On Tuesday October 23rd, Passion Pit put on one of the most random shows of the year, and a friend and I were lucky enough to be there. The first, and probably most prevalent aspect in making it odd and out there, was the fact that it was at ArtsPark on Hollywood Circle. Before arriving there, I couldn’t help but be kind of weirded out by the whole thing. Why did they choose that venue? Who’s going to show up? Safe to say, I was full of questions that could only be answered if I just bit the bullet and shook off my fear/aversion of Broward County.
Upon arriving exactly on time, Wild Belle was already on stage having started about 10 minutes early. A show that starts early?! Unheard of! While walking in late (even though I wasn’t) I saw a large percentage of girls in neon crop tops and high waisted shorts. The crowd in general was a youthful one, not too much of a shocker for Passion Pit though. They were either in a small clump by the stage, or sprawled out on the grass, scattered and lounging. Not many people seemed to want to dance, and with that Wild Belle gave us example one of what I call the “Opening Band-Hesitant Crowd Crisis”. Though their sound was pitch perfect and their songs had rhythmic bounce to them, they failed to connect with the crowd and ultimately fell flat. The crowd wasn’t offering up any crazy unhinged energy, so neither did the band. But sometimes you just have to make something out of nothing, you know?
Now, the second opening band,Youngblood Hawke exhibited example two of the aforementioned opening band situation. From the moment they stepped towards their instruments, they exploded into sound. Frontman Sam Martin and frontwoman Alice Katz both began to bang on their floor tom’s without warning, already creating a loud and energetic entrance in comparison to Wild Belle. They jumped around the stage, Martin leaned into the crowd of shrieking girls and held out his hands for them to grab, and the audience went wild. Whether you liked their music or not, they brought an insane amount of energy onto the stage with them, and looked like they were having the times of their lives, which in return made it easy for the crowd to relinquish control and just dance away and scream like a fan girl.
I was impressed by the amount of energy that this strange group of Hollywooders gave to Youngblood Hawke- but boy, did I not know what else was in store. When Passion Pit finally took to the stage, those remaining stragglers that had still been lolling about in the grassy area of the Circle immediately sprung up and gathered closer to the stage. The instant the oh so familiar sounds of “Take A Walk” came blaring through the speakers, the audience (especially the overly ecstatic front row of fan girls) went totally insane. They danced, they sang, they absorbed the untamed energy that Passion Pit’s dancey music creates. They played an extremely well rounded set as well, sticking in favorites like “The Reeling”, “Sleepyhead”, and show closer (as well as my personal favorite) “Little Secrets”.
The audience as well as the band kept the energy up the whole night through, what with lead singer and creative mastermind Michael Angelakos flinging himself about the stage, dancing and engaging the audience consistently. The most negative part of the show ended up being the sound management. There was way too much bass and not enough treble. The loud and reverberating bass shook our rib cages and caused some people to cover their ears depending on where you were standing in retrospect to the speakers. That being said, Angelakos’ vocals were a little muffled too. But in the end, Passion Pit put on a zestful and vibrant show that momentarily awoke this sleepy venue for the night. And it only ended at like 10pm! Perfect for those rebellious middleschoolers who’d been out on a school night. Despite some weird- and as I previously noted- random aspects to this show, it was all pulled together nicely in the end. Has Passion Pit reawakened this somewhat bizarre venue for good? Only time will tell.