Passion Pit @ Marquee Theatre| 9/11/12
Massachusetts electropoppers Passion Pit haven't performed in the Valley in almost three years. The band's second full-length album, Gossamer, was released a couple of months ago, and fans responded quite well to the new songs -- but more on that later. The sold-out Marquee Theatre crowd was packed full of sweaty fans jumping and singing along to a highly anticipated show.
This scenario doesn't happen often, but I can't help but feel like I've been a part of it before. Fans waiting years to see a particular dance band, the crowd treating new material as well as old material, wondering why I bothered showering before the show because everyone was sweating, and most of all being part of a huge, dancing crowd, it brought me to a clear conclusion -- Passion Pit is this year's Cut Copy.
From the moment the band opened with the synth-laden, über-danceable "Take a Walk," Passion Pit came out fighting and showed no signs of slowing down. That's bound to happen when a band frontloads a couple of its most upbeat songs, playing "Walk" and "The Reeling" at the beginning of its set. The third song was "Moth's Wings," sure to be a breather, right? Not quite, as the crowd practically out-sang frontman Michael Angelakos as he enthusiastically grabbed the mic stand and thrust it into the audience.
Playing a show on the anniversary of 9/11 puts a band in a tricky position, but Angelakos handled it gracefully. "Our set is dedicated to all of the families affected by 9/11," he said, sitting at a keyboard for "Eyes as Candles" as the crowd chanted "USA!" over and over again.
The new songs were received remarkably well, with fans screaming as soon as they recognized just about anything and singing on cue to every "whoa" and "oh," notably on the band's R&B jam, "Constant Conversations." Dancing to catchy songs is one thing, but rocking out to almost every single song is quite another, so my hat's off to you, Passion Pit fans. The band's set ended on a high note, with confetti cannons erupting as Angelakos started singing "Sleepyhead." This seemed like it would be the highlight of the band's set, but they returned for "Mirrored Sea," which could very well be one of the best songs from Gossamer and what was undeniably the crowd favorite -- "Little Secrets." I kid you not: Almost everyone in the venue was jumping up and down and throwing their hands up for the "higher and higher" lyrics.
In spite of almost a three-year wait, Passion Pit played a solid set and lived up to the hype -- and, yes, Michael Angelakos can really sing that high in person.
Passion Pit Setlist: Take A Walk The Reeling Moth's Wings Better Things Let Your Love Grow Tall Carried Away Eyes as Candles To Kingdom Come Live to Tell the Tale Constant Conversations I'll be Alright It's Not My Fault I'm Happy Smile Upon Me Sleepyhead
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Encore: Mirrored Sea Little Secrets
Critic's Notebook: Last Night: Passion Pit at Marquee Theatre. Personal Bias: I listened to Manners a lot in college. The Crowd: Tiny hipster girls and their burly bro boyfriends. Overheard in the Crowd: "I'm not even here for the band. I just love Doritos Tacos Locos Supreme" Random Notebook Dump: Apparently, there was a cat fight outside. One More Thing: The 45-minute will call line extending all the way to Mill Avenue was a first.