All photography by Melissa Scheinberg
Having seen Passion Pit tour behind their critically-acclaimed debut album, Manners, plenty of times (four to be exact), I was looking forward to seeing the electro pop heroes tour behind Gossamer as to finally give them a slew of new material to draw from. And they sure as hell didn’t disappoint.
Kicking off with “Take A Walk”, Gossamer‘s anthemic first single (the band’s first release in 2+ years!), the Bostonians were off to a great start, proving to the thousands of people at the ATOLL Stage (and not off watching Justice‘s pre-Presets lackluster DJ set) that they can synthesize the best of the electronic world with the best of the indie rock world. What I love about that single is how it’s so appropriately titled: the song is a musical journey in itself, as it goes different places, transforming throughout its duration, while maintaining that marching, “walking” pulse. These guys are musical geniuses – more so than people give them credit for.
After that upbeat Gossamer number, the band went back a few years into their too-short discography with Manners‘s synth-laden “The Reeling”, the singalong-provoking “Let Your Love Grow Tall”, and the shimmery and massive “Moth’s Wings”, all resulting in a sea of dancing Parklife attendees. Although probably one of my most over-listned albums, Manners is still one of the greatest albums in the last few years, as was reminded to me by the band’s effortless performance of those three tracks.
Following the line of cuts from their debut album was perhaps the greatest gem off Gossamer: the uplifting, upbeat “Carried Away”, that may, in fact, have Passion Pit‘s all-time greatest synth line. It was revealed recently that lead singer Michael Angelakos had been battling with bipolar disorder, and while some of Gossamer seems to be dealing with this dark place, “Carried Away” somehow proves to be one of the band’s happiest, most dance-provoking tracks yet.
“Carried Away” was followed by another new cut, “Constant Conversations” (recently remixed by our pal St. Lucia), and then one of their older tracks, Chunk Of Change‘s “Live To Tell The Tale”, before diving into the lyrically somber one-two-punch of “I’ll Be Alright” and “It’s Not My Fault I’m Happy”. Just watching Angelakos onstage is exciting, as he never ceases to run back and forth across the stage (though making him incredibly difficult to photograph) while utilizing his novel falsetto.
Ending the set were the obvious choices of the band’s most popular efforts to date, “Sleepyhead” and “Little Secrets”, sandwiched around Chunk Of Change‘s “Smile Upon Me”, giving the set a jovial close, as confetti and streamers shot into the crowd while the massive audience sang “higher, and higher, and higher” with Angelakos as he was doing his usual strut across the stage.
Passion Pit‘s return to the stage behind Gossamer is something not to miss, as these guys put on quite an incredible show, filled with their best cuts across their catalogue.