Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Concert review: Passion Pit with Tokyo Police Club and Brahms at The Palladium (June 21)
Passion Pit has risen from unknown to indie superstars in a matter of three short years.
DALLAS If you saw the same show I did Monday night, there's a pretty fair chance you left The Palladium Ballroom in Dallas pleasantly surprised. The atmosphere inside the massive venue on Big D’s South Side was electric for Boston’s Passion Pit. This band is as polarizing as any out there right now, and their hype has officially swelled beyond the “underground” label. It was the first time in over a year that the group played a Dallas gig, and their fans certainly made note of their arrival. Droves of twenty somethings, high school teens, hipsters, and scenesters filled the Palladium from wall to wall.
OK, so maybe it wasn’t exactly the League of Nations, but the amount of diversity at the show was both unexpected and refreshing. As was the actual show.
Kicking things off was Brahms – a band I knew very little of before Monday night, other than that they played this year's SXSW. I was taken by surprise when they got onstage and launched into their all-too-brief set. They absolutely rocked it up there, in a very Depeche Mode sort of way, only with more feeling. Apparently the elecro-pop trio is making some noise in the NYC subculture scene.
Batting second was Tokyo Police Club, and I bet you can’t guess where they're from. (If you said Canada, you're actually correct.) But before you avert your eyes, this isn't your run-of-the-mill Canadian rock band. I too have been beaten down by the quality, or lack thereof, of some Canadian rock. The disappointment can be summarized in a single word: Nickelback. But if that single word is the death of Canadian rock, then perhaps Tokyo Police Club is the resurrection. Their brand of indie rock, with not-so-subtle hints of electronica and industrial influences, worked magic on the audience Monday night. And since their debut in 2006, they have endured as one of Canada’s most valuable musical resources. Their latest album Champ received very positive reviews upon its release at the beginning of the month.
But for all the notoriety Tokyo Police Club has earned, it is no match for the behemoth that Passion Pit has turned into. Behind an incredibly produced album, a killer live show, and a few well-placed songs on popular TV commercials, Passion Pit has risen from unknown to indie superstars in a matter of three short years.
Monday night, in front of dozens of multi-colored flood nights and a few trippy-looking backdrops, the Cambridge alums stormed through an hour-and-a-half-long set in which they covered just about their entire catalog. Lead singer Michael Angelakos, in his unnaturally high singing voice, wowed the crowd with impeccably delivered tunes. During the band’s final song, “Sleepyhead,” the crowd sang loudly along with Angelakos, doing their best to keep up with his stunning vocal range.
One of the most endearing moments of the night happened when Angelakos surely showed his northeastern heritage. “It’s so hot outside here, but everywhere else you go it is freezing cold,” he said, making a note of our love affair with air conditioning. The crowd’s reaction was great: hardly a reaction at all. Everyone just kind of raised their eyebrows and nodded their heads, as if to say, “Yeah, that’s Texas for ya.”
And sure it was hot in there, but we're hoping Angelakos will remember the vibrant atmosphere of the Palladium on Monday night and not just the Texas heat.
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