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Nutshell Concert Review: Passion Pit – Summerset Music Festival 8/10/13

Photo courtesy of Ryan Siverson, mezzic.com

Photo courtesy of Ryan Siverson, mezzic.com

It’s already been more than a year since the release of GossamerPassion Pit’s successful and satisfying sophomore LP. Since then, they have commanded both outdoor festivals and indoor venues with their live show, captivating audiences with their exciting, dance-worthy synth pop and impressive light shows. After missing the opportunity (twice) to see them in a local show, I decided it would be fitting to drive 7+ hours to Somerset, Wisconsin to watch the somewhat out of place cardigan and skinny jean wearing indie band play at a blooming EDM festival in the rural north. Yes, I acknowledge the fact that they will be performing at Chicago’s North Coast Music Festival in a couple of weeks, but the latter of the two options doesn’t also include awesome experiences like seeing STS9’s anger over a man pretending to be a part of their group, and seeing STRFKR perform their version of Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”.

But I digress.

There’s a strange thing to be said about Passion Pit’s live performance: Passion Pit doesn’t quite sound like the “Passion Pit” you would expect to hear when putting on your iPod. This is not by any means a knock on the band; these guys are just very notable for doing things in studio that may be much more challenging to replicate live than one would assume. But the Passion Pit that you do see when they step on stage is still an amazing one. They exhibit a totally new form of power that you don’t really notice in their compressed and electronic dream world that goes through your headphones. But when you amplify that through giant speakers, and combine it with the force of a bass driven live drum kit, flashy lights, and frontman Michael Angelakos jumping around like a goofy little kid, it turns into a totally different listening experience.

With that in mind, it would be hard to imagine that Gossamer track “I’ll Be Alright” would be anything short of electrifying, and opening with that kind of energy can only give you momentum. They managed to keep it throughout the entire hour-long set, even after taking a break for the smooth and almost R&B-like “Constant Conversations”. Angelakos also seemed to be working at his prime, reminding the audience consistently that they were there to sing, dance, and have an all around good time.

Passion Pit was able to do an interesting and bold thing last weekend when they performed to a crowd that was there, ultimately, to see EDM. Although they don’t totally stray from the genre, they are a far cry from other Summerset acts like Flosstradamus and Minnesota. But they came out to brave the rage-sticks and ravers to put on one heck of a show, and for that I thank them. For those of you lucky enough to have Passion Pit hit your town before their tour ends, be sure to check them out.

And, my apologies for this one, but I slacked off this festival and didn’t take pictures or write down any setlists. Based on that, plus the surprising laziness of the whole internet world, I don’t have the official one for the show. But, if you were there and know what they played, comment it down below!

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