PUP play Terminal 5
Working shit out together
I simply need to update this blog. There’s just no two ways around it. I’m going to start posting my Bowery Presents show recaps here, because why not? They’re my writing about shows, and that’s what we do here. Here’s the first one:
PUP play Terminal 5
PUP are a group exercise. The Toronto pop-punks may write primarily about internal dramas—deadening depressions and stomach-churning bouts of self-hatred, and “DVP,” one of the most anthemic of their many anthems, is about getting so fucked up that you can’t speak and then speeding down a highway. But their shows are always a big shriek-along. And despite the lyrics dealing with grisly personal battles, by the chorus the whole band gets involved in the gang vocals, and on Wednesday night at Terminal 5 the whole audience, from the front to the back and to the balcony, crooned as one.
Why? Well, one of the band’s refrains that fans most like screaming is “Why can’t we just get along?” from the deranged, pleading coda to “If This Tour Doesn’t Kill You, I Will,” PUP’s sardonic ode to friendship and camaraderie. It’s a cathartic thing to scream after an evening of getting beer spilled on you by your fellow PUP fans, or after accidentally getting too close to the mosh pit and getting hit by the one guy who’s starting to crowd-kill. Lead singer and guitarist Stefan Babcock stopped mid-song for that guy: “We had such a good vibe so far, don’t mosh like that, man. It’s cool, I know at hardcore shows people do things differently than at PUP shows.”
I started to feel bad for that guy, even though crowd-killing at Terminal 5 is obviously stupid. I hope he walked it off, didn’t feel too embarrassed and enjoyed the rest of his night. He tried to have everything his way, but then was made to compromise so that everyone else could have a good time, too. He didn’t get what he wanted, but in the end, I bet he still had fun. That’s the thing about PUP’s music, it’s just about trying to make shit work together.
I’ve been writing elsewhere!
Look, I’m well aware that this kind of thing is going out of fashion, and that I’ll need a new gimmick beyond low-caste blues if I’m going to survive the vibe shift. Hopefully that will be addressed in the next firmware update, but for now bear with me as I made it about race again (oops :-)).
Read it, share it, all that.
Here’s a record review I did for Pitchfork a few months ago:
And here’s an interview I did with Beach House for the Times Magazines’ music issue: