Passion Pit – March 1st – 1stBank Center

Photos by Ty Hyten

The Scene: While 1stBank Center might not be my first choice for a place to see a show in Denver, it served up a hell of a dance party last week for the Passion Pit and Matt & Kim show. Groups of high schoolers to young adults, mostly 21+ and female, loosely filled the dark concrete floor with expensive beer and Friday night conversation while waiting for the indie/electronic/pop/rock sounds of Passion Pit and Matt & Kim.

Opener: Matt & Kim.  The crowd laughed as Matt Johnson introduced his wife, Kim Schifino, as his “partner in music and partner in sex” before the couple filled the arena with high energy and laughs to start the night. They served as a great opener, getting the crowd going with songs like “Let’s Go,” “Cameras” and “Daylight.” What I had complained sounded like Blink 182 dance covers on the album turned out to be a lot more enjoyable on stage. Toward the end of their set, Kim walked, foot cast and all, on top of the hands of her fans. Matt got a laugh with a story of the same stunt going wrong at a show where a pair of loose shorts left her fans “starring into the eye of the beast.” I missed that, but enjoyed the set.

Passion Pit: While Passion Pit might sound like just a MacBook and vocals on the track, their live show is the full package. “I’ll Be Alright” started the night off with singer Michael Angelakos running the length of the stage, swinging the mic like a windmill, and jutting it into the crowd of thousands of singing fans pretending to match the high whine of his delicately powerful falsetto. Placed what seem like miles behind him in a sea of descending light up balls, the rest of the band calmly produced the chaotic synth driven sound that defines Passion Pit.

While the crowd up front had their hands up and mouths open, fans towards the back danced together, taking pulls from flasks and yelling into each others ears at point blank range. The feeling in the room was somewhere between a fully electronic show and an indie rock show, so it was just my pace. The energy peaked as they played “Take a Walk,” the single from 2012’s Gossamer, which was followed and matched by a loud chorus of “Sylviaaa” on a favorite song of the night, “Cry Like A Ghost.” The glowing bulbs set an awesome scene on stage as Angelakos continued to pace the stage without missing a note.

The end of their main set burst open with the crowd going nuts to the heavy synth riff that follows the chorus on Passion Pit’s mega-hit “Sleepyhead.” Though they had only played for just over an hour, the band left the stage and returned with the lone encore of “Little Secrets.” The set was short, but the crowd energy, sound, lights, and a great performance from the band easily topped my expectations for the night. Multiple times this week I’ve found myself recounting how much fun the show was and saying I need to see another ASAP. Guess I’ll be visiting one of several festivals they’re playing this summer. Crossing my fingers for Outside Lands!

Energy: A
Musicianship: A
Sound: B+
Stage Presence: B+
Set/Light Show: A-

Overall: A