By LEIGH WILLIAMS
On Wednesday, Feb. 6, students and community members alike gathered in the Anderson Center with unrestrained enthusiasm for a night of music provided by Giant Productions, featuring Passion Pit with Matt & Kim and Icona Pop. The anticipation that built in the weeks prior to the event came to a head as audience members melded to become a unified sea of fans, surging with excitement as each band hit the stage.
While the notoriety of the bands was enough to draw crowds, Giant Productions went to great lengths to promote the show. The group hosted a listening party in the Underground and also auctioned off meet and greet passes the week before the concert and posted trivia questions on the event’s Facebook page. The first student to comment correctly won the coveted prize.
After Icona Pop set a fun tone, the Brooklyn-based band, Matt & Kim, hit the stage greeted by roars and cheers from loyal fans. Most notable about the indie pop-rock band, aside from the strong drumbeats that dominate their sound, is the incredible rapport between them. The spunky, real-life romance between keyboardist Matt Johnson and drummer Kim Schifino, introduced by Johnson as “my partner in music and my partner in sex,” added a refreshing sense of spontaneity in the show.
Their set featured selections from their most recent release, Lightening, as well as earlier albums, Sidewalks and Grand. The crowd was treated to popular songs like, “Daylight,” “Cameras” and “Let’s Go.”
While coarse at times, the banter between the couple seemed appropriately geared to their audience of largely college students. At one point the duo declared, “This is our last show in the South. The South f—ing invented bouncing.” The crowd’s agreement was obvious, as they immediately transformed into a bobbing sea of movement.
Sophomore English major Moira McAvoy said, “Kim’s stage presence is great, and she really connects with the crowd.”
The dance break transitions between songs may have also helped appeal to the audience. The duo drew from other genres, such as hip-hop and rap, with samplings like Kanye West’s “Mercy.”
After two well-received opening acts, the crowd was primed and ready to greet the Massachusetts-born main act, Passion Pit. The group, which has been forced to cancel shows recently due to health issues of lead singer and songwriter Michael Angelakos, did not show any sign of trouble in their performance. The electronic indie pop band powered through a strong set that mixed songs from their new album, Gossamer, with samples from their prior works, Manners and Chunk of Change.
Moving around the stage surrounded by a set full of suspended glowing orb-shaped lanterns, Angelakos exhibited good stage presence, albeit not quite as outrageous as Matt & Kim. Between songs, the singer took time to thank the crowd, as well as comment on his appreciation for a group of students who had formed a dance circle to the left of the stage.
After a satisfying set, the group finished with their most recent hit, “Take A Walk,” and returned to the stage for an encore with their debut hit, “Sleepyhead.” Bubble machines filled the crowd with the translucent confetti that seemed to be a fitting accent to the whimsical hit.
Senior psychology major Moll Pardoe said, “I think everyone was excited to have big-name artists come to our school, and being there with the energy of my peers around me made for an unforgettable night.”
Given the response from this event, it seems the bar for the next one is even higher. Until then, though, concert attendees will have the memory to satiate their live music appetite.