1. The Hard Rock Hotel is packed in anticipation for x107’s annual Holiday Havoc concert at the Joint. I showed up at 10 after 7, but due to a long line at will call, missed Youngblood Hawke’s entire sub-20-minute set. The high ratio of teens to legal-drinking-age attendees makes me feel like I still listen to cool music … but also like I’m very old and uncool.
2. Passion Pit cancelled a string of shows earlier this year due to frontman Michael Angelakos’ mental health. Tonight, Angelekos really seems to be enjoying himself. He is thanking fans, complementing Vegas and, most importantly, giving a great performance.
3. I was interested to hear how the complex, multi-layered instrumentation of Passion Pit’s Gossamer album would translate to a live performance, and the band didn’t spare any technical elements for ease of performance. Instead, their intricately patterned drums, sequenced electronic sound and catchy hooks soared intact through the Joint.
4. When it’s time for Awolnation’s eclectic dance-core anthems, each one sounds entirely different from the next. Awol can take a crowd from the brink of riot to campfire sing-along to dance party in eight bars.
5. The Shins’ mid-tempo rock is a change of pace from the previous acts, but Mercer and crew are giving it their all to keep spirits high. The show has shifted from a dance off to a nodding-along-in-enjoyment-party.