ACL Live Shot (Second Weekend): Passion Pit

Surrender to the luminescence

It’s easy to chide Passion Pit. They’ve mastered a brand of hyperkinetic, oversaturated electro-pop that seems to resonate with every man, woman, and child with a Twitter account. Their recorded material, meanwhile, has been consistently – almost defiantly – good.

Taco Bell electro-pop? We’ll have the happy meal.
by Gary Miller

For their expensive clothes, gushy feelings, and ever-grating twee pervasiveness, Passion Pit has become pretty hard to shrug off. If you’re still holding out, you’re probably allergic to fun.

Sure, you look around and see an army of day-glo weekend warriors getting down to bedazzled rave hooks. And yes, a song like “Take a Walk” could sell iPods, Red Bulls, and Toyota Corollas. Finally, okay: It’s a little bit funny that Passion Pit, as a brand, has hitched its wagon to the Taco Bell train.

Yet, check out lead singer Michael Angelakos. There’s someone who takes all the snark in stride. He’s plenty aware of the jokes, but why avoid pop? Look at the beaming faces enraptured at the Lady Bird stage. There are entire families under Passion Pit’s ecstasy. It’s far more thrilling to lose yourself than to pride yourself in judgments.

“Sleepyhead,” “The Reeling,” and “Constant Conversations” all blasted with the same shifting luminescence. Last year’s Gossamer might be the sound of a thousand yuppies marching into the sea, but who cares. The quartet stands tall, not even remotely ashamed of its titanic hooks.

There’s a reason this music resonates, after all. A few hours after the set comes news that Angelakos has been sick with bronchitis for over a week now. You could barely even tell.

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