PUP and Pool Kids at the 9:30 Club

PUP the band in Washington D.C. 2023

I eagerly waited for a span of 72 months and 9 days to relive this invigorating yet comforting concert experience again. PUP (Pathetic Use of Potential) is a four man Canadian band based out of Toronto, Ontario who know how to put on a killer show. They kicked off their tour on May 21, 2023 at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. with a fully sold out show. As the night started to unravel and fans began to fill the venue, you could feel the excitement in the air as they waited for PUP to take the stage.

Pool Kids

Pool Kids kicked off the night with an electrifying set full of guitar solos, head banging and incredibly catchy vocals. They are an indie/alternative rock band composed of lead vocalist and instrumentalist Christine Goodwyne, bassist Nicolette Alvarez, guitarist Andy Anaya and drummer Caden Clinton. This group really knew how to get the crowd excited for the night with their upbeat music, and their energy and style perfectly complemented PUP’s vibe.


As the instruments were switched out and the PUP banner appeared, fans anxiously awaited the arrival of Stefan, Steve, Nestor and Zack. “Morbid Stuff,” one of their top songs, started off their set. It was a subtle yet invigorating way to introduce themselves to the crowd below. Throughout the entirety of the show, the crowd didn’t stop moving once, not even between songs. PUP kept the energy high with their guitar solos, humorous commentary and the “crowd-surf friendly” environment. Their set was a perfect array of songs, each representing a staple time in PUP’s history including “Kids,” “Sleep in the Heat,” and one of my all time favorites, “DVP.” The new fans enjoyed the show as much as the long-time fans, proving this band knows how to put on an unforgettable show. When PUP performs, be ready to hear fans continuing to cheer “encore” even after the encore is over.

Being a fan since 2016 and seeing PUP grow over the years made this show extra personal to me, especially since I have also grown as a person and as a creative. Having a full circle moment like this with a band that is so dedicated to their fanbase inspires me to continue doing what I love. PUP is a group of the greatest performers I’ve ever had the opportunity to experience, and after this show I reconfirmed that stance. This band will forever inspire the uninspired and create an environment sought after by many. 

Words and Photos by Hannah Tallant

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