It’s no secret that I fancy myself a bit of a badass. I roll solo. I’m unpredictable. I like my rock hard and my liquor harder. I definitely don’t spend most evenings drinking boxed wine and watching The Golden Girls, no matter what you’ve heard.

However, even the most badass among us have the occasional lapse in toughness. Friday night at The Greek was one such occasion for me. Just when I think I’ve totally embraced my rock-solid lone wolf status, that I’m impervious to all cheesy-ass emotional bullshit, I get sucked up into some feel-good music and completely forget that I’m supposed to be on guard for haters at all times. Next thing you know, I’m actually — gasp! — dancing and talking to strangers.

I dare all the tough guys calling me out right now to try listening to Passion Pit — or The Joy Formidable, for that matter — without feeling the same way. I know I’m late to the party, but this electro-pop stuff is where it’s at, huh? I think the kids are on to something.


A small but mighty crowd that included some very vocal fans greeted The Joy Formidable for their opening set, a rollicking six-song lineup that left me wanting more. While I’d done my homework for Passion Pit and familiarized myself with their catalog before the show, I didn’t know The Joy Formidable from a hole in the ground, but I liked their Cranberries-esque ’90s alternative sound and the pop-punk accents thrown in. Lead singer Ritzy Bryan’s voice is so instrumental, and it juxtaposes so sweetly with the heavy, grungy chords and relentless drums.

In spite of the chilly evening, nearly all of The Greek’s seats were filled by the time Passion Pit took the stage. I was primarily interested in seeing how lead singer Michael Angelakos’ unusual voice would translate to a live performance, and I wasn’t disappointed. He pulls off the falsetto righteously sans studio. That’s all I needed to know.

Passion Pit live is certainly a much different and improved experience than Passion Pit, say, on your computer monitor in your bedroom. I felt saturated by them. I’ve said it before, and I’m certain I’ll have occasion to say it again, but what is it about colorful bright lights and electronic throwback beats that gets us white people so worked up? I’m no exception.

It’s not that familiar hard-rocking, moshpitty frenzied zeal, either — that, I understand. No, this is something more communal and primal that appeals to some even deeper-seated urge. It’s the power of a crowd of people who all feel good, I suppose. Hell, I even danced. A little. Barely. Okay, not really, but I wanted to. Are you kidding? I don’t even dance like nobody’s watching when nobody’s watching.

My favorite number of the night was the R&B-styled “Constant Conversations,” which is wholly unlike Passion Pit’s other songs without sacrificing their signature sound. It’s got a little stank on it, you know?

Of course, the crowd lit up for the smash hit “Take A Walk,” as well as “Little Secrets,” the band’s final song. I left feeling uncharacteristically friendly, high on my own positive vibes, and I forgot to act tough again until I was nearly halfway home. A good show will do that to you.

For more info:

Passion Pit
The Joy Formidable