Passion Pit Lee's Palace, Toronto ON June 16
Published Jun 18, 2009Volatile, sky-scraping vocals and multiple synths go together like Jamaican beef patties and lettuce, cheese, and mayo (i.e. really well). Unlike the latter, the former leads to dancing. During Tuesday's Lee's Palace appearance, Boston's Passion Pit consistently culled danceable sonic ebullience from the above formula, throwing in dashes of scattered blips and percussive explosions just to mix things up. Sometime in the last year or so, Toronto audiences tacitly declared dancing acceptable; Passion Pit's sound is bespoke for the change in tenor and unsurprisingly led to prolonged writhing. In a ten-track set, the band's recipe altered little (regardless of the "You Can Call Me Al" wink on "Little Secrets"); the brevity served it well. Energy seldom flagged and epic cuts, especially "Sleepyhead" and "The Reeling," towered in all the right places. Beer bottles teetered on edges throughout as bouncing ensued. Opener and Chunk of Change EP standout, "Better Things," kicked off with "Let Your Backbone Slide" beats before launching into a hazardous synth jaunt. From there, the pace never slowed, despite the occasional bell-filled bridge (see "Folds in Your Hands").
Singer Michael Angelakos's voice did much of the melodic work, dancing with lazy-day video-game keys on "Make Light" and managing a jump-along session during the massive "Sleepyhead." Still, the omnipresent keys constantly shone, boomeranging above driving percussion on "Let Your Love Grow Tall," shimmering — as the lyrics portended — on "Moth's Wings," and wandering precariously for "Better Things." Based on the aforementioned template, Passion Pit's debut LP, Manners, overflows with potential singles. Nevertheless, with more hooks than a tackle shop and a joyous live show, the affable quintet compensated for latent homogeny. And the show was short.