PUP brings gut-wrenching indie-punk to Marquette

PUP

PUP

Jamie Glenn

Students busted out their plaid shirts, band tees and Vans shoes and put their textbooks down to make way for three emo punk bands. Two of which were local and the third an emerging, multi-album, Toronto-based indie-punk group called PUP.

Local opening acts included a four-piece composition that grunged about their love for Mainstreet Pizza and the struggles of mid-20s angst. Wearing a plastic eye in the middle of their foreheads, the band Mirador Motel warmed up the crowd with their pedal-wrenching emo-indie instrumentals and relatable batch of songs to get the crowd ready for the night on April 7 in the Great Lakes Room of the University Center.

“I thought it was really fun seeing the two local bands,” sophomore political and environmental science major Norah Johnson said, who attended the concert. “It was a different element that you don’t normally see on Northern’s campus. It was fun to see all these people out and having a great time.”

Drummer Hunter Laing, a secondary education and social studies major, shared what it was like opening for PUP.
“Last night was great,” Laing said. “We are very fortunate to get the opportunity to open for PUP with Charmer. We did not know what to expect since we usually play in grimy basements, not on a stage.”

The members of Mirador Motel have been long-time fans of PUP, Laing said, adding that it was surreal to share the stage with them. He’s also thankful for the receptive and fun energy of the crowd.

“PUP really knows how to get a crowd going. Anthony crowd surfed then got dropped, and Spenser’s butt got hurt from getting trampled in the mosh pit. Hopefully our bands meet up again soon,” Laing said.

Charmer brought a strong and cohesive stage presence to the crowd as the second group to open for PUP. With a handful of singles under their belt and a Warped Tour show booked for this summer, this Marquette group of four brought some grit to the show.

David Daignault contributes vocals and guitar for Charmer. He shared some of the band’s inspiration that fuels their indie-pop-punk sound.

“Some of the artists that inspired music for this specific band I would say were You Blew it, Marietta [and] Brave Bird. But I’m only one person out of four in the band, so I’m sure everyone has their own influence when it comes to writing in Charmer,” Daignault said.

The headlining band of the night, PUP, promised a night of gut-wrenching indie-punk. Defining riffs and relatable lyricism had the crowd head banging, pushing, prodding and crowd surfing.

PUP lead vocalist and guitarist Stefan Babcock shared what it was like performing for NMU.

“We had a lot of fun at the show. This was our first time in Northern Michigan, and we’ve played almost everywhere else in the lower 48, so it was time to make the trek. The U.P. feels pretty much the same as Northern Ontario, which I love, so we felt right at home,” Babcock said in an email.

Challenges of being on the road and recording new music can arise for an emerging band like PUP.

“It can be tough being away from your partner for months at a time, and being trapped in a van day in and day out with the same dudes,” Babcock said. “But at the end of the day, we love playing music together and we’ve gotten to see the world and make some unique memories.”

Looking ahead, PUP will start recording their newest record next week.