Fucked Up Blackcomb Stage, Pemberton BC, July 20

Fucked Up Blackcomb Stage, Pemberton BC, July 20
Photo: JPG Photography
The Wedge got cancelled just a couple of weeks before Pemberton Music Festival, meaning that Fucked Up frontman Damian Abraham is out of a job. But if the loss of this gig was weighing heavily on the screamer's mind, he certainly didn't show it.

The hirsute vocalist radiated energy, crossing the barrier to share the mic with the moshing fans, one of whom dumped a full can of beer on Abraham's head. During "Queen of Hearts," he jumped the barricade of the beer garden — even though I'm fairly sure no one checked his I.D. — and doled out shirtless hugs and mugged for photographs.

This was still only the second song, mind you. At other points during the explosive display, Abraham wore a hollowed-out watermelon as a hat and signed jackets for crowd members while bellowing with his microphone fully inside of his mouth. He also gave a history lesson on local punk, bragging that former d.b.s. member Jesse Gander had started following him Twitter and explaining that D.O.A. had invented hardcore music.

As the five other Fucked Up members kept their punk songs fiery and loud, Abraham left the stage for several minutes, stretching his mic cord to its limit by walking out into the middle of the crowd. The throng formed a circle around him, and when a few fans began roughhousing with him, he waved away security, saying, "I'm more scary than they are, trust me."

Once he returned to the stage, he explained that marijuana had changed his life — and even helped him lose weight — when he started using it in place of his anti-anxiety medications a few years prior. When a fan handed him a joint, he smoked it right down to the roach, which he popped in his mouth without hesitation. As the audience roared in delight, he declared, "You've always got to eat the roach!"

In a final display of camaraderie with the faithful, the growler ended the set down on the field, remaining long after the final song for yet more hugs and photos. For Abraham, this surely must have eased the sting of losing his job.

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