Sunday, March 3, 2013

Concert Review: Passion Pitt, Matt & Kim

Posted By on March 3, 2013, 2:17 PM

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Usually, I consider the term “pleasantly surprised” to be an overused expression in the world of art and music. However, after witnessing a truly kick-ass concert with Passion Pit and Matt & Kim, I have the needed urge to use the somewhat-clichéd saying.

So, here it goes. I was pleasantly surprised by the venue, the stage presence of Matt & Kim and the audience’s complete adoration for Passion Pitt on Saturday, March 2 at The Complex.

The audience, the venue and its performing artists worked together in a culmination of symbiotic harmony, which was something quite unexpected.

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Before entering the concert venue, I found myself caught up in a pool of anxiety. The long procession of Passion Pit admirers twisted around the block. Homeless men scanned the line up and down, begging for money and preaching about the impending doom of the modern world (I kid you not, one homeless man was actually picketing with a sign). I thought to myself that this venue, plus the big crowd, is a definite recipe for disaster.

Once inside The Complex, I started to calm down. I dubbed the bar area an oasis keeping me safe from screaming fans following the fashion trend of thick-rimmed glasses and red lipstick. That’s when I became comfortable with the capacity and warmth of the venue.

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Matt & Kim hit the stage. This two-person duo -- equipped with a drum set and keyboard -- riled the audience. By mixing top hits from their latest record, Lightning, with well-known party anthems, Matt & Kim created an atmosphere that I call the “hipster rave.”

The sight of thousands of people boogying to the latest YouTube sensation, the “Harlem Shake,” caused me to respond with a series of giggles. What’s more, seeing fans mimic the spastic moves of the modern dance craze to Matt & Kim songs, like “It’s Alright,” proved that the two-member team can truly connect with any audience.


Matt and Kim shaking the "Harlem Shake" in Troy, N.Y.

Matt & Kim played off of the listeners and each other. By using expressions of profanity, dancing on top of stage equipment and poking jokes at each other, they caused the youthful crowd to roar in applause after each song.

When Matt & Kim exited stage right, I decided that part of their popularity was due to their talent as stage performers. I was intrigued by the energy the couple created.

Finally, Passion Pit trickled onto the stage. Without introduction, the band began in a slow progression of symphonic melodies. The contrast between the exuberant energy of Matt & Kim and the calm demeanor of Passion Pit’s lead singer, Michael Angelakos, seemed to balance the concert in a yin/yang style.

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I was shocked by the devotion of Passion Pit disciples. Any fanatic I met proclaimed a fondness for the headlining band. In fact, I met a gentleman who had traveled from Montana with the sole purpose of watching Passion Pit. Noticing that I was short and unable to see the stage, he lifted me over his shoulders. After experiencing his generosity, I, of course, was pleasantly surprised by every spectator’s need to share the love for Passion Pit and participate in a fun and high-spirited concert at a well-suited venue.

Photos courtesy of Paul Duane.

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Frances Moody

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