Written and Photographed by Angel Park
This past May, Canadian rock four-piece PUP along with support bands Pinkshift and Sherman played to a packed house at Franklin Music Hall.
This tour marked the celebration of the group’s latest album, “The unraveling of Pup band, and the first show the band had played in Philadelphia in over two years. There was a buzz of excitement reverberating throughout the crowd as they waited impatiently to get into the venue as doors opened. A fan even enthusiastically claimed, “I’ve seen these guys play live since 2014; I’m so f—-ing happy they’re back!”
As the clock hit 8:30 and the house lights dimmed down, the crowd quickly clamored to the front as the members of the opening band, Pinkshift took the stage. This Baltimore, MD-based group kicked off their set with rowdy, punk-rock-inspired energy, with lead vocalist Ashrita Kumar greeting the crowd with a loud, “What’s up Philly?” before going right into the opening chords of their first track. While still very new to the punk music scene, Pinkshift had the crowd moving and even moshing along with their distorted, rebellious tunes. With a new album reportedly in the works for release soon, indie punk fans should keep an eye out for more Pinkshift music in the future.
Next up were Philly locals, Sheer Mag. Since forming in 2014, the group has released two critically praised studio albums titled “Need to Feel Your Love” and “A Distant Call.” Heavily inspired by throwback 70’srock and punk ethos, the group had every classic rock music headbanging along as they played through tunes such as “Steel Sharpens Steel” and “Hardly to Blame.”
And last but definitely not least, PUP arrived on stage following Sheer Mag’s set. The eruption of ecstatic cheers from the crowd was deafening, and lead vocalist Stefan Babcock took it in stride, smiling as he strapped up his guitar and led the group into their opening track. There wasn’t a single song that fans weren’t mouthing the words to, and several crowd surfers waded their way through the packed audience. Packed with humor and fun pop-punk beats, PUP’s performance was a delight for both fans and new listeners alike.