Concerts Concerts FredFest at Sound Academy, w/ The Sole Pursuit, Breached, PUP, and Hollerado

FredFest at Sound Academy, w/ The Sole Pursuit, Breached, PUP, and Hollerado

Breached at Sound Academy
FredFest
The Sole Pursuit, Breached, PUP, Hollerado
Sound Academy in Toronto, ON
April 11, 2014

Review by: Colton Eddy
Photos by: Adam Pulicicchio

Presented by Toronto's 102.1 The Edge, FredFest was an event that brought together contest winners to spill beer, try their hand at the fooseball tables and munch on some greasy fries.

Hosted by radio personalties Fearless Fred and Mel, the exclusive show brought performances from The Sole Pursuit, Breached, PUP, and Hollerado. In a strange hazy period of time where Toronto's rock stations are searching for their own identities, it was refreshing to realize that CFNY still have the ability to organize an event that delivers such high-octane performances and offer a stage for listeners to experience an affordable evening with their favourite artists.

Before our writer arrived for the show, Toronto-based acts The Sole Pursuit and Breached each put on a killer set on the Sound Academy stage to kick off the first half of Fredfest. Luckily, our photographer was in the pit to catch shots of the bands in the act.

The Sole Pursuit

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Breached

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PUP

PUP, formerly known as Topanga, are on the cusp of abandoning that comma break as they've managed to piss all over the critics with their self-titled debut and mark their territory as one of the most promising acts that have come out of this country in a long, long while. 
 
They play loud music and the beer-fuelled audience symbolize their decision-making skills to get into this whole crazy thing. As their well-known story goes, they simultaneously quit their day jobs two years back to focus entirely on their musical project. Since dropping their self-titled in the United States this month, it's been described as a punk record that Weezer would have recorded somewhere between the Blue Album and Pinkerton
 
PUP's gang-chant vocals are packed nicely into a frantic delivery that packs a punch into something that is marketable, danceable and, well, they're like a scrappy little dog. Or as their acronym, coined by front-man Stefan Babcock's grandmother, stands for: Pathetic Use of Potential. 
 
They carry a weight of self-assured grit and didn't disappoint a hungry crowd, delivering their set that included the anticipated force of "Reservoir" and "Lionheart", tripping through the whole record and taking their middle finger to point it toward themselves. If you haven't taken the time to purchase, stream, or download their record, do yourself a favour. The viciously melodic gut from Babcock, Steve Sladkowski, Nestor Chumak and Zack Mykula is worth inclusion on your summertime road-trip playlists.  
 
Their history with Hollerado is the obvious, as they've signed to their own label Royal Mountain Records, and their live performance is complementary to the highest degree.
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In between sets, the audience was treated to a projection of "Desire 126", the Dave Foley starring video that Hollerado had dropped earlier that day on Funny or Die. It documents Foley in a faux infomercial for a sexual enhancement pill and it is worth noting that one of the ladies that he targets at gym is sporting a PUP sweater. Some product placements come in the form of a bro-hug (check it out here.)

Hollerado

An oversized vintage Barenaked Ladies tee was drenched in sweat as Menno Versteeg pranced around the stage in a style akin to Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong. He successfully commandeered the Ottawa-based Hollerado to charge the crowd into a controlled chaos of celebration. Knowing that summer is on the horizon, there were moments where that longing for warmer temperatures lifted the roof off the dingy venue. 

Hollerado is Hollerado and they delivered exactly what was hoped for by the 'Let's Go Blue Jays'-style choir from the crowd. That isn't a bad thing. There were explosions of confetti, an endless flow of bouncy jams and a mutual sense of satisfaction between them and their fans.

When the boys blasted through recent hits like "So It Goes" and "Pick Me Up", they received the same degree of excitement and power as older favourites from Record In A Bag like  "Juliette" and the steady pulse of "Americananarama". There were communal high-fives between frat boys and at the end of the set, Menno invited a fan onto stage to takeover the guitar strumming responsibilities. 

Hollerado has somehow calculated the finite science that blends rhythmic hooks with sophisticated eclecticism - it's punky but divine, and at the end of the night, as the crowd picked strands of pink paper from their partners' hair, it wasn't enough. Very rarely do bands put everything out there for an entire set and have a breathless crowd wanting more. Like a casual love affair, Hollerado ain't for the lonely-hearted. But they'll be back.

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