Passion Pit, Atlas Genius blow away crowd at Joy Theater

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Passion Pit, Atlas Genius blow away crowd at Joy Theater

Passion Pit and Atlas Genius performed at the Joy Theater Wednesday Sep. 9. Passion Pit wowed the audience with great vocals and live instrumentation.

Passion Pit and Atlas Genius performed at the Joy Theater Wednesday Sep. 9. Passion Pit wowed the audience with great vocals and live instrumentation.

Passion Pit and Atlas Genius performed at the Joy Theater Wednesday Sep. 9. Passion Pit wowed the audience with great vocals and live instrumentation.

Passion Pit and Atlas Genius performed at the Joy Theater Wednesday Sep. 9. Passion Pit wowed the audience with great vocals and live instrumentation.

Avery Fiftal, Senior Staff Reporter

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When “Kindred” was released last April, many devoted Passion Pit fans were skeptical. With only 10 songs, and many slower tempo tunes, would this record be up to par with Passion Pit’s debut album or the just as strong “Gossamer” from 2012?

The answer is yes, and it is even better live.

Atlas Genius opened for Passion Pit on Sept. 9 at the Joy Theater. The crowd was split between die-hard fans and those who knew the group from the hit single “Trojans,” but were otherwise strangers to the alternative rock band. Atlas Genius ended up converting the entire crowd to the former. Its performance had tons of energy and the tracks played from its new album, “Inanimate Objects” were received extremely well by the audience. The end of the Australian band’s set had the crowd wondering if the opener was going to be the highlight of the night.  

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Following up on the fantastic opening, Passion Pit took the stage with a bang, starting with its ever-popular single, “Little Secrets.” The first notes of the song blasted through the speakers as the crowd instantly surged forward with dance, screaming the lyrics along with Michael Angelakos, face of Passion Pit’s soaring vocals.

The indietronica group had one of the most interesting stage setups of any live band, including a drum set positioned directly next to the lead singer, a guitarist who also made beats on a keyboard and multiple other musicians who seemed to not feel any need to be in the limelight. It definitely had more of a DJ set feel than a live band, however, one of the most impressive parts of seeing Passion Pit live is that every single beat and note was made live on stage.

“Kindred” made its first appearance on the setlist with “Lifted Up (1985),” the most popular single off Passion Pit’s newest album. Seemingly every single person in the crowd knew the words and Angelakos put on an incredible performance, making the live track even better than the recorded version.

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The rest of the show progressed, weaving among “Kindred,” “Gossamer” and “Manners,” Passion Pit’s debut album, highlighting why Passion Pit has stayed so prominent in the alternative scene for the last six years. Surprisingly, two of the band’s most popular songs, “Moth’s Wings” and “The Reeling,” were left out of the otherwise killer set. The show wrapped up with “Take a Walk,” now famous for its use in a Taco Bell commercial.

Passion Pit exited the stage, throwing guitar picks and drumsticks, leaving the crowd wondering where everyone’s favorite, “Sleepyhead,” could have gone. Was it possible for Passion Pit to skip its most well-known song and replace it with one from a Taco Bell commercial?

Luckily, Passion Pit rushed onstage as the familiar high-pitched beat built up in the speakers, flooding through the crowd as everyone’s hands shot up in the air.  “Let’s see you guys moving!” Angelakos yelled as the beat built up until it, and everyone’s hands, dropped.

Hearing “Sleepyhead” live in a crowd of 700 New Orleanians was truly a magical moment and properly wrapped up an incredible show. The performances at the Joy Theater didn’t disappoint, as Atlas Genius impressed and Passion Pit put on one of the most upbeat and intricate live shows of any band in the current alternative scene.