Live Review: Passion Pit

Rough Passion. Lido Club, Berlin, Monday, November 16

Taking the stage in Germany during the final show of their European tour and the dying days of 2009, Passion Pit’s synths still sound fresh. In a year blighted by too many smooth samples and multi-layered backing tracks, the group’s comparatively scruffy live approach seems charmingly raw and haphazard. Unlike the high-pitched squelching android noises which have been the overhyped sound of much of the past year, Passion Pit actually seem human and fallible.

It’s been a whole two years since the band was invented in frontman Michael Angelakos’ head back in Buffalo, New York, which is centuries

in the current climate of blog-bothering electro-pop. Even though they show no signs of tiring, there’s an overriding feeling that the death of the electro-indie world party in its current form is nigh. Unless key players such as Passion Pit, MGMT and Ladyhawke can evolve to weather the new musical revelations which 2010 might unveil, and escape the raft of also-ran imitators in their wake, one wonders what the future holds for them.

Perhaps this fivesome are too intellectual to worry much about being outwitted by the vagaries of fashion.

All lo-fi preppy college lecturer chic, they certainly look the part; the falsetto-shrieking Angelakos having all the visual flair of Daniel Bedingfield in a bad afro wig. Tonight, however, with tracks such as ‘Sleepyhead’, which remains the band’s defining musical bullet, the group seem to have little interest in orchestrated longevity. Instead they come across as an overactive, no-holds-barred party band happy to indulge in the festivities unreservedly while they last.

Tonight’s show climaxes with a highly charged singalong disco version of single ‘The Reeling’, which leaves Berlin’s audience dancing as raucously as Angelakos himself. But the question remains: will Passion Pit outlive the scene that propelled them to prominence,

or will we next be reunited with them in a decade’s time through a ‘2009 Bearded Electropop Special Retrospective: The Blog Hits’ to be read on a NASA-sponsored Kindle from the moon?

Mark Fernyhough

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