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Bowery Ballroom, New York, Wednesday, February 4

Passion Pit

So, you’re a Neanderthal man, you’ve forgotten Valentine’s Day, your girlfriend is pissed off with you and you’ve got no way of remedying the situation unless you come up with something so mind-bogglingly romantic that it would cause the most asexual of loins to spontaneously combust. What should you do? If you’ve got half a braincell you’ll follow Michael Angelakos’ lead and pen a mini-album of original electronic love ditties for your main squeeze as a token of your eternal affections.

If all goes well, you can muster a few of your pals together, form an actual band – hanging on to your gal in the process – and get everyone hot under the collar long enough to create some kind of buzz around you, then sell out a 500-plus capacity venue when you only have enough songs to fill a half-hour set. Well, it worked for Passion Pit.

Troubled by technical problems tonight, the Cambridge, Massachusetts quintet manage to style out any difficulties and complete a version of ‘I’ve Got Your Number’ without any interruptions. Unfortunately, it’s

a song that lies somewhere between lacklustre and tedious and seemingly turns into a slow jazz medley fit for Supermarket Sweep.

Thankfully, things pick up with the aptly named ‘Better Things’, as Angelakos comes alive at his keyboard, his Sideshow Bob barnet flapping over his forehead. But it’s not until ‘Sleepyhead’ that the band’s inhibitions are truly let loose. As Angelakos’ Prince-meets-Lionel Richie vocal serenades the front row of the Bowery, now a mass of jittering shoulders and embarrassing side-steps, the rest of the band seem to ease up and for the first time actually look like they’re enjoying it. It’s just a shame that this second wind comes two songs from the night’s culmination.

For a band that have been heaped with so much attention and praise, it’s sad to report that the jubilation found on their record doesn’t translate into live ecstasy, making tonight just another pitifully passionless romp.

Ash Dosanjh

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