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LIB recap: Passion Pit brings pristine dance-pop to Day 2

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Lead singer Michael Angelakos of Passion Pit performs during the Life is Beautiful Festival in downtown Las Vegas Sunday, Oct. 27, 2012.
Photo: Steve Marcus
Jason Harris

The biggest musical trend of the weekend was voice modulation—trying to recapture whatever sound an act has used to affect their voice on record, live. No band has mastered this better than Passion Pit, which is not surprising, since so many other groups seem so desperate to be them.

The smart and crafty Cambridge, Massachusetts, synth-poppers brought out the hits from both breakthrough album Manners and current collection Gossamer. “The Reeling,” one of the songs from the former that put singer Michael Angelakos and co. on the map, was an early set victory, helping get the often-subdued crowd to move just a little. “Carried Away,” off the latter, was played shortly thereafter, keeping the momentum going.

It wasn’t until the end of the set that the audience, just a little too polite all weekend, finally let the dance-pop wash over them as it should. “Take A Walk,” which is bright and sunny on record, took on a harder edge with pounding drums. “Sleepyhead” and “Little Secrets” sounded as new now as they did when they were released almost five years ago. Maybe in another five years, all these Passion Pit knockoffs will actually catch up with the real thing.

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