I’m admittedly not a huge Passion Pit fan. Upon hearing the Boston-based band were to arrive in Hamilton to headline the city’s most well-known festival, Supercrawl, I jumped at the opportunity to interview them, despite only knowing their indie breakout hit, “Take a Walk.” I had heard good things however, so I delved deeper into their music and discovered a couple more of their intricate pop creations. I was psyched to meet them.
Unfortunately, the interview didn’t pan out the way I expected. Waiting with a couple of friends behind the stage, we nervously scanned the sea of instruments and mixing boards for a glimpse of the band. After no luck, we abandoned the scene and headed to the front of the stage to watch the performance. After around half an hour, I would again leave to find their stage manager, Joe, who turned me down for the interview. “Sorry, we turned CBC down today too, we won’t be doing any interviews,” he said. Crestfallen, I rejoined the crowd, which had extended far from the stage, and was hopping joyously in response, I realized I couldn’t get into their groove, so by the time they had started “Take a Walk,” I had already taken them up on the offer.
Passion Pit is undeniably talented and showcased a sizable list of great indie pop tunes during their performance. Unfortunately, the magic of the music was lost through an annoyingly derivative performance, which is really quite a shame. Perhaps it was the fact that lead singer Michael Angelakos’ singing voice sounds like he just inhaled three liters of helium gas, or that his band literally has the same fashion style as the entire crowd that came to see them. Or maybe it was the front man’s strained theatrics, which made him look like a child throwing a temper tantrum in the presence of his more restrained counterparts. The whole affair appeared childish and ended particularly humorously when Michael picked up a piano bench during the finale, and slowly raised it into the air. Will he smash it to the ground? The crowd’s anticipation mounts at the idea of such true rock ’n’ roll devilry. But of course, Michael lowered it and dropped it a foot away from the floor, to the cheers of a satisfied audience. Passion Pit may very well be passionate about what they do, but if they are, it’s not contagious.