How difficult do you think it would be to sell out a concert on a Monday night? Well not hard at all if your band is Passion Pit or Tokyo Police Club! That’s what myself and a couple thousand of other sweaty fans found out recently as the two bands on tour stopped off in Dallas. The former Gilley’s venue now called the Palladium managed to squeeze in about 1500-2000 people on what was the first official day of summer.
The first to take the large stage was a 3 piece electric pop outfit from New York called Brahms (http://www.brahmsband.com/). This was their very first tour, and probably one of the largest shows this size. A record is due out soon, and they played about half an hour’s worth of dance rock from it. Internet buzz is that the Depeche Mode-esque sounding group are actively working hard and earning a name in NYC, and also performed at SWSX. Rumor is they cover Neon Indian also. As any good opening band, they helped to distract everyone from what was actually on every one’s mind: the heat.
One of the greatest surprises of the night, besides the enormous mass of people and suffocating heat, was how many in the crowd that didn’t know who the hell Tokyo Police Club was. But they found out really fast! Kicking off a great set list with many songs from their new record, they quickly won the crowd over. Their act began with “Favorite Food”, just like the record Champ also. The audience responded energetically to other new songs like “Favorite Color”, “Never Be Gentleman”, “Breakneck Speed”, “Wait Up (Boots of Danger)”, “End Of A Spark”. Of course everyone came alive and responded to past faves like “Your English Is Good”. The young Canadians sounded polished, dynamic, and refreshed. Most of their songs are fast paced and smooth, as was this gig. Hope we can all look forward to getting more from the band in the years to come.
Even though it seemed like time stood still and would never be taken off pause, Passion Pit finally made their way to the stage. They are definitely a band that must be experienced live and not just heard on CD or mp3. Unlike some others trying to ride the trendy electronic wave, they understand how critical it is to translate into a live encounter. The venue seemed to be covered in pure emotion as they began by playing “I’ve Got Your Number”. This was followed by favorites like “Make Light”, “The Reeling”, “Moth’s Wings”, “Little Secrets”, and “Eyes As Candles”. Still touring on behalf of their 2009 release Manners, they saved two gems for the end of the night, both reserved for the encore performance. The first was a Cranberries cover of “Dreams”, which was at once both dreamy and ethereal (do yourself a favor and google this video now). And finally, the moment everyone had been desperate for since the night began: a song called “Sleepyhead”. And what a freaking finale it was! Those who stayed were rewarded by hearing their favorite song re-created live and they repaid their appreciation by dancing, jumping, and moving into a tornado like frenzy.
The best description of seeing Passion Pit live is like Apple’s description of the iPad: magical. Lead front man Michael Angelakos has matured in his ability to take charge and lead a performance since last time they had a show in Dallas a year before. This was my first chance to see them, so of course I’m only comparing you tube videos. On this night, the group lived up to their name by infusing each note and breath with passion and the results were nearly hypnotic. This was no mere accident either, it seems like their songs were written with an audience in mind. This in turn makes for a more interactive live experience–which is why so many are willing to buy a ticket in this economy. Very few, if anyone, left disappointed. These artists have the power to turn casual fans into crazy followers–I know, I’m one of them.