The Big Pink, The Temper Trap and Passion Pit. Three bands I often confuse due to the zeitgeist back then. The latter are these slinky sly old sods. I believe the highlight, though, was when supporting songstress Ellie Goulding gave me the eye whilst she performed her set. I reckon I was in there…
Date: March 9, 2010
Venue: Rock City
Ignore their physics student appearance – these boys may look like they’ve all got assignments to hand in on the diverse composite structure of the negative atom (or something equally as nerdy) first thing in the morning, but they’re appearance is deceptive. These boys are no geeky shrinking violets hiding behind textbooks. They’re here to have fun…and they certainly know what fun sounds like.
It’s clear that the Emerson College, Boston, alumni have a vast degree of intelligence though. You don’t get to hear swirly smart-pop like Moth’s Wings and Little Secrets from knuckle-dragging meatheads who’ve only just mastered the English language. No, these songs are born from discerning, imaginative, erudite minds.
It’s bizarre to learn that Passion Pit’s foppish, unshaven leader Michael Angelakos didn’t actually ask for any of this being in a band lark. His early ideal was to play lone tiny laptop shows to a group of beard-stroking college nerds. But one thing led to another when keyboardist/guitarist Ian Hultquist propositioned him to get a band together, and from haphazardly assembled foundations, Passion Pit grew into a svelte, sexy groove machine full of glitzy tunes and all-out lush electronica.
Angelakos has a stupendously amorous falsetto that is piercing but never cloying, while the band splice together a heady mix of vintage funk, soul and odd-pop which loves to boogie somewhere between The Flaming Lips’ astral loveliness and the delirious disco pop of the late 70s.
Their electro-pop wizardry is delectable. The sound of a squelchy synth, a pelted cowbell and a luscious array of squiggly and squalling electro tomfoolery combines well with the glam disco lights which make up the backdrop.
The young crowd lap up the performance, which culminates in the sample-heavy fuzzy mind-meld of their most famous track, Sleepyhead, which ensures that the crowd’s passion for Passion Pit just reached new levels.