Concert Review

Concert Review: Pool Kids, Joyce Manor, and PUP

todayJune 14, 2023 201 2 24 5

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By Roly Meza

Music Journalist

Black and white photo of Pool Kids Singer
Pool Kids Singer Christine Goodwyne | Grace Wartman /KTSW

It was a typical Austin Friday night walking through 6th Street into the iconic Stubbs venue. There was the homeless, the dressed-up bachelorettes celebrating their big night, and the music-hungry beats making their way to a show. I was part of the latter group, as I had a ticket to Pool Kids, Joyce Manor, and PUP. A stacked lineup that brought fans from different backgrounds, genders, and sizes, to do one thing – sweat out the pent-up angst and sing along with fellow strangers to their favorite songs.

Pool Kids was the first band on the bill, and they came out fast and raw. The rapid music started, and the lead singer Christine Goodwyne screams out, “What the f*** is up Austin!” The crowd cheered as they jumped right into their original song “That’s Physics, Baby.” The bar line started to fizzle down as the audience began to take their position of preference. Some rushed closer to the stage, others slowly gravitated towards the stage as the songs rolled, and the rest stood back to feel them out.

Colored photo of Pool Kids guitarists
Pool Kids guitarists Christine and Andy jamming out! | Grace Wartman/ KTSW

Pool Kids got their stripes in Florida and have two albums out now. They have high energy and punctual guitar, sounding like it’s coming out of a calculator, and it only knows the right answer! It’s hard to pinpoint where the song is heading next as some of their songs start off slow with soft singing twisting into tempos and mixing in some heavy breakdowns. “We are Pool Kids, and this is definitely the most people we’ve played for!” Goodwyne exclaims as the Austin crowd starts jumping. Pool Kids can be sure they walked off the stage with some new Texas fans.

Joyce Manor full band playing
Joyce Manor in action. | Grace Wartman / KTSW

Next was Joyce Manor and the crowd was ready! He wasted no time saying, “If you came out tonight to pit, then this is the song for you!” Drums explode and so does the mosh pit as he goes into their opening song “Heart Tattoo.” He follows it up by addressing the fans again, “If you came here to nod your head and drink beer, then this is the song for you!” Barry Johnson, their lead singer goes into “Derailed,” a slower but still upbeat song. As the show went on people were jumping, packing in the front section, and crowd surfing. The pit never stopped moving, they either moshed or jumped, but it was almost impossible for them to stand still. The energy that was rumbling was enough to power a small town, and that’s what it did: a town of people with a sense of style that stems from a deep-rooted love of music.

Barry Johnson singer of Joyce Manor saluting Austin, Texas
Barry Johnson singer of Joyce Manor saluting Austin, Texas. | Grace Wartman / KTSW

Joyce Manor from Torrance, California, played a 21-song setlist that night ending with one of their most popular tracks “Catalina Fight Song.” Their new album 40 oz. to Fresno is out now and the fans ate up the new songs and wanted seconds. They walked off the stage while making sure to give thanks to their fellow musicians on the bill as well. It’s a joyous sight to see bands supporting each other and sharing fans. As everyone was catching their breath between acts, I overhear a group of lively teenagers say they got in the pit and hit each other’s head against one another, lost their wallet and had a hard time breathing, all with a smile on their faces. A hell of a show and we still had the main act to go.

Stefan Babcock from PUP singing.
Stefan Babcock from PUP singing. | Grace Wartman / KTSW

PUP which is an abbreviation for Pathetic Use of Potential is a band from Canada that has been making the rounds since 2010 and has four studio albums out now.  They quickly took control of the stage saying hello in their fashion, “What’s up fellow freaks!” Everyone cheered and raised their drink. It was on again; although not before Stefan Babcock the lead singer gave a message to all the fans, “Only important thing I’ll say tonight, take a quick look at the people around you. You can say hi if you don’t know each other. Look out after one another…The world is a piece of s*** let’s not make it one here.” That quickly set the mood and dove into “Morbid Stuff”, a strong and popular opening song. It brought everyone to clap along to their beat and start singing as loud as everyone could. The energy just kept going. It never got exhausting from beginning to end. They played a 16-song setlist never letting their foot off the gas pedal and addressing their fans in a charismatic way in between songs. They ended the evening with “DVP” which was one of their heavier songs, leaving the audience tired but still aching for more.

As the moon turned, people started to find their friends, the merch line filled up and people finished their drinks reminiscing on the show. Everyone had a smile on their face, especially the ones soaked in sweat. A proper punk rock concert in the heart of Texas. What’s a better way to spend a Wednesday?

PUP band in the middle of their jam
PUP band feeling the music! | Grace Wartman / KTSW

Featured Image by Grace Wartman/KTSW.

Written by: Preethi Mangadu

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  1. JoAna Garcia on June 14, 2023

    For someone who wasn’t there your words made me feel like I was! Heck I even teared up when I read what the lead singer Stefan Babcock said. When words fail, music speaks, and by what I’ve read music spoke to many fans and new fans alike!

  2. Derek Lopez on June 15, 2023

    I really enjoyed this article, can’t wait to read more like this! Keep up the great work!

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