It was clear from the buzz that could be felt up and down the street that both Passion Pit and Coin’s arrival at The Danforth Music Hall were highly anticipated. After waiting in line a bit I got my ticket, went inside and immediately recognized the lovely Alicia Atout, who also recognized me – after I told her who I was of course. As she and I were standing watching the stage, a man I’d never seen before came straight up to me, bent my notebook down in order to see what I had written, nodded slowly, and then turned and walked away without saying a word. I looked at Alicia for any conformation of the situation with a puzzled look, to which she responded “That’s my dad”. He and I were introduced shortly thereafter. It was a silly beginning to a very fun night.
The crowd that came out was pretty young. I assume that most people who were there were in high school or maybe a little older. Looking out, there was an array of colourful fashion sense to be seen, including a dude dressed in full neon jogging attire, headband and all. After becoming far better acquainted with their musical styles than I had been before that night, I’m not surprised that Coin and Passion Pit draw that kind of fan base. It was a very up beat and high energy scene, which was the perfect thing to get me out of my Wednesday night blues. I had not been in any mood to leave my house before the show, but the exceptional performances of both bands made it easy for me to shake it off.
Coin started the night with a bang. Everyone I talked to was really impressed by them. After gauging the reactions of a few different people, I gathered that they weren’t very well known amongst the Passion Pit fans, but when they left the stage there was no shortage of people talking excitedly about how amazing they were. One thing that can be said about Coin without hesitation is they are fun to watch. Coin’s front man, Chase Lawrence, is a natural. I genuinely believe he has what it takes to be a pop icon one day. While singing heartfelt melodies about women and heartbreak to an adoring audience, he would pull moves like stretching the neckline of this shirt beneath his collar bone so the girls in the audience could see about a quarter of his chest. Like I said, he’s a natural. Not only does he grab and hold the crowd’s energy, he is also a particularly talented vocalist. His vocals, soft and soothing yet upbeat, wash over the listener. They kept really tight throughout the set. The drummer in particular was completely on point, never missing a beat. Coin have a ton of stamina, and their unique, 90’s reminiscent, synth pop infused alt rock is definitely something worth listening to and seeking out.
When they came onstage, Passion Pit drew what I can only describe as roars from the crowd. By the time they went on, the venue was packed both on the balconies above and in the pit below. Every time this crowd cheered it felt like the room was shaking. I half expected to see stuff start falling off the stage. There was something about the resounding noise it made that felt really up lifting. The roaring crowd had been given good reasons to be so rambunctious. Passion pit puts on a fantastic live show. Michael Angelakos, Passion Pit’s creator and sole member, used all the stage space available, bouncing around between the audience members in the front row, and singing to them as if they were long time, respected friends. The rest of the band stuck close to their instruments, but considering the complicated nature of the musical tasks they needed to preform, it was understandable. I was pretty impressed with the instrument multitasking that took place. Everyone aside from the drummer had an instrument and at least one synth or keyboard in front of them.
Speaking of mind blowing drummers, the Danforth Music Hall hosted two at this event. Passion Pit’s drummer, Chris Hartz is great. Not only is he extremely precise, but he’s intense. The music calls for crashing drums, which aren’t very noticeable because of the busyness of the overall sound, but I have mad respect for Chris Hartz, and I hope he can live a long happy life of drumming before his arms fall off. Michael sings in his falsetto voice and frequently reaches notes Mariah Carey would be envious of. I really admire his voice and how he uses it. He’s got a lot of vocal power but the sound of his voice still comes across as light and understated. He’s a passionate and emotional singer. Passion Pit’s songs are beautifully open and honest. They provoke feelings of positivity while taking into account a feeling of overcoming negativity in life. If you are ever having a bad day, throw on some Passion Pit and dance around your room a bit; it’ll help.
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Photos by Maddie Zekkou (Website)| Review by Thea McKay