Concert review and set lists: Passion Pit (with Matt & Kim and Icona Pop) party and dance all night at Peabody Opera House, Tuesday, February 26
On a night three of the most danceable rising acts in pop shared a single auditorium, the crowd spurned its seats in favor of returning the elation billowing off the stage. Passion Pit, with an immaculate set from Matt & Kim, ended St. Louis’ February with a unique high point.
Icona Pop, a Swedish club duo, may be best known for “I Love It,” a signature hit, not to mention a theme song for a terrible television show. Regardless, the two were transfixed on the dancing they instigated with a collective of fans at the corner of the stage. After the domineering set, the gracious Swedes stuck around for pictures and a couple autographs for the early showing set.
The young crowd was late to show, but, from the orchestra pit to the seats touching the ceiling, everyone was standing and dancing through the night from the moment Matt & Kim’s entrance music started. Sounding like the best hip-hop song GirlTalk could’ve produced — or perhaps showcasing Matt’s chops at mashup production — it effectively set the stage for the next hour.
Via their own overabundance of spirit, the group sent a bouncing, organic energy throughout the building, turning the Peabody Opera House into the best house party of the month.
As ADD-riddled as the set and setlist was, featuring everything from M&K staples to Alice Deejay to a by-the-decades trip through hip-hop, the couple from Brooklyn never lost a trace of their genuine exhilaration. Matt took time to note both his standard for whenever he plays St. Louis – making sure Nelly is on the guest list – and the VIP of the night: Kim’s ass. Ms. Schifino proved deserving of the VIP (or VIA in this case) status during a “Harlem Shake” dance break, as she took to the center of the stage to lead the brouhaha — a nod to the group’s excellent viral video, where its fans are the focal point. Kim stole every second she could, apart from smiling, to beat the drums from atop the kit or to dance next to them.
After hitting longtime favorite “Daylight,” Kim finally let sheer exuberance carry her off the stage and through the center aisle for some personal thanks — set to G.O.O.D. Music’s “Mercy.”
Another intermission later, the crowd was left to the dark with white balloons dotting the stage. As the Berklee guys — plus an Emerson attendee in Michael Angelakos — took to the stage, the crowd instantly regained its spark. Exploding into the set, “I’ll Be Alright” allowed the band to put the crowd where it wanted it — upfront. The intro had a raw, even apocalyptic force. From there, Angelakos, lead vocals and keys, stomped on each inch of the stage while his four bandmates — Ian Hultquist on guitar and keys, Xander Singh on synth, Jeff Apruzzese on bass and keys, and Nate Donmeyer on drums — smiled awkwardly and shared laughs. Michael himself impressed thoroughly: a fresh and appreciated departure from the studio recordings was as simple as leaving a majority of the lead mic effects off.
“Take a Walk” — a track that, judging by the crowd’s reaction, proved to be the most anticipated of the night — was accompanied by bubbles sprawling from either end of the stage. Having earned them, Angelakos surrendered vocal duties to the ready and willing crowd. Lifting the mic stand a few rows deep above the orchestra pit, the fans indulged him.
Matt & Kim set list:
Block After Block
Let Me Clear My Throat (Snippet) (DJ Kool Cover)
Cameras / Move Bitch (Ludacris Cover)
Better off Alone (Alice Deejay Cover)
Let’s Go / Dance (Ass) (Big Sean Cover)
Good Ol’ Fashioned Nightmare
Dance Break — Harlem Shake
The Next Episode (Dr. Dre Cover)
Good for Great
Passion Pit set list:
I’ll Be Alright
Love Is Greed
It’s Not My Fault, I’m Happy
To Kingdom Come
Take a Walk
Cry Like a Ghost
Eyes as Candles