Passion Pit performance lives up to band’s name

Posted on Apr 30 2017 - 8:18pm by Austin Hille

Thursday night, The Lyric Oxford hosted possibly the most highly anticipated show of the semester as Passion Pit took the stage as a part of the C Spire CTX Tech Experience.

Passion Pit

(Photo by: Marlee Crawford)

The day was filled with events, speakers and interactive exhibits that gave Oxford one heck of a Thursday. To top it off, nationally acclaimed indietronica act Passion Pit was ready to give everybody a show worth the price of the ridiculously expensive tickets.

The native Massachusetts act, known for hits such as “Take a Walk” and “Sleepyhead,” has worked its way up to being one of the industry’s silent killers; the group hasn’t released a full-length album since 2015.

Despite flying generally below the radar, there was no shortage of excitement for the act’s stop here in Oxford, as indie-alternative students were anxious to relive freshman year of high school listening to “Take a Walk” on their iPod shuffles.

Although some of Passion Pit’s songs have led them into somewhat of a mainstream category, the act also has produced a variety of deep tracks that have more than cemented it, in my opinion, as an artistically reputable indie outfit, something of which I feel was highlighted well at last night’s show.

There was something beautifully human about the performance Thursday night. Passion Pit, although it relies heavily on electronic, programmed instrumentation, inserts itself between the technology and the music, and the result is a show that lives up to its name – very passionate.

The act’s fronting member, Michael Angelakos, performs lead vocals with such enthusiasm and vigor that it even seems a little off-putting at times. I would liken his demeanor to that of a crazy Beethoven. In a way, the music just possesses Angelakos, turning a smiley young adult into a mad scientist of sorts.

Angelakos’ touring band contributes to this genuine feel, with each member commonly covering a variety of instruments, ensuring that each part of the song also has that same human feel. Each synth cord, effect, midi-drum sound or bass pluck was individually triggered by a member, and if you are familiar with the music they play, that’s pretty impressive.

Passion Pit

(Photo by: Marlee Crawford)

This theme infiltrated all aspects of the show, including details such as lighting. With an electronic-based act like this, it is so easy to just go completely overboard with strobes, beams and fog everywhere, but yet the production showed fitting restraint.

The lighting effects seemed to really communicate what the song was trying to portray. It was joyful when it needed to be joyful, colorful when it needed to be colorful and disorienting when that’s what the song was conveying. It almost felt as if the production of the show were speaking to the audience as equally as Angelakos, further creating an experience worth sharing with an audience of all ages, shapes and sizes.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say this was a bucket-list experience, but it was really, really good. To be honest, I didn’t expect it to be on that level, but I am glad it was.