Passion Pit live at the Middle East Downstairs, February 6, 2009
SO LAST FALL: Maybe Passion Pit will play more songs live after their album comes out in May.
Twenty-five minutes into Passion Pit's set last Friday at the Middle East downstairs, Michael Angelakos — the bearded lead singer of the Cambridge electro-pop band — mopped sweat from his brow with a towel and made an apologetic announcement: "We just have a few more songs left." A girl in a gold spandex tube top looked positively downtrodden for someone so glittery. "We don't have many songs."
The combination of an at-capacity room and the communal desire to dance to the band's Moog-heavy jams made the space balmy (not to mention malodorous), but no one's spirits appeared to be, uh, dampened for long by Angelakos's caveat. The band launched into "Sleepyhead," their blog-approved buzz winner from 2008's Chunk of Change EP — a song that happily propels itself via layers of space-invader synths, pin-prick chimes, and an ultra-high-pitched sample from an Irish folk song. People jumped, bobbed their heads awkwardly, or raised their X'd-up hands — smallish set list be damned.
For their part, the Pit have achieved the indie-band ideal: heaps and heaps of attention. In the short span of 2088, Pitchfork proclaimed them an "it band," MTV tailed them at CMJ for a day, and you all-knowing Phoenix readers voted them "Best Local New Act." Still, life in the modern age of music blogs moves fast, and some listeners are already, like, so over it. (Passion Pit? Wasn't that last fall?)
Passion Pit's first full album — to be released in May on Frenchkiss in the US (and likely Columbia in the UK) — may be their proving ground. At this show, they offered a flash of a preview, introducing a new song and launching into an amalgam of squealing synths, rattling tambourines, Angelakos's signature (if overused) falsetto, and lots of na-na-nas and hey-hey-heys. It fit snugly in with the rest of their mini-catalogue, so it didn't take long for everyone to sing right along.
: Live Reviews
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