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PUP Prove They're No Secret At Tomorrow Never Knows

By Katie Karpowicz in Arts & Entertainment on Jan 20, 2015 3:30PM

PUP, photo by Yoshi Cooper via the band's Facebook page

"Are all of these people here for the show?" Chicagoist asked upon arrival Friday night at Schubas. As we looked around wide-eyed at the packed bar area and the humble concert hall doors, already overflowing with attendees, the venue's doorman responded.

"Yeah, people will just have to push up."

This wasn't our first sold-out show at the Lakeview concert spot but it was perhaps the most crowded we've ever seen the place—a trend that surely continued through the rest of the Tomorrow Never Knows Festival weekend. This was great news for Canadian punks (and headliners) PUP.

One of our favorite discoveries at Riot Fest earlier this year, it was nice to see PUP back in town courtesy of another Chicago festival Friday night. The energy (and the temperature inside) was just as high as it was during their September Humboldt Park appearance.

The young band, only one full length into its career, literally strikes a chord between the traditional punk lineage and melodic pop sing-a-longs. It's a balance that allowed them to release an acclaimed debut in 2014 that found its way onto a number of "best of" lists towards the end of the year. On stage, the band jumped from playful, quick-tempoed songs like "Mabu" to the bluesy, brooding tracks like "Yukon" just as smoothly as it did on record.

Even a new song—something about drinking too much and needing to grow up—proved as fast and aggressive as we've ever heard the members of PUP, and left us assured that these four Canadians won't be just a one wonder album.

The night closed just before 1 a.m. with a searing and unexpected cover of the Beastie Boys' "Sabotage" while a near empty bottle of Malort was shared freely across the stage. After that, you'd have been hard pressed to find a member of that audience who wasn't looking forward to PUP's next stop through town.