Last night I went to see the band PUP play at Great Scott in Allston. I had been having a shitty day at work, there was a clusterfuck on my commute home which pissed me off and in general I was very tired. I wasn’t really in the mood to see a show. I’m not super familiar with the band but when I bought the ticket I just thought, well I haven’t been to a rowdy punk show in a while.
Whenever I am excited to do something or have expectations about how my day will go, I typically end up not having fun. Because I was so angry and tired from my day, I really wasn’t in the mood to go to show for a band that I don’t really know that well… so I had a feeling it was gonna be a good night.
After the opening bands played, Pete and I set up camp towards the front of the crowd. few minutes later, after setting up their instruments, PUP came on stage. I didn’t get a quarter of the way through their opening song, If This Tour Doesn’t Kill You, before I had lost my left ear plug. We were off to a good start.
I decided, “fuck it, there’s nothing punk about protecting your ear drums” [and plus, I didn’t want just one drum being protected,] so I went the rest of the show plug-less.
I had a gameplan. I was assuming they were going to end the night with the song Back Against the Wall (featured above), because it’s their most well known song (or at least in my opinion). My plan was to try and get up and crowd surf for that track. It would be a great way to end the night.
However, my plans were thrown out the window when they ended up playing it fourth (or whatever) in the set. Regardless, being a little dude in a show of tall, burly twenty-something punk kids, I was easily able to get up and surf for a good amount of time, almost ending up on stage and nearly loosing my keys, eventually falling back first into the crowd. Luckily, like the crowd at most shows, I was quickly helped to my feet. We were all in this together.
A song or two later, despite having trouble breathing due to the thickness of the mosh pit and pruning from sweat, I completely let loose. I somehow mustered the energy to start hardcore dancing through the crowd. Pushing people, being pushed, it was the best way to get out my anger from the day.
A little while after that, I took and elbow to the back left side of my head. Comes with the territory. The guy who did it felt really bad and apologized, which was nice, and I just brushed it off. I had too much energy to feel the pain.
Later in the night, I nearly broke my wrist trying to hold up a crowd surfer. And finally, towards the end of the night, while the band played the song Reservoir, I got up one last time to crowd surf. I was kept up for about half of the song. Every time I thought I was coming down, someone kept lifting me back up, which was great. The advantages of being a short skinny guy at a punk show.
Finally, a couple songs later, it was all over. Literally dripping with sweat, I grabbed a drink of water and headed outside only to realize Pete wasn’t with me. I went back in to find him talking with our old friend Mike Nevin. A punk rocker from our high school days, Mike is one of the nicest dudes you could meet.
While hanging around, I introduced myself to the opening acts, Pkew Pkew Pkew and Rozwell Kid who were hanging out at their merch booth. After chatting a bit more, we headed out. I didn’t want to wait for the train and frankly, wasn’t sure if they were still running so I had Pete send me the app Uber which I knew gave you your first ride free (when it is sent to you from a friend).
Once I got home, I showered and changed only to notice that my back looked like I had been whipped all day. The price you pay for holding back a crowd of rowdy punk kids. I always used to say that if you don’t come home from a show bleeding, it wasn’t a good show. So, clearly, this was a good show.