Pup and Beach Bunny played Roadrunner – 5/24

Canadians Pup and Chicago’s Beach Bunny teamed up for some co-headlining spring dates that brought them to Roadrunner last week, with support from Pool Kids.


I don’t always double up on seeing a band twice for the same album cycle, but in the case of Toronto’s bum-out don’t-call-it-pop punk purveyors Pup, who could say no? Frontman Stefan Babcock and company always put on a show, and it’s been fun watching the band ascend to bigger and bigger venues without sacrificing their scrappy spirit. Buoyed by a double bill with pals Beach Bunny, they played their biggest-ever in Boston last week at Roadrunner.

Less tethered by proximity to their new record (last April’s The Unraveling of PUPTHEBAND), Wednesday’s set was closer to a Pup Greatest Hits revue– something they have no trouble pulling off even with just four records under their belt. The band was in fine form from anthemic openers “Morbid Stuff” and “Kids” straight through to “If This Tour Doesn’t Kill You…” and “DVP” to close things out, maintaining a sweaty momentum for a brisk 14 songs. A mosh-happy crowd joined them in reverie for the duration, prompting an evergreen reminder from Babcock that “it’s not a Pup show unless you lose your glasses or your shoes.”

Taking the night’s second shift, Lili Trifilio led Beach Bunny through a sharp set of their indie-emo power-pop and kept more of the push-pit exuberance going than one might’ve predicted. Trifilio’s songs are a gentler breed than Pup’s fatalistic shoutalongs, but still had the crowd joyous and airborne over a survey of the band’s two full-lengths and handful of EPs. I last caught Beach Bunny headlining Great Scott way back when, and they’ve confidently leveled up to much bigger stages than that one in the meantime.

Openers Pool Kids – who meld some math-y shredding into their catchy emo-pop – were a great fit for the bill. They’re a band on the rise but already play like they’re used to headlining huge rooms like this. I’d have to imagine they left with some new fans (some of whom will likely make it to the Boston headlining date they shrewdly announced from the stage for later this summer).

Check out photos of all three bands below.