Concert Review: Hollerado and Born Ruffians @ Pepsi Pop Up

Early Wednesday morning, the world’s largest pop bottle popped up at the corner of John and Richmond. The Pepsi Pop Up was full of non-stop pop culture from 11am to evening, as concerts included Dwayne Gretzky, USS, and The Elwins. The evening pop up show on Thursday night was no different as Hollerado and Born Ruffians took over the Pepsi bottle and let me tell you, this was the most popular Pepsi bottle in town. “Doors” opened at 7 and by 8 the line was a couple blocks long. If you were lucky enough to get inside, the bar was serving 4 different kinds of Pepsi. All you had to do was point at the kind you wanted and a cold one was yours.

The show started promptly after the doors were open. Hollerado took the stage first. The band was full of energy, despite having had the past couple months off from performing. The band have spent the past months in the studio working on a brand new album butaApparently Pepsi offered them “$40” and free Pepsi so they were sold. Hollerado performed a couple of songs including hits like So It Goes, Americanarama, and Desire 126. If you haven’t seen the music videos for those three, I suggest you get on YouTube.

After the set, the high energy Pepsi Pop Up host (obviously they get free Pepsi too because he was bouncing off the walls) came on stage to ask the band a couple of questions. The host started off with some questions stolen right from the Interviewing 101 handbook. It didn’t take long before Hollerado’s Menno stopped him in his tracks and asked the audience for some of their questions. The band told the crowd their favourite colours (after a quick chorus of Tokyo Police Club’s Favourite Colour) and their favourite Born Ruffians’ song, which is the acoustic version of Needle.  The Q&A period was the perfect introduction for Born Ruffians’ set. Hollerado hung around after their performance to sign their merch and whatever Pepsi merch fans could get their hands on.

Just like Hollerado, Born Ruffians rocked through a short set ending with Hollerado’s favourite, Needle. The bouncers must have realized the venue was below capacity because fans were streaming into the bottle throughout their entire set. Each group seemed more and more grateful to be inside the show. Fans came running, skipping and jumping through the main doors to catch the remaining songs. A very enthusiastic group of Born Ruffians’ fans danced in to the beat during Permanent Hesitation. Although both bands put on quite a show, the sound quality wasn’t great, but hey, they were playing inside a pop bottle!

Review by Amy Wesson |

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