Passion Pit At Club Nokia
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By Crystal Larsen
With today marking the kickoff of weekend one of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, and the 2013 summer music festival season, it was only fitting that Massachusetts residents and festival performers Passion Pit held what turned out to be a Coachella pre-party at Club Nokia on April 11. Led by frontman Michael Angelakos, the electro-pop outfit put on an 80-minute musical lightshow that undoubtedly whetted the appetite of desert-bound music fans.
Walking into the intimate Club Nokia, it was clear who might trekk to Indio, Calif., the following day as the floor was covered with young girls draped in floral wreaths, cut-off shorts and tank tops, all of whom nearly lost their minds when flashing strobe lights introduced Passion Pit to the stage. The first four minutes of their set were a whirlwind of excitement, set to the sounds of bouncy synths, stomping rhythms and an energetic Angelakos. The stage was decorated with large white globes that flashed bright colors of pink, blue, green, and yellow. Fans were jumping and screaming along to the opener, "I'll Be Alright," and Angelakos encouraged them by frequently leaning over the stage as he sang, "I'll be alright, I'll be alright" — words that were refreshing to hear as just last year Angelakos was hospitalized after being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, an illness that previously interrupted tour plans.
But there were no interruptions on this night as the band's performance ignited nonstop dance parties (they only paused to ask the crowd who was going to Coachella) as they played songs off their sophomore album, Gossamer, which was named one of the top albums of 2012 by Rolling Stone. While the songs on the album cover more serious topics such as chaotic relationships ("Carried Away"), substance abuse ("Constant Conversations") and the story of a father trying to make ends meet ("Take A Walk"), the latter of which was named one of the "greatest songs of the Great Recession" by Rolling Stone, the way in which they were performed could easily wash away thoughts of these real troubles.
The struggles that Angelakos deals with are real and could make for an uncertain future for Passion Pit.
"My lifestyle doesn't bode well with what any doctor has told me I need to do to regulate my disorder," he said in a 2012 interview with Pitchfork. "I can do it while I'm young, but the older I get, the harder it's gonna become."
But on April 11 those troubles were muted, if just for a night. Perhaps that's the beauty of pop music.
Opening for Passion Pit were fellow Coachella performers Tanlines, a talented duo from Brooklyn, N.Y., who created a big, thumping sound with minimal instruments. Featuring Jesse Cohen on drums, keys and computers, and Eric Emm handling guitar and vocals, highlights included a performance of the fan-favorite "All Of Me."
At the end of the night, the crowd was more than ready for the music-filled weekend awaiting them.
"I'll Be Alright"
"Love Is Greed"
"It's Not My Fault, I'm Happy"
"To Kingdom Come"
"Take A Walk"
"Where I Come From"
"Cry Like A Ghost"
"Eyes As Candles"
To catch Passion Pit in a city near you, click here for tour dates.