Live: Passion Pit/Tokyo Police Club/BRAHMS

WAREHOUSE LIVE — 6/17/2010: It takes a particular kind of genius to get people to simultaneously dance, sing, and cry to your brand of love-stricken music. However, when you get the balance right, you’re able to create and connect to a devoted group of individuals. Whether it’s manipulation or love, last Thursday, emotions ran high when Passion Pit played to a sold-out crowd of mostly early twenty-somethings at Warehouse Live. Along with them came Brooklyn’s newly-minted BRAHMS and Ontario indie rockers Tokyo Police Club.

The night began with a solid set by BRAHMS and their darker take on the electro-dance pop thing; think of BRAHMS as the Depeche Mode to Passion Pit’s Erasure.  The Brooklyn trio forged an intriguing set using glitchy beats, a driving bassline, and plenty of New Wave synths — clearly, they understand the greatness of their predecessors.  Being less than seven months old at this point, they can be forgiven for a relatively short set and a few indistinguishable songs. Overall, an enjoyable performance that really started the concert off on the right foot. Expect good things from BRAHMS in the coming months, as they refine their sound and inevitably print their first release.

The crowd continued to grow as Tokyo Police Club, hot off the heels of their latest album, Champ, took the stage. Despite being the only “rock” band on the ticket, Tokyo Police Club’s brand of frenetic indie-rock injected an additional boost of energy into the crowd, especially for one guy who “danced” through the entire set with complete disregard for the people around him.  His devotion is much appreciated, as it’s always good to know there are still people who shamelessly love their music.

Again, another really good performance, particularly with the new music off of Champ. Gone are the  two-minute “This is it! Now it’s over!” songs of A Lesson in Crime and Elephant Shell. Songs from Champ are a bit longer and  deserve the additional length, as more effort has been put into making a complete song rather than creating a memorable hook.  In such a short period of time, Tokyo Police Club have really demonstrated a tremendous amount of musical growth.

While the crowd really enjoyed the performance, nothing would compare to what came next. Towards the end of their set, there was a notable shift in the crowd. Slowly, the teenaged hipsters in the crowd became outnumbered by the college-aged Greek system crew. What once was a respectable-sized audience swelled into an overwhelming number of people that packed Warehouse Live to capacity as Passion Pit took the stage.

From the start, Passion Pit bathed the crowd in lights and heavy dance beats, transforming Warehouse Live from a music venue into a huge house party.  With such a huge number of people, problems of space were inevitable. The decision of three nearly identical blondes to step in front of me mid-show and have the most inane conversation ever or the bald guy who had no concept of personal space were probably results of the sheer number of people rather than of the type of people…I think.

Even they weren’t there to be seen, however, but to dance the entire night to Passion Pit’s brand of electro-dance pop. But for many, Thursday was more than just a having a good time. Thanks to the opening acts, the crowd was ready for a huge emotional release. After all, with lyrics like, “There’s a place in this world / Where people like me are found by people like you/ So find a place as this forever divine,” it’s hard not to get a little caught up in the performance.

All the signs of pent-up emotions were there: crying while singing, dancing with your eyes closed, and a crowd sing-a-long that at times drowned out singer Michael Angelakos‘ voice.  The audience took in every word, every beat, and every moment Passion Pit were on stage, showering the band with thunderous applause after each song.  It was hard not to be impressed by the whole performance. It was part indie show, part dance party, and part therapy. Only the most reserved person could refrain from get caught up in the spectacle. It was Passion Pit’s ability, the ability to craft a public event that’s somehow deeply personal,  that made Thursday night a good night.

Photos: BRAHMS, photo by Adrian Nina; Tokyo Police Club; Passion Pit.

Live review by . Live review posted Friday, June 25th, 2010. Filed under Features, Live Reviews.

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