On the surface, Passion Pit’s latest album, Gossamer, is an offering of catchy synthpop songs. Beyond that, though, it represents frontman Michael Angelakos’s ongoing struggle with bipolar disorder—evident through lyrics laden with sadness, guilt, and confusion. Though Angelakos’s disorder has resulted in multiple hospital visits, attempted suicide, and cancelled shows, it has not brought down the band. The proof is in last Saturday’s (Feb. 16) show at Toronto’s Koolhaus, which felt like one big love-in.
Opening up for Passion Pit was Matt & Kim, who had the crowd pumped up from the moment they walked on stage. Between their energetic electropop songs, Kim’s booty-popping, and Matt dedicating a song to Timbits, the Brooklyn duo kept the crowd dancing and laughing throughout their 45-minute set. There was also the moment of Matt introducing Kim as his “partner in crime and partner in sex” to which Kim responded, “yeeeah, we hit that last night, didn’t we?!”
The couple’s setlist included popular songs “Let’s Go,” “Lessons Learned,” and “Daylight” among others spanning across their four albums. My personal favourite was their unexpected cover of the 1999 hit “Sandstorm” by Darude, which can only be described as epic. (To put the audience’s age in perspective, only a handful of people appeared to recognize this song, which broke my heart a little. No, a lot.)
Passion Pit kept the energy high for their set, which saw the Boston fivesome perform songs from both Gossamer and their debut album, Manners. The memorable moment of the night came when Angelakos paralleled the audience’s willingness to trek through the heavy snow outside to his own battle with mental health: “Seven months ago, they told me I would never tour again.”
“Take A Walk,” “I’ll Be Alright,” and “Carried Away” were obvious favourites of the crowd—many of whom were seeing the band live for the first time, a midset poll by Angelakos found. Still, every song was greeted with just as much enthusiasm by both band and audience. “Constant Conversations” had them swaying, “Love Is Greed” had them shouting out “love, love, love,” and “Moth’s Wings” sparked some makeout sessions, for whatever reason. Their set finished with an encore of “Sleepyhead,” which was the most perfect nightcap.