Out And About: The Synthpop Ecstasy of Passion Pit
    • FRIDAY, MAY 15, 2015

    • Posted by: Don Saas

    My greatest fear in life is the day that I get too old to enjoy new music. Some reputable publication (I can't remember which one) just did an article about a study that says people stop listening to new music after they turn 35. F***. I'm nine years away. I bring this fear up because I caught Passion Pit at Kings Theatre in Ditmas Park on Monday, and while Passion Pit put on the sort of great show that had several thousand teenagers/early twentysomethings losing their s*** in an ecstatic freakout, I rarely found myself being able to vibe to those synthpop sounds in quite the same way, and I already miss the ability to be that unguardedly happy about pop music.







    It's concerning because I love Passion Pit. Manners is one of my favorite records and although I have some quibbles with Gossamer, it has many moments of sublime excellence in its own right. Kindred felt like a misstep in the way it sacrificed much of the subversive energy that made Passion Pit special, but even it had moments where you couldn't help but remember the grand but edgy bombast that is decidedly the Michael Angelakos touch.

    And Monday night, the kids and young adults who'd paid for their tickets were lost in waves of zealous pleasure as Michael Angelakos and crew played their career-spanning set. Whether it was new tracks like "Lifted Up (1985)" or classic cuts like "Sleepyhead" and show-starter "Little Secrets," the crowd danced and twirled and sang perhaps like you'd expect at a sold-out venue with a 3,000 person capacity. It was nearly religious. I became entranced by the synchronicity between the music, the light show, and the movement of the audience. But I could never feel that way.

    My ennui couldn't have stemmed from Passion Pit's performance. Michael Angelakos has the explosive stage energy of a punk rock frontman with a touch of the "seems literally possessed" feel of Joe Cocker. And the band sunk into tight grooves and hypnotic rhythms. Maybe it was the acoustics of where my seats were which sounded miserable compared to the rest of the Theatre. Maybe I am just getting too old to be that enthralled by such a polished synthpop performance. Maybe I need something a little looser and a little more intimate. But don't let my existential malaise dissuade you from catching Passion Pit live. For the fans in attendance, it was clear that the set was everything they'd asked for.







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