Passion Pit | photo by Gabriela Barbieri for WXPN
Passion Pit takes the Fillmore higher and higher and higher
Passion Pit returned to Philly Friday night to celebrate a decade of the debut Manners LP. While this album seemingly encompasses brightness and should be celebrated, it dialogues one of the darkest times of singer Michael Angelakos’s life. Since his diagnosis with bipolar disorder and coming to terms with how to heal from it, this tour is arguably a reflection of Angelakos’s strength, and the songs can be transformed from snapshots of a struggle to a major success story.
The setlist included Manners in its entirety, of course, and if you’re a fan, this tour feels like coming home. It’s where Passion Pit began, and the evolution of the band’s sound and message and energy have followed Angelakos’s personal highs and lows in a really beautiful way. Manners takes on two opposing meanings when listened to a decade ago and now. It’s a transformative album thematically as well as a transformative live experience.
A Passion Pit show is high-energy in every sense of the word. Angelakos hardly ever takes a breath, and the way he performs feels both deeply personal as well as unifying. He takes moments to sing only to himself, and then he’ll hold the entire mic stand out to the crowd. He did this a lot during “Little Secrets” and of course “Sleepyhead.” The poppy and intricate synthpop background music combined with Angelakos’s endless falsetto and intense stage lights are exhilarating. You don’t go to a Passion Pit show if you just kind of like them — you go if you love them.
When Manners closed with “Seaweed Song,” the band took a short break and then came back for a five-song encore that included favorites from Kindred and Gossamer. (I know the show was all about Manners, but I live for “Lifted Up (1985)” off Kindred.) There was noticeably nothing on the setlist from the newest release, Tremendous Sea of Love.
Passion Pit wrapped up the Manners 10th Anniversary Tour in Washington D.C. at The Anthem on May 25th. They’re set to play a special late-night show at Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Delaware on June 22. Below, check out photos from their Fillmore Philly show, beginning with the opening set from Toronto’s The Beaches.