Photos and Recap: Matt and Kim & Passion Pit at RPI

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Last night, the RPI fieldhouse was transformed to play host to 2 bands and roughly 3,000 fans for a Monday night of carefree antics. This show was an early stop on Passion Pit and Matt and Kim‘s winter 2013 tour.

Hit the jump to check out KC’s review and Andrew’s full gallery!

Matt and Kim got the night started in front of a full crowd, coming out on stage with high energy as trap music played, which ended up reoccurring throughout the show in between songs. (Cue music blogger line about trap music being mainstream, trendy, etc.)

Both Matt and Kim spent ample time on the mic thanking fans for coming out and expressing their appreciation for the Capital Region. Matt and Kim have played at both Lark Fest and Park Fest in the past, reminiscing with clear gratitude that “Troy and Albany know how to get it done.” They also talked about how local station EQX was one of the first, if not the first, radio station to play their music.

Kim, who plays drums, had a huge smile on her face literally the entire time, which made for a pleasant and captivating stage presence, especially as she stood on her drum kit amping up the crowd. Kim is not a shy performer in the least, and walked out into the crowd at one point thrashing and dancing mid-song as Matt commented on her ravishing appearance (specifically her chest). It’s clear that the duo has a lot of fun together and this translates into both their studio work and live performances.

The drums sounded specifically great, and for such a large venue, the sound was evenly distributed during their set. It also helped the quality of the performance having several audio engineers at work, making sure the audio was on point.

The duo played tracks from throughout their discography including, “Now,” “Let’s Go,” “Lessons Learned” and their hit single and sure-fire crowd favorite, “Daylight.” They also broke up their set with hopes to create a viral video to Baauer’s “Harlem Shake” (much like many others on the Internet) as they recorded the audience and danced on stage, all while Matt had a box on his head. And as of 7pm, it has 350k plays so depending on your definition of viral, they’ve met their goal. Check it out!

Following Matt and Kim’s energetic set was an intermission where the staff removed the two giant LED display screens and massive spheres emerged as part of Passion Pits performance, which later on, changed different colors and layout every song.

Attending this concert was my first at the RPI field house and I liked how it unfolded set-up wise. The floor was sold-out, but the space was about halfway full throughout the ice rink, which made it breathable while still crowded with people pushing towards the front of the stage. You could feel the cold of the covered ice rink when standing on it, which I found to be interesting, as well as a subtle, nice contrast from the body heat of the crowd.

Once Passion Pit took the stage, it dawned on me that I knew very little of their music beforehand. I honestly thought that I was more familiar with it, having listened to acts of a similar aesthetic before, but for the most part this performance was my first time hearing their material. Also, thanks to the blog Hipster Runoff, when I think of the name Passion Pit, I automatically think of their blog-given nickname, the Pashy Pits and that made it hard for me to approach listening to them in a serious mindset at times. However, that lightheartedness aside, I found their set to be overall enjoyable and was very complimentary to Matt and Kim’s set. Some of the vocals were lost on me and I found myself paying closer attention to more of the instrumentals throughout the night – that is, until lead singer Michael Angelakos would absolutely kill a soulful high note.

The five-piece is comprised of Michael Angelakos (lead vocals, keyboards), Ian Hultquist (keyboards, guitar), Xander Singh (synthesizer, samples), Jeff Apruzzese (bass, synth bass), and Nate Donmoyer (drums). I’d consider their music to be of a psychedelic, experimental indie rock flavoring with an emphasis on synth and also electronic sampling. It’s fun, easy to listen to and also dance-floor friendly.

Among my observations, the band powered through songs such as “Take A Walk,” “The Reeling,” “Carried Away,” and the slower ballad “Constant Conversations,” where I was particularly captivated by the vocal range of the lead singer.

Promoters take note: having two bands on one bill is a great idea. I felt like there was a solid break between acts and it also allowed the bands to play longer sets without feeling as though they have to sacrifice performing any material due to a time constraint. It was also nice having the flexibility to go from the floor area to the stadium seating on the side throughout the show, and that flexibility alone is worth ensuring you have a floor ticket when attending future events. I also enjoyed the fact that this was a dry concert with no alcohol being sold. Sometimes it’s nice not having to consider in alcohol as a factor to the night, especially when you’re there for the music and to spend time with your friends, first and foremost.

Big thanks to Step Up for bringing this show to our area and I look forward to checking out more shows at RPI as they unfold.

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