On the night of March 8 the three bands — The Drew Thomson Foundation, The Screaming Females, and PUP — brought an energy infused show to the Spanish ballroom at McMenamin’s Elks Temple.
First to take the stage was the Drew Thomson Foundation. The Ontario Canada based singer and guitarist created this solo project in light of becoming sober and upon this venture from his other hardcore band, Single Mothers, created an act with a more docile approach. Thomson, accompanied on stage by guitarist Dan, drummer Peter Landi and bassist Sara Froese, played alternative indie songs ranging throughout a variety of topics. Addressing aspects of life like addiction, karma and divorce, the quartet played a short ten-song set for their first time visiting Tacoma.
Next up was the Screaming Females. The trio was formed in 2005 in New Brunswick, New Jersey and has been playing their rock n’ roll charged music together ever since. Made up of drummer Jarret Dougherty, bassist King Mike and guitarist/vocalist Marissa Paternoster, the outfit produced an electric show and offered an incredible amount of stage presence for their audience.
The group has over 15 years as well as more than six albums full of experience playing together and this show proved it. With forceful vocals and heavy riffs emanating from both Mike and Paternoster, the two shredded the stage and held nothing back with their musical performance of the evening. The band, strictly business and with little else to say, played an eight-song set before retreating from the stage and leaving fans in the crowd hungry for more.
Finally, to satiate the hunger for music that the two openers provided, PUP took to the stage as headliner of the evening. First formed back in 2011 under the name “Topanga” — a reference to the show “Boy Meets World” — the group reconsidered and renamed themselves as PUP in 2013, which is an acronym for “Pathetic Use of Potential.” Since then, they have released three albums, the most recent being titled “Morbid Stuff” and was released back in April 2019.
With guitarist Steve Sladkowski, bassist Nestor Chumak, drummer Zack Mykula and Stefan Babcock on vocals and guitar the Toronto, Canada natives deliver high energy and hard hitting, pop-punk music. For this show, being the first time they’ve visited Tacoma, PUP decided to play an unusual set and decided to, as Babcock put it, “play every song they know how to.”
Performing music from all three of their albums, PUP catered to fans old and new alike. They played an intense 16-song set and failed to disappoint the entire time. The high-energy group resonated with an enigmatic audience as they sang and screamed along to some of their favorite songs like “DVP”, “Reservoir,” “Scorpion Hill” and “Bloody Mary Kate and Ashley.” Along with the excited fans’ sing along and crowd surfing came the high-energy mosh pit that didn’t let up for the entirety of the show.
With consistent enthusiasm apparent in the audience and an incredible atmosphere lingering, frontman Stefan Babcock noted, “I’m not going to lie, this is way more fun than I thought I’d have on a Sunday in Tacoma.”
As the band stuck to their no-encore tradition the fun night came to a close but left no one disappointed. If any of these three bands come back to town in the near future, if you miss them it’ll be something to regret.