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Arts and Entertainment

Danceability VS Scott Pilgrim: Passion Pit, Mister Heavenly @ Hollywood Palladium (12/7/10)

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Boston based synth-pop outfit Passion Pit came through Los Angeles for what seemed to be the 100th time on Tuesday, December 7. Yet devotees of their 2009 release, Manners, packed into the Palladium ready to hear their keyboard-heavy tunes as if it were their first show. This performance was a victory lap of sorts as the band winds down and prepares to do it all again sometime next year when their sophomore LP is released.

The night was a 4-band, packed line-up, with local act Pepper Rabbit taking the opening duties, We Barbarians, another local (Long Beach) band followed, and newly formed indie "supergroup" Mister Heavenly came on just before Passion Pit. Mister Heavenly, who's sound blends doo-wop with rock, features Honus Honus of Man Man, Nick Diamonds of Islands, drummer Joe Plummer of Modest Mouse and on bass actor Michael Cera; Cera was most recently seen playing a bass-toting superhero in Scott Pligrim vs. The World. There was definitely, to apply the oft-used cliche, "something for everyone." Yet none of these groups had what Passion Pit was there to bring: Danceability.

After touring on their own, then in support of Muse, and now on their own once more, you would think Passion Pit would grow weary of playing tracks (mostly) from one album. However, there was a certain freshness unique to this performance. It was not the first time I had seen the band or heard the tracks but something was different. It could have been the younger, adoring crowd that sang and danced their hearts out to lead singer Michael Angelakos' falsetto voice, or it could have been that touring a single album for nearly 19 months gives a band time to "iron out" the kinks of its live performance. Whatever it was, Tuesday night's show believed a good time dance party for all in attendance disproving the oft-true stereotype of Los Angeles concertgoers being snobbish and/or boring.

As Passion Pit closed out the show with their golden ticket, "Sleepyhead"—the track from Manners that propelled them from a one-man laptop band to world-touring, radio and commercial airplay darling—it was clear that months of touring had paid off. Every pair of fan-hands and fan-feet were in the air.