Passion Pit, In Concert
Published on February 12, 2013 by Sara Foss

Over at the DG, I review Monday's Passion Pit show in Troy.

Here's an excerpt:

"I’ve been a fan of the electro-pop band Passion Pit ever since their song 'Sleepyhead' hit the airwaves, but I developed more of an interest in them after I learned, via Rolling Stone, that band leader Michael Angelakos has been battling bipolar disorder since he was a teenager. I don’t know why, but this knowledge made Passion Pit’s music seem both more endearing and complex, as if the band itself is locked in a constant battle to balance its undeniably upbeat dance music with an angstier, more conflicted sensibility.

Their hit song 'Take A Walk' might make you feel like dancing, but the lyrics — 'but then my partner called to say the pension funds were gone/he made some bad investments now the accounts are overdrawn/I took a walk' — suggest mounting dread and desperation. Or at least the terror of living through the financial crash after you’ve gone and lost all of your investors’ money.

For better or worse, most of Passion Pit’s music is not that topical. The band played the RPI Fieldhouse on Monday night, and Angelakos revealed himself to be an energetic and generous showman, eager to get people dancing and waving their hands in the air. From the first songs, which included 'I’ll Be Alright,' of the band’s 2012 release, 'Gossamer,' and 'The Reeling,' from their previous album, 'Manners,' it was clear that Passion Pit is a band that doesn’t slow down, and there was a brief period where I was beginning to feel a bit exhausted, as many of the band’s songs are delivered in the same heightened, and synth-heavy, emotional pitch.

I really like 'Gossamer,' but the second half of the album threatens to dissipate into clouds of vacuous electro-pop, and I worried that the concert would do the same. Fortunately, the band kicked things into another gear when it slowed down and played 'Constant Conversations,' an R&B-style make-out song in which Angelakos seemed to be channeling Prince (or perhaps Beck in his 'Midnite Vultures' phase).

Click here to read the whole thing.

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