>>Babeville in Buffalo NY was a jam-packed venue this past Saturday, with Toronto-punks PUP, who were supported by Ontario natives Casper Skulls and The Drew Thompson Foundation.
Kicking off the night was The Drew Thompson Foundation. Drew Thompson, also frontman of Single Mothers, masterminded a rotating four-piece that brought their A’ game with a pop-punk fueled explosion. We take fold on Thompson’s roller-coaster of emotions that you can hear in his vocals and are backed up by his punk loving bandmates. But we don’t stop there because this band knows how to slow things down with a hand in the air waving heartfelt song. This solo project that Thompson has started is just another example as too how versatile and creative some artists can be when dealing with the weight of life and change is necessary, and that risks can lead to new forms of inspiration.
Giving things a twist afterwards was Casper Skulls. We see this group take an interesting take on mixing ambient synth work with a post-punk and garage rock edge. The band is led by vocalist and guitarist Melanie St-Pierre, who formed Casper Skulls back in 2015 with her partner and guitarist Neil Bednis. You could easily place this group amongst bands like Ratboy and The Dirty Nil for bringing a tight set and getting fans up and rowdy for the headliner.
We ended the night with headlining band PUP, who blew the doors down in Babeville. Before they even set foot on stage the entire audience was chanting that three-letter word. “PUP” “PUP” “PUP” followed by your classic “Let’s Go Buffalo!” PUP had just started their tour in support of their most recent album in 2019 “Morbid Stuff.” This was their second stop on the road and only a couple songs into their set frontman Stefan Babcock commented “The second show is the best show because you don’t suck as much.” The group is no stranger to bringing it home and had fans moshing to every song, and crowd surfing that gave security a workout. PUP gave a little something extra that made the night special to some. On top of putting on killer sets throughout the states, they reach out ahead of time to each city and do their best to find an organization to donate to along their travels. For the night in Buffalo, with the help from fans the group set up for proceeds to go to the aid of immigrants seeking asylum here in the states. Aside groups like Mom Jeans, Slaughter Beach, Dog and Remo Drive; PUP is one of the genres defining pop-punk groups of this era. The group has an extensive tour lined up still and will be making appearances at The Shaky Knees festival in Central Park, Atlanta and Coachella 2020