Passion Pit Moves Bodies, Emotions at Warehouse Live

Aftermath remembers the first book that ever made us cry. It was Katherine Paterson's controversial but also much-loved young adult novel Bridge to Terebithia. In all likelihood it was also the book that made us want to write. We remember marveling, even at that young age, at how a simple arrangement of words on a page could manipulate our emotions to such effect as to compel a physical reaction.

That emotional manipulation seems to be the same draw that attracts fans to Passion Pit. The band's famous backstory includes dozens of tales of love and loss -- their first EP was originally recorded as a gift for founder Michael Angelakos then-girlfriend. At last night's sold out Warehouse Live show, emotion was in the air. Here's just a sampling of what we saw in the crowd:

  • Two obviously heterosexual dudes hugging gingerly ("obvious" because they were both with girlfriends)
  • A guy breaking up with a girl by the bathroom
  • A group of probably underage females who would squeal at the top of their lungs in 10-minute intervals
  • A random bunch of shirtless guys huddled together

Aftermath will be honest. We weren't really feeling the show or the surging crowd when we arrived. The little bit of Brahms' dark dancy pop we heard, we liked, and Tokyo Police Club helped us get into a better mood. The Canadian band's music combines the best of high-energy indie pop with synths, reminded us at times of The Cure, and later, Peter Bjorn & John.

By the middle of Tokyo Police Club's set the crowd had become a mass of sweaty, rabid teenagers and hipsters, and when Passion Pit took the stage a huge primal roar rose up from the middle of the warehouse.

Rocks Off likes to (occasionally) bitch about the crowds at shows, but last night's biggest problem was not the attitude or the talking or any other behavioral quirks, but the fact that there were just SO MANY PEOPLE. It was a madhouse. But good for Passion Pit, since their last show in Houston, nearly a year earlier, was in the same venue's smaller "studio" room.

Since their single "Sleepyhead" was picked up by a handful of media outlets, they've become indie darlings, beloved by many. We read several tweets throughout the night that concertgoers were prepared to "cry tears like diamonds" at the bands often-maudlin lyrics. We even noticed the opening bands were moving a lot of merchandise at the back of the venue.

Those tweeters got their wishes, as the band opened with "I've Got Your Number." For once, the audio at Warehouse Live sounded pretty good, if a bit muddle in the back, where we retired to escape the dancing mass of humanity. Angelakos' falsetto was downright amazing for the first handful of songs, before it began to sound monotonous. And therein lies our problem with the band. With just an EP and an album out, it's time for them to do some reinventing. Nothing drastic, but they need just enough diversity to keep it interesting.

Not everyone felt that way though. Four songs in, the band played "The Reeling" and the crowd joined in to a massive singalong, shouting "Is this the way I've always been" with Angelakos, who turned them mic back to them for a chorus of "Whoas". It's a catchy number, and the feeling of camaraderie in the room was palpable. It occurred to us then... is this what emo hath wrought? We'd come full circle from the synth of The Cure to the hardcore movement to Sunny Day Real Estate and back to electropop again.

"Live to Tell the Tell" also got a great reaction from the masses, and it was then that our friend remarked "Passion Pit can teach MGMT a thing or two about rocking a crowd." And maybe it didn't entirely move us, but it did move a lot of others, and isn't that the idea of music in the first place -- to help people find kinship in the common human experience?

Set list:

  • I've Got Your Number
  • Make Light
  • Better Things
  • The Reeling
  • Moth's Wings
  • Swimming in the Flood
  • To Kingdom Come
  • Live to Tell the Tale
  • Let Your Love Grow Tall
  • Folds in Your Hand
  • Smile Upon Me
  • Little Secrets


  • Eyes As Candles
  • Dreams
  • Sleepy Head

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Shey is an experienced blogger, social media expert and traveler. She studied journalism at Oklahoma State University before working as a full-time reporter for Houston Community Newspapers in 2005. She lived in South Korea for three years, where she worked as a freelancer.
Contact: Brittanie Shey