Passion Pit thrills ROC with stimulating show

It would be difficult to find a musical group that consistently performs more invigorating shows than Passion Pit. So, it was far from surprising that the group delivered a superb show on Monday Feb. 18 at the Main Street Armory in Rochester.

A few years ago, Passion Pit may have been a foreign name to many modern music fans, but the electro-pop group has been steadily gaining popularity. The release of its second full-length album, Gossamer, in the summer of 2012 has earned the group even more recognition, with hits like “Take a Walk” now played everywhere from the radio airwaves to Starbucks. 

Although some feel that there are drawbacks to a band gaining popularity or edging towards the “mainstream,” the larger fan base seemed to benefit the group at Monday’s concert.  The Armory was packed with both young and some older adults, and the energy of the vast crowd was palpable as Passion Pit took the stage.

That energy erupted as soon as the band launched into its first song of the night, “I’ll Be Alright,” an electronically synthesized explosion of powerful riffs and choruses. Immediately, the crowd began screaming and jumping to the beat as the five-piece group let loose. The band’s trademark wild but gorgeously layered music was what everyone had been waiting for, and the crowd was not disappointed.

Frontman and singer Michael Angelakos, a Buffalo native, led the intricate music with his unique falsetto. He didn’t miss a note, and his passion and commitment was evident in his strained face. The other members were similarly spot-on and energetic.

Although one wouldn’t know it from watching the show, Angelakos has recently struggled with bipolar disorder, which he came forward to the public about last year. In fact, last summer Passion Pit cancelled six of its scheduled tour dates because Angelakos reported that he needed time to improve his mental health. Fortunately, the band is back in 2013 with a months-long North American tour.

One show standout was the anthemic “Take a Walk.” During this song Angelakos asked the crowd to throw their hands in the air as bubbles issued from the sides of the stage, an unexpected and fun addition. 

During “Mirrored Sea,” a green strobe effect added a mesmerizing quality. The band also played an electrifying rendition of “Sleepyhead,” always a crowd favorite.

Swedish duo Icona Pop and Brooklyn-based Matt & Kim opened the concert. Matt & Kim opened perfectly, pumping up the crowd with its upbeat pop tunes and Kim Schifino’s dancing on top of her drum set. 

Passion Pit provided the crowd with a musical experience to be cherished. Rochester will eagerly await its return.