Photographs by Matt Forsythe.

Very fortunately, I had the opportunity of attending two of the three PUP show’s at the Danforth music hall- December 14th and 15th. Originally, they had one show scheduled for December 15th, in which sold out very quickly. They were quote on quote very shocked by this response, as it was the quickest they had ever sold out, and the biggest headlining venue yet that they were going to play. As a result, they added two more dates which also sold very quickly.

I had never seen PUP before, but I had heard from some friends that I was in for a treat. The first night was pretty great, and it was very fun to be a part of. The set-list consisted of the new and old, but mainly songs off of their first album. I was pleased with the show however, it was not even comparable to night two.

Yesterday morning, PUP announced via Facebook that they were going to play their entire album “The Dream Is Over” for the first time live in its entirety, from start to finish. Additionally, they released some extra tickets at the door- Danforth was filled with a large amount of excitement to say the least.

It was a shitty night due to weather, so they delayed the music until 8:00PM so that people would not miss the show. On the first evening, Chris Chrisswell along with a couple bandmates played a good opening set that the audience was open to.t wasn’t necessarily the most energetic however, it was good in preparation for PUP’s set. Additionally, the band explained how appreciative they were to be there although they did not know PUP for very long. On the second night, Whitby band Chastity opened the night, with a very different set. They were filled with energy, especially the singer as he constantly was walking through the audience and interacting with show goer’s. The crowd was not as large as it could be as people were still slowly arriving, but it did not change the quality of the show. Next up was Hotelier, who put on another passionate and exciting performance for the second night in a row. At this point the crowd was larger. 

By the time PUP was about to go on, the crowd was even larger than it was the prior night. The lights dimmed, and the crowd went wild as soon as the beginning soft strums “If This Tour Doesn’t Kill You, I Will” were played. Following this, they went right into playing an eccentric performance of “DVP”. The band then announced that they would be playing the entire album from start to finish, and the room filled with even more buzz and commotion than there already was. From the beginning of the show to the very end, the crowd did not stop. PUP has something about them that makes their show’s so special, and makes you forget about whatever else is going on in your life. The other special part of this show is that it was originally the first show, there-fore was filled with some of the biggest fans, and people most passionate about their music. This resulted in a fun filled night with an amazing crowd of people. 

The album was done being played before people even realized, after the first ever performance of “Pine Point”, which was eloquent. Sure the album was done, but the show wasn’t. Following this, they played some songs off of their first album including “Guilt Trip”, “Dark Days”, “Lionheart”, “Mabu”, and an energy filled closing with “Reservoir”. There was no encore, but the band basically gave the crowd the option of doing one, or just simply staying on stage. 

PUP is the kind of band that I had to see live to realize the spark. I did like them before seeing them, but viewing two of their amazing live home-town performances really made me realize why they are so special.