Up and coming indie buzz band Passion Pit brought their electric live show to Assembly Hall on Wednesday. While the show was visually exciting, the performance left something to be desired.
First, let’s talk about the good. Passion Pit played almost every song off of 2009’s Manners, they also played some songs from their debut EP. The band brought strobe lights, spot lights, colored lights, and… well, they brought a lot of lights, so it was fun to watch what the crowd and the stage. The music sounded awesome; one might even say album quality.
This leads me to my first critique, everything sounded staged, almost too much like the album. The band members played a lot of synthesizers, an instrument notoriously boring to watch, and I couldn’t tell what drumming was done live compared to what was prerecorded on a drum machine. However, lead singer Michael Angelakos showed a lot of energy throughout the show.
I may be in the minority opinion on this, because come on, everybody loves Passion Pit (except miserly old me). It seemed the crowd was very responsive; they sang, clapped, and danced for the entire show. Maybe Assembly Hall wasn’t the best venue choice since the dance floor was crowded and more expensive, and the chair seating left something to be desired.
Opening act, Black Joe Lewis and the Honey Bears however seemed to be the antithesis of Passion Pit (and I still don’t know why they’re touring together). Singer Joe Lewis came on stage and used his guitar to actually make some music. The band’s horn section sounded loud and impressive. Every member of the band was right on rhythmically, tonally, and in enthusiasm. Lewis repeatedly thanked the crowd for not booing him off stage or shouting “Passion Pit!” the entire time (I guess Michigan did that). I enjoyed Black Joe Lewis a lot more than Passion Pit, but maybe that’s because I like to watch people play traditional instruments and I’m a bad dancer.
Regardless, the show was pretty exciting. I think it was funded by an environmentalist group, so hopefully, someone planted a tree. If you missed it, fret not; Passion Pit is going to release at least one more record (then, I anticipate, break up) and I think Black Joe Lewis will be around for a long time (because he sounds old, but he’s only in his twenties).