Upon entering the venue, I had no idea what building I was in. Amplified Live in Dallas is easily one of the most fascinating buildings I’ve ever seen, and easily shot up to my favorite venue in Dallas. You enter at a bar and walk until you’re at an outdoor wooden deck, with a balcony above you and a fountain of water to your left. It’s amazing, even so to the point PUP’s lead singer, Stefan Babcock, said “Thanks for coming out to this strange parking lot turned deck actually really cool venue with a fu***ing fountain?”

The show began with Pool Kids, a band I was vaguely familiar with due to my interest in the Florida indie rock scene (shoutout TV Dinner). They came out incredibly strong, jumping right into their most popular song off their relatively new self titled album That’s Physics, Baby.

It was a great show, relatively calm with a lot of singing along for the hits. Their stage presence was remarkable, and I had a ton of fun with their show. Very high energy, very good vocals, and great catchy songs. Then came Joyce Manor, my favorite band of the ensemble. One of my all time favorite bands is The Murder City Devils, and Joyce Manor are a contemporary version of this late ‘90s band; they did a cover of “Midnight Service At The Mÿtter Museum,” which got the music nerd in me very excited for their performance.

I guess this is a good time to mention I’ve never really been to a punk or emo show. I’m an avid listener of middle aged sad music, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. And man, do people go hard. The second Joyce Manor stepped on stage and broke into “Constant Headache,” the crowd was going absolutely berserk by carrying people and throwing shoes. I’ve never really seen this kind of energy in a crowd, as my usual throng includes balding men who stand next to the sound guy nodding with their arms crossed. Barry Johnson called us the “best crowd of the tour so far,” and later stage dove and stole someone’s top hat.

Then came PUP, the headliner and immediately the best band I’ve ever seen live. They came out performing “Four Chords,” a nice foundation to build the show to build up into afterwards. After the first 30 seconds of their performance, someone passed out, PUP stopped, the person got carried out, the thumbs went up, and the show continued. Before re-starting the show, Stefan Babcock, lead singer of PUP, said “Everything I say after this is going to be bullshit, but please just listen to this: If someone has fallen in the pit, pick them up before you go ham.” This was a forewarning of what was to come, which is the most animated crowd and performer I’ve ever seen. My personal favorite highlight was “Kids” off of their 2019 record Morbid Stuff. Alongside the noise of people being shoved around, carried, lots of shoes hitting the wood floor, and incredible guitarmanship from Steve Sladkowski, you could hear all 1,200 people at this sold out show screaming “I DON’T CARE ABOUT NOTHING BUT YOU.” It was an incredible experience, and one that stuck in my head for the days after (and even now as I’m writing this).

With 12 shows remaining on the tour, I’d recommend nothing else but seeing the trio of Pool Kids, Joyce Manor, and PUP. It’s the best show I’ve been to, and one I won’t stop talking about to everyone anytime they start talking about anything remotely related to music.