Passion Pit lights up the Greensboro Coliseum

by Carter Peery

Passion Pit blew out the Greensboro Coliseum on the night before Halloween. (photo by Carter Peery)

People impatiently push to get inside of the Greensboro Coliseum on a Saturday night as they eagerly anticipate what will be an exhilarating, can’t-help-but-dance performance that the electronica-pop band Passion Pit will put on. Some fans, in the spirit of Halloween, came dressed up in their costumes only to be one-upped when the members of Passion Pit did the same. The band members, Michael Angelakos (vocals and keyboards), Ian Hultquist (keyboards and guitar), Ayad Al Adhamy (synthesizers and samplers), Jeff Apruzzese (bass and synthesizers) and Nathan Donmoyer (drums), all came dressed in their regular performance clothes but surprised their fans when they changed into Waldo costumes for the encore performance.

But throughout the entire hour-long set, Passion Pit exceeded the audience’s expectations for the best rave in town.

The band has come a long way from their beginnings in Boston in 2007, with two successful albums to prove for it. Starting as Michael’s solo project, the first album released in 2008 was Chunk of Change, from Frenchkiss record label, with the hit song “Sleepyhead.” The first CD, however, only gave the listeners a small glimpse and brief taste of the talent this band possesses. Fans wouldn’t know that later on they would have their minds and ears blown with their debut album Manners, released in 2010 from Columbia. Songs to start off with from the CD are “Little Secrets” and “Moth’s Wings,” but make sure to also check out their re-polished and stripped-down version of “Sleepyhead” in which their techno beats are replaced with a beautiful acoustic piano.

At the coliseum, the band members appeared on stage and started playing accompanied by the most fluorescent and chaotic strobe lights I’ve ever seen. A new fun fact that I learned, however, was that dancing in front of your seat (or inside of your VIP Box if you were in my shoes) was out of the question for these hardcore Passion Pit fans. At the start of their first song, the mob of fans dashed from their seats, pushed through the helpless security guards and onto the floor next to the stage, where they started jumping up and down with their hands in the air singing along in perfect unison. As the dance party progressed, Passion Pit had their fans screaming their lyrics, crowd-surfing and moving their bodies to the rhythm of their techno beats. About 45 minutes into the show, the band leaves the stage, leaving the crowd in suspense. We violently chant for an encore performance of “Sleepyhead,” and what kind of band would Passion Pit be if they left their fans disappointed? They arrived back on stage to grant their wishes and to end the night in the most memorable way, which was to turn up the lights and turn up the volume so that when the floors started to fiercely vibrate, you could feel it pulsating throughout your body, redefining for us what it really means to feel the music.