In the age of albums like IDLES' Joy as an Act of Resistance and Washington Post headlines like "As the world shrivels in front of our eyes, all we can do is scream," PUP perfectly fit into today's rock zeitgeist. Their third album Morbid Stuff is a collection of songs of PUP at their pop-punk finest, doling out cathartic anthems like free cars at an Oprah taping. And at their sold-out Black Cat performance, those ferocious sing-alongs didn't let up from the very start when PUP kicked off the show with "Kids." As the ringleader of the night's organized chaos, lead singer Stefan Babcock furiously belted out lamentations like "just cause you’re sad again, it doesn’t make you special at all" on "Free At Last." Fans crowdsurfed along with Babcock on “Full Blown Meltdown,” moshed, and blew out their vocal cords as the ground shook from all the jumping and perspiration dripped from the ceiling.
Opening for PUP were Chicago-based Ratboys (a SXSW highlight of ours this year), who show less rage than PUP but prove to be no less fun of a performance with loud rock earworms and songs about dead cats in freezers and other life ruminations. Their latest EP GL (and an accompanying 8-bit version of the same EP) is out now on Topshelf Records.