the Canadian Music Therapy Trust Fund and asked the crowd to donate any spare cash before the band ramped up the energy yet again. In what Sladkowski stated could be the band's most harebrained stunt yet, vocalist Stefan Babcock jumped into the crowd atop a giant inflatable swan. Babcock even managed to get to his feet for a second before the inflatable was overturned and he returned to the stage to close out the show with hometown favourites "If This Tour Doesn't Kill You, I Will" and "DVP." And in true PUP style, there was no encore, because when you play shows as great as theirs, they're really not needed.
If you missed out on the Tour-Pocalypse, fret not, as the seemingly always touring band will be hitting North America again this fall on the Falls Apart Tour. In the meantime, check out some photos from this historic show below!