Photos: Passion Pit, Matt & Kim at the 1stBank Center - Reverb

Passion Pit, Matt & Kim at the 1stBank Center, 03/01/13 (photos, review)

By Isa Jones

The electro-pop band, Passion Pit, has gained popularity quickly in the past couple of years, now being able to play a venue as big as 1stBank Center, having only released two albums. Making up for a cancelled Red Rocks show last summer, Passion Pit made sure the Colorado crowd was satisfied on Friday night, providing a packed set-list full of beat-heavy dance-inducing songs.

Passion Pit didn’t waste time getting into a groove, starting off with the well-known “I’ll Be Alright,” then moving into hits “Moth’s Wings” and “Carried Away.” Immediately the audience was hooked and enthused, dancing and clapping wildly to the cheery synths and lead singer Michael Angelakos’ high, almost whiny vocals.

Electronic bands don’t have a great reputation for performing live. Fans only expect some synths and cool lights to be entertained, but Passion Pit managed to transform their heavily produced material live. With guitars, bass, a full drum kit and Angelakos in a suit running around and holding his mic out to a crowd, the group felt like a rock band that thrives for their live shows. It wasn’t just some guy with headphones and a mixing board. 

Passion Pit’s light set up was simple yet memorizing. Giant white balloons hung above the stage, moving up and down. At some moments the illuminated orbs felt as if they were floating over the crowd. At others times they seemed to engulf the band, alternating colors and placement with every song to match the mood.

While the band managed to keep the crowd moving and shouting, the one complaint would be that even live, their songs tend to run together. Without any audience interaction between songs, it became hard to tell the high-pitched synths and choruses of “oh’s” and “hey’s” apart. Despite this one flaw, which none of the sweaty flailing concert goers seemed to mind, Passion Pit put on a fantastic show. While hits like “Take a Walk” got the biggest reaction, there wasn’t one moment where the enthusiasm lulled.

Show openers, Matt & Kim, set this tone early on. With pounding drums and infectious synth-based melodies, it’s hard not to smile while Matt & Kim are playing. Their hilarious banter (the two are a couple) and stunts such as Kim dancing on her kick drum or walking on the raised hands of the crowd with a sprained ankle is enough for a great show.

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Isa Jones is a Boulder-based writer and a new contributor to Reverb.

Seth McConnell is a member of YourHub at The Denver Post and a regular contributor to Reverb.