REVIEW: Pup and Tough Age at Amigos, Saskatoon (Oct. 9, 2014)

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Dear bands, thanks for the bruises and battered liver

The last time I saw Vancouver cartoon punks Tough Age was during the 2014 edition of SXSW. If memory serves correctly they shut the entire club down, blowing several breakers at once. It was awesome.

Perhaps a testament to the power of west coast surf pop, the four-piece soldiered through their Saskatoon set with the grace of a scuzzy patch chord and a reputation that only good songwriting will get you. Despite some pedals on the fritz, the group nevertheless managed to impress – “Yummy, Yummy” in particular set the collective hips-a-shimmy. You can come back any ol’ time.

Tough Age - Saskatoon

Tough Age – Saskatoon

Pup, however, pushed ’em over the edge. The Toronto punk band was equal parts sass and sugar-high as they tore through a set that had the majority of the crowd singing along. Or pushing whoever was standing next to them.

“We are so lucky to have all 30 of you into this,” said lead singer Stefan Babcock. He wasn’t lying.

Minutes later, after an ambitious attempt at crowd surfing, Babcock dove into the crowd during a particularly inspired cover of “Sabotage” by the Beastie Boys.

Bruises and a battered liver: is there any other way to welcome in the long weekend?

Pup - Saskatoon

Pup – Saskatoon