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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Concert Review: Passion Pit at the House of Blues

Posted By on Wed, Mar 31, 2010 at 10:12 AM

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Passion Pit has been on the road almost nonstop for two years on the strength of their debut album, Manners. Though they've graduated from the club circuit to sold-out larger venues and festivals and drawn in a newer, younger crowd, the set list hasn't changed. The 45-minute jaunt of Manners, some new songs from the soon-to-be re-released bonus edition of Manners, and the Chunk of Change EP amount to the sum total of their catalog. With hundreds of shows under their belt at this point with the same hour's-worth of material, it wouldn't be hard to imagine a passionate but mechanical live show at this point.

Last night's show at the House of Blues would put any concerns to rest. Michael Angelakos was in the midst of "The Reeling" early in the show — prancing, spinning, clapping around the strobe-lit stage and crooning in that distinctive falsetto — when he held the mic over the pogosticking throng for a sing-along chorus of Oh no's and cracked a big, sincere smile.

I guess it never gets old hearing a crowd sing the chorus of your song back to you.

When the pit was swaying and the synth vibes loud, when Angelakos was dancing and the seven light displays on stage were flashing, when the young crowd turned the HOB into Dance Party USA after screaming their favorite sing-along lines — that's when the show was at its best. The anthemic, synth-heavy sections of "Make Light," "Little Secret," "Eyes as Candles" and, of course, "Sleepyhead" were sugary and caffeinated prods, sending the balcony and pit into delirious movement. The beautiful and surprising nuance of Manners came through in between the mini raves, but was largely ignored by the crowd, which seemed very focused on jumping and dancing.

The band looked energized and engaged during the set, which lasted just over an hour, and the crowd returned the energy tenfold. And you wonder if, even after hundreds of times, after graduating from hipster hype to top-ten lists, the boys aren't also still defenseless against the little Prozac pill of an album they put together, which, even after a hundred plays, never ceases to brighten the day.

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