There’s nothing more energizing than dancey indie-pop music, and last Wednesday, fans filled The Wiltern for a double dose of that feel-good sound courtesy of Atlas Genius and Passion Pit. For almost four hours, ringing synthesizers highlighted uptempo songs, and the art deco theater became one giant party.
Australian rockers Atlas Genius have had an amazing year, and while they had some trouble with sample playback at the beginning of their set, they quickly got into the groove with “The Stone Mill.” Lead singer Keith Jeffery’s hypnotic vocals over the group’s lush instrumentation brought to mind Muse, particularly when the music cut away to highlight their terrific four-part harmonies.
Jeffrey announced it had been two years since the band’s last visit to Los Angeles, and he proved how excited he was to be back by jumping to the floor during “Backseat” to play a screaming guitar solo surrounded by fans. The crowd exploded during their hit “Trojans,” which grew from a soft opening over finger-picked riffs into a full-blown dance anthem with Jeffrey imploring the audience to “dance as hard as you possibly can!”
From the moment the beginning synthesizers of their hit song “Little Secrets” rang out, Passion Pit had fans dancing. Their feel-good synth pop and high-energy performances always generate positive vibes, and Wednesday was no exception. Passion Pit’s pounding percussion matched the throbbing synth that shook the walls of The Wiltern, and the group took few breaks between songs, instead allowing the sound to sprawl into long instrumental sections.
Passion Pit’s set balanced high-energy tracks with breezy, slow-building songs spanning their six-song catalog. Frontman Michael Angelakos performed vocal acrobatics in his distinctively high register through Gossamer’s “Cry Like A Ghost” and “Mirrored Sea,” while “Lifted Up (1985)” and “Dancing on the Grave” were amongst the few songs off the group’s most recent album, Kindred, that made the setlist.
The evening of dreamy, bubbling synth pop was made even brighter by a rainbow light show and bright strobes. “Carried Away” bled into the bombastic drums of “Take A Walk,” but it was the celebratory “Sleepyhead” that closed the show with a thunderous finale of synths and percussion. Fans danced with their beers held high and embraced each other as Angelakos’ falsetto and the final buzzing keyboards rang out.
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