Passion Pit - Puregroove, London - 19/2/09

20 Feb 2009

"a minute and a half in and a barrage of euphoric synths screaming dance floor hit exploded across the bridge, bringing the whole piece together. all of a sudden their sound stepped up a gear; coinciding with a rise in the atmosphere, taking the audience further and further away from their otherwise drab thursday lunch time..."

Passion Pit

What better way to spend a grey Thursday lunch time than crammed inside a north London record store anticipating the most promising thing to come out of Massachusetts? Assembled in Puregroove, a sea of dodgy haircuts and charity shop outfits, we waited anxiously for Michael Angelakos and his band of electro pioneers. Somewhat resembling the cast of Superbad, Passion Pit emerged in dribs and drabs, setting up a series of instruments in front of an eager midday crowd.

With MGMT and Hot Chip comparisons rife in the press, I was particularly intrigued to find out how Passion Pit were choosing to transpose their distinctly studio sounding EP into the live arena. It initially appeared that my queries weren't unfounded, the group fumbled their way through the start of their set, falling victim to a series of technical interruptions. More often than not, a complex composition layering up different samples, relying on a significant degree of effects will sound far weaker live than recorded; dispelling the magic that drew you in. As anyone who's seen Bloc Party live since the release of their Intimacy album will tell you, it can take a substantial amount of tinkering before a band find the right live platform to support their electronic experimentations.

By the time Passion Pit reached 'Sleepyhead', their new UK single, these creases ironed themselves out and the band came across as far more relaxed and infinitely more coherent. A minute and a half in and a barrage of euphoric synths screaming dance floor hit exploded across the bridge, bringing the whole piece together. All of a sudden their sound stepped up a gear; coinciding with a rise in the atmosphere, taking the audience further and further away from their otherwise drab Thursday lunch time.

The band finished up with a tight version of 'Better Things' to a rapturous applause. Although never in danger of failure, Passion Pit successfully side stepped mediocrity. The band managed to display perfectly why there's so much hype surrounding them this year. Infectiously poppy with undeniable commercial crossover potential, they remain a record labels wet dream. As we poured out of Pure Groove and the crowd dispersed, there was an overwhelming feeling of satisfaction - expectations were met.

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