I’m going to be honest here; before the Spring Fling line up was released, I had never heard of Passion Pit. It’s possible that I’m not indie enough (shameless fan of now-mainstream Gotye) but I’d like to think that’s not the case. Listening to their songs on YouTube made them seem like every other well-educated, take-themselves-too-seriously, offbeat band. However, I’m glad to say that I changed my opinion after watching them live.
Arguably the best performance of the day, Passion Pit brought a certain flavor of authenticity and a raw emotion that Yalies were seen to enjoy more than the mechanised sounds and lip synching of T-Pain. Bursting forth with energy, the members of the electropop band jumped around on stage, encouraging the crowd to sway and lose themselves to the music.
Having experienced the show from seven feet above the ground (literally — by being placed on someone’s shoulders), it was clear to me that Passion Pit’s set was enjoyed by most of the concert goers present on Old Campus. Following on the heels of undergraduate Yalie opening acts, their performance started off a little lackluster and lethargic — probably due to the restlessness and inattentiveness of the crowd. But all that changed soon after. From above, watching the crowd was like watching a mass of sluggish sea creatures experiencing a common electric shock and suddenly buzzing to life together. Although there weren’t many screaming fans hyperventilating or asking for autographs, people were seen enjoying the music by linking arms, pumping up and down, and even slow dancing to their own beat.
Deriving their name from a slang term for drive-in theaters, the band’s music evokes the same sense of “romantic allure and privacy” that their name conjures up. Starting off with some rather typically indie songs, they soon moved on to their more distinctive and popular music. The band played many of the tracks off their album “Manners,” which features their best songs. It’s a shame that most of the crowd was too busy appreciating the sweet, honey-like quality of lead singer Michael Angelakos’ voice to pick up on the varied, velvet layers of the songs. However, as Shreya Ghei ’15 said, “They were unique. More importantly, they were so much better than T- Pain!”
The band ended their set with “Little Secrets,” the perfect conclusion to an amazing performance. For the stereotypical Yalie — garbed in neon Wayfarers matching neon pants — Passion Pit’s mix of mellow and stimulating songs was entirely fitting. Yes, like every other alternative band, Passion Pit croons about being hurt, being lovers, having feelings in general and feeling alive, but that’s okay. Their music is an apt background to our memories of Tuesday’s events, whether seen from high up in the air or with faces pressed onto the soil or into the bushes. It is befitting of the stage set forth by Spring Fling, where bodies and sweat mingle with nostalgia, despair, hope and the coy promises of more to come.