by Catalina Berretta
On Thursday April 25, PUP kicked off their Morbid Stuff tour at the Royale, packing it to the brim. Unbridled anticipation crackled in the air as the red lights of the stage created a sea of dark silhouettes.
From the get-go, the energy of this show was unparalleled. As the band opened with “Morbid Stuff” and quickly segueing into “Kids,” the crowd was ravenous and crowd-surfing before PUP’s front-man, Stefan Babcock, even introduced them. Early on, he reminisced about their last show in Boston, “at a bar with 150 people. That was cool but this is pretty cool, too.”
There was something incredible about witnessing the beginning of what is PUP’s biggest tour yet. Babcock shared another memory of writing “Dark Days,” in one of their childhood basements and making a pact to one day play a show outside of Toronto. “That was five fucking years ago,” he said. The crowd itself seemed drunk with exhilaration and copious amounts of alcohol, hoisting themselves up to crowd surf to any song, new or old. They found joy in being jerked and pulled down by security, rounding their way around the barriers victoriously before diving back into the mosh pit.
When describing a PUP show, the one word that comes to mind is catharsis. In yelling, throwing beer cans, throwing your entire body against other bodies as the band screams into their microphones with ferocity. The crowd seemingly knew every word, even as they played songs off their newest album, Morbid Stuff and the red lights flashed against the mass of bodies pushing and shoving. The energy was palpable, with drops of sweat pouring down temples and backs and hands rising and falling with the violent percussion. It was a show so effortlessly dynamic that even at the sidelines of the pit one could feel the pulse of excitement and vivacity emanating from the stage. As PUP closed with two of their most famous songs, “If This Tour Doesn’t Kill You, I Will” and “DVP,” I found myself being suffocated front and center of the mosh pit, staring right up at the band and deciding that if this is how I was going to go, it was worth it.