London was truly graced to have the likes of the indie-electronic group, Passion Pit, perform in the Forum. The surprisingly large space in the old stage-theatre was full of the band’s committed fans who were humming tunes and wearing the merchandise on sale outside the auditorium. The dim-lighting and theatre-styled architecture created an intimate feeling in the venue and added a sense of warmth to the hall that was well received as the crowd came in from the winter-chill.
The Massachusetts five-piece are no strangers to the British stage, performing at the Leeds/Reading Festival earlier this year that earned them the reputation of having brilliant visual shows and an impressive front-man whose energy can match the bounciness of their music. And yes, the band, once again, outdid themselves with a dazzling performance of electronic tunes at their best.
Following from the band’s recently released new album “Gossamer” that followed their 2009 debut, “Manners”, Passion Pit dived straight in with their latest single, ‘Take A Walk’, that had the entire crowd bouncing and singing along to it. The speed and charisma didn’t end there, as they continued with recent tracks, ‘Carried Away’, ‘It’s Not My Fault, I’m Happy’ and ‘I’ll Be Alright’. A lot of Passion Pit’s brilliance of the night was revealed when they played their slower-jams like ‘Constant Conversations’ and ‘ Live To Tell The Tale’, shown by the crowd as they stood with wide-eyes and reverence. The light show at the venue aided this also with quick beams spinning around the hall during the fast paced tracks and dark, slow lighting that showered the crowd during the more leisured songs.
Instruments played by the band varied from bass guitars to synthesizers to a booming drum kit which each gave something special to every song but never got muffled during the performance. Instead the sound was clear and sharp with the band really getting into the music as they flung themselves backwards and forwards in a tribal manner. It is unfortunate, however, that the microphone for lead singer Michael Angelakos was quite indistinct and so was drowned out by the heavy sounds from the instruments, as his voice is one of the defining features of the band. Although this was saved, in some ways, by the fact that the crowd knew most of the lyrics to the songs and the singer’s performance was dynamic, with him at one point kicking over a chair , sending two of the legs spinning into the crowd.
The show concluded with the band’s past hits that first brought them onto the scene ‘Little Secrets’, ‘Moth’s Wings’ and ‘Sleepyhead’. These tracks were by far the best moments of the show, as the familiar riffs were electric in the air and gold confetti exploded into the audience. Perhaps at the wrong, as the confetti settled into the mouths of the audience, as they were singing along. But despite the choking hazard, the crowd at the Forum were completely enthralled by Passion Pit’s show and the power of their songs which left everyone certain that there were better things to come from this group.
& Josh Zietcer