PUP Island Stage, Guelph ON, July 26

PUP Island Stage, Guelph ON, July 26
Photo: Atsuko Kobasigawa
Toronto noisemakers PUP had security working their hardest from the get-go, delivering the loudest, most energetic set of the day. The festival hasn't shied away from heavier sounding acts, having previously hosted the likes of Japandroids, Fucked Up and METZ, but PUP definitely took home the prize for the most raucous crowd this year. Glad that the audience of "motherfucking hippies" wasn't tired out after hula-hooping all day, singer Stefan Babcock led the band through a rapid-fire set that heard most cuts off last year's self-titled debut, as well as a new one and a finale for the books.

"Mabu," an ode to Babcock's car, was an easy hit with the pulsating crowd, while "Yukon" delivered a dash of the Canadiana expected at a festival like Hillside, but with a lot more power behind it than anything else that was heard over the weekend. "Reservoir" marked the end of PUP originals for the night, with possibly more feet and articles of clothing flailing through the air than hands throughout the entire song. The four-piece closed out with a cover, jokingly saying that "this is a song by the Cancer Bats" before launching into a riotous version of the Beastie Boys' "Sabotage." Babcock propelled himself into the crowd for the first bit of the song, but returned to the stage to close out the triumphant set with his bandmates. Ears ringing and bodies bruised, fans filed out knowing they'd just witnessed one of the weekend's best moments.

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