Show Review: Passion Pit w/ Youngblood Hawke & Wild Belle at The Masquerade
Freshly on the road following the release of their second LP, ‘Gossamer’, dance-champs Passion Pit settled into the Masquerade Music Park this past Saturday for a lively show with tour mates Youngblood Hawke & Wild Belle. Our dear friend and guest writer Leila Regan-Porter made the short trek to Atlanta to get up close and personal with all the action. Enjoy!
As a particularly manic Atlanta day (thanks in no small part to the gloriously mad-capped Little Five Points Halloween Parade) wound down into a cool clear evening, the skinny jean masses flocked to Masquerade’s grassy Music Park for a sold out show with Cambridge, Mass.’ favorite electro indie party-bringers, Passion Pit.
The show opened with Wild Belle and Youngblood Hawke, the latter of which got the kids shuffling eagerly with poppy commercial-ready tunes. “We Come Running,” a tasty bit of fun earwig tuneage, drew considerable enthusiasm from the young crowd, showing promise from a band that has only one EP release to their name.
Passion Pit hit the ground running with “Take A Walk,” a track that was performed just a week ago on “Saturday Night Live.” Delightfully anthemic with a pleasantly thudding backbeat, it’s the best foot to leap from for a band that is obviously eager to bring a joyous party to wherever they go. Bedecked in his usual uniform of skinny pants, shirt and tie, singer Michael Angelakos flew back and forth across the stage, doing dancey laps like he was at an indie club’s charity marathon. The crowd’s shouty sing-along of the chorus set the tone for an evening of feel-good audience participation.
Instantly-recognizable favorite “The Reeling,” from 2010’s Manners, continued the sing-along vibe, with the kids’ choir being aptly replicated by the cunning mix of backing tracks, band vocals and youthful coos from the crowd.
The alternating dreamy pink and blue strobes glowed and burst over the heads and into the eyes of the pulsating audience, who were constantly bobbing in motion with their arms in the air. Angelakos’ energetic falsetto didn’t let up throughout the whole rush of a show, keeping high as a kite and soaring with enthusiasm.
Things cooled down with the ethereal feminine backing vocals of “Constant Conversation,” which got down like a twee tribute to Keith Sweat with more Free People than FUBU, but with all the smooth vibes still intact.
The throbbing synths returned quickly with “Mirrored Sea,” which managed to marry an ‘80s keyboard sound with the Technicolor of the ‘90s clubby crowd (Madchester’s Hacienda anyone?) and the neon revival of the ‘00s that made for an ecstatic down and dirty vibe. No doubt the festival-like venue and echoing whistles could make one reminiscent about those early raves of the acid house heyday. Who remembers that second Summer of Love? These guys could be the third, or at least an autumn.
The addictively militant beats and robotic bird-like bleeps of “I’ll Be Alright” closed down the pre-encore set. Angelakos’ earnest and supremely human and heartfelt voice ties together all the synthetic sounds that the band churns out with nonstop precision, keeping the sound from ever getting too clinical even in its most blippy and beat-a-riffic moments.
“Moth’s Wings” and “Little Secrets” wrapped up the epic party in the encore, with the latter exploding in a crescendo of fuzzy keys and falsetto disco vocals. And the adoring audience exploded with it, with the cries of “higher and higher” resonating throughout the packed crowd and rising up into the chilly air. – Leila Regan-Porter