Photos & Words by Alan Snodgrass
PUP is back with a new album and a headlining tour along with Beach Bunny and Ratboys that found them selling out San Francisco’s Fillmore.
Ever been to a show where everyone seems to know the opening act but you? Well that was Chicago’s Beach Bunny which kicked off the evening. Anchored by Lili Trifilio’s smooth vocals, the pop rock band bopped through a 30 minute set that clearly won over the few folks in the room that were not already hip to the Bunny which, if nothing, get the prize for most unexpected use of a “wall of death.” Keeping with the Chicago theme, Ratboys was up next. Coming on the heels of Beach Bunny, the receptive crowd ate it all up, even the song about singer Julia Steiner’s dead cat Elvis (“Elvis Is in the Freezer”).
PUP finally took the stage at 10:30 pm and the energy in room rocketed as the band launched into “Morbid Stuff.” The Fillmore went completely bonkers and a substantial bounce in the second story ballroom floor did not go unnoticed, but did not deter the frenzy. After all, it’s been nearly two years since these dudes last paid the Bay Area a visit and their new album (“Morbid Stuff”) is more than worthy of simply a listen; it needs to be seen to be fully appreciated.
The frothy, yet brief, 65 minutes set showcased a band that’s matured over the years but still manages to walk the line between the on-stage controlled chaos and delivering a seamless performance … they take it seriously but thankfully not too seriously (making sure to call out guitarist Steve Sladkowski for wearing a Raptors jersey in front of the San Francisco crowd) .
Even with the new tunes taking up a good chunk of the setlist, the band thankfully didn’t ignore their roots and the place went particularly nuts for their breakthrough “Reservoir” before the band wrapped their encore-less performance with Stefan Babcock taking a dive into the crowd as they wrapped up with “If This Tour Doesn’t Kill You, I Will” and “DVP.”