6/3 – Harlem Shakes & Passion Pit @ Emos
Unfortunately, the line at Emos was ungodly long, despite the fact that doors opened a full hour before the show, itself, began. For this reason, and this reason alone, we were unable to catch Cale Parks, as we still waiting in line for our turn to get in the show. Long lines should have been an indicator for the kind of night everyone was in for at Emos. Follow the jump for more.
Luckily, we were able to watch the entire Harlem Shakes set, which, in all honesty, interested us more than Passion Pit. Their debut album Technicolor Heatlh was everything a debut album should be; it was full of exuberance and great promise, an indicator of great things to come in the future.
Everything that was visible on the album played out perfectly on stage. Mutliple instruments, such as sax and flute were utilized to recreate the band’s sound. Live, they sounded precisely like what one would expect had you been familiar with their album prior to heading to the show. Due to the sound, the electronic elements that are present were drowned out by the hordes of people, which demonstrated the true harmonies that exist with the band; this paints a picture of bright future for a band that relies upon more than just electronics. Singer Lexy did a great job maneuvering his voice across the various pitches and tones, though he didn’t seem to be totally enthralled by the live performance itself. This is the one detractor from the band, at least on this night, as they seemed a bit disinterested at points. Still, when they played songs like “Sunlight” it was hard not to feel the exuberance of all present.
After the solid set by Harlem Shakes, it was time for the main act of the evening to take the stage. First, a brief comment on the stage set-up of the band. It seems odd that the singer would set up his instrument, or keyboards, facing the wall, as he ignored half the audience, which was probably more considering the throngs of people spilled out to the bleachers. Personally, it’s just not that interesting to watch the back of a frontman for an entire set, but I have a feeling that I was the only person feeling this way.
From the instant the group took to the stage, everyone was overjoyed. Hands were in the air, bouncing enthusiastically as sweat dripped down from the rafters. Of course, hits such as “Moth Wings,” “The Reeling” and “Sleepyhead” got the most crowd participation, though everyone in attendance seemed to enjoy themselves throughout the entire set. Fans of the band definitely go precisely what they deserved, or at least what they wanted.
However, there are some minor quips for the live setting of Passion Pit as exhibited by the show at Emos. First, whoever is running sound for the band needs a new job, as they bass was ridiculous, rendering every other instrument obsolete. Sure, you could feel the beat, and those familiar with the songs knew where they were going, but it was all too much. It made the band come off as if they were a bunch of teenage kids twiddling knobs at a really shitty rave; it was a really shitty rave. On top of the bass, you could clearly see that the vocals just don’t hold much water. Angelakos just doesn’t seem to hold the sway in the live setting that he has with a mixing board at his control. Combine these two elements together and it just didn’t seem to be a cohesive sound that the band recreated live.
Perhaps I’m the jaded one, as I didn’t have my hands in the air as the rest of the crowd bounced along. Honestly, I was a little bored by it all. It was far from interesting, and various faults in the band were blatantly obvious in such a setting. But, at least Harlem Shakes lived up to the hype in my head.
Photos provided by the lovely Jonathon Edwards. Give him a shout on myspace.