Passion Pit thrill in homecoming show

A review of Passion Pit and Matt & Kim at the Agganis Arena on February 10, 2013

, Contributing Writer

In a harkening back to their roots, Passion Pit made their triumphant return to Boston, playing at the always daunting location of Boston University’s Agganis Arena. Adding onto the challenge was a powerful blizzard and subsequent postponement of their Saturday show to Sunday night, but the indie rock darlings wouldn’t let some inclement weather stop them from rocking a thrilling homecoming performance.

Touring in support of their 2012 sophomore release Gossamer, Passion Pit kicked off the show with the new album’s second single “I’ll Be Alright”. The band really hit the ground running, quickly following up with fan favorites “The Reeling” and “Carried Away”. One of the more remarkable aspects of their performance was the band’s ability to successfully fill the large venue with their sound and really fit into the role of an arena band that could the energize the whole space. Frontman Michael Angelakos dazzled as well with his idiosyncratic falsetto voice.

If there was any hiccup in the energy of the show, it was probably most apparent near the middle of the set with the bonus track “American Blood” coming off as a bland rock ballad and “Constant Conversations” really falling flat with its far too lovey-dovey R&B pace.

However, the band definitely picked up any loose energy with the follow-up of “Take A Walk”, which literally hit the crowd with a sea of bubbles. Both the intricate light-show and the group’s energy really seemed to peak with the most powerful song of the night, “Make Light”. But, the band managed to finish off the show strong as well, coming full circle by ending the main set with “Little Secrets” and returning to encore with their breakthrough hit “Sleepyhead”.

In a bit of a surprising but most definitely welcome move as opener, the equally powerful indie pop group Matt & Kim made it their mission to warm the crowd coming in from the snow and succeeded hardily. While performing a shorter set that lasted less than an hour, the energetic duo definitely worked with what they were given with a hit-heavy setlist that featured “Let’s Go”, “Now” and “It’s Alright” off their latest release, 2012’s Lightning. They also managed to throw in an apparent “Boston exclusive” with the slower “Turn This Boat Around” off their second album Grand.

One of Matt & Kim’s definite strengths is their lively and energetic stage presence. On Sunday, not even a broke foot could stop Kim from doing her quintessential crowd-walk. The band channeled their energy into some serious nostalgia by interspersing classic dance grooves into their set like Alice Deeja’s “Better Off Alone” and throwing in a clip of Sugarhill Gang’s “Apache” into the middle of “Good Ol’ Fashioned Nightmare”. Ending their set with a sing-a-long performance of “Lessons Learned”, Matt & Kim promised the crowd to a follow-up Boston dance party later this summer.

Passion Pit Setlist

1.  I’ll Be Alright
2.  The Reeling
3.  Carried Away
4.  Moth’s Wings
5.  Love Is Greed
6.  It’s Not My Fault, I’m Happy
7.  American Blood
8.  To Kingdom Come
9.  Constant Conversations
10. Take A Walk
11. Cry Like A Ghost
12. Eyes As Candles
13. Make Light
14. Folds In Your Hands
15. Mirrored Sea
16. Little Secrets
17. Sleepyhead

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