Passion Pit

Friday night was the kind of night Lou Poster and Dave Fricke must have envisioned when they opened The Summit nextdoor to beloved hipster hangout Cafe Bourbon Street last fall. Both of the neighboring bars drew big crowds to see great bands, including headliners Passion Pit at The Summit and Thomas Function at Bobo. I popped my head into both shows and was mighty pleased.

Passion Pit

Friday night was the kind of night Lou Poster and Dave Fricke must have envisioned when they opened The Summit nextdoor to beloved hipster hangout Cafe Bourbon Street last fall. Both of the neighboring bars drew big crowds to see great bands, including headliners Passion Pit at The Summit and Thomas Function at Bobo. I popped my head into both shows and was mighty pleased.

First of all, who were these 250 people that sold out The Summit, and where did they hear about Passion Pit? (Spin, I suppose. Or Best Week Ever?) Promoter Ben Hamilton remarked that this was one of those shows where besides the bar staff he didn't recognize anybody in the building. I'm with him, and I couldn't be happier. The Summit isn't going to survive with the exclusive support of local scenesters; it needs the sort of casual music fans who don't follow Columbus music but check out rising stars at The Basement every month or two. This show and the sold-out Cursive show are good signs for this great club's continued viability.

As for the show: Hot damn, those guys know how to make synth-pop rock! The melodies and textures from the Chunk of Change EP still rang true, but the band injected a human energy that made the live show hit harder and looser than the glossy recorded tracks. Michael Angelakosis confirmed with gusto that he can hit the high notes in person. For someone who likes the band, this set left little to complain about. In fact, I didn't even mind the ultra-short setlist. What was that, seven songs? Until the full-length comes out later this year and more Passion Pit tunes seep into the public consciousness, seven or eight songs seems like enough.

I hurried next door and was bummed to discover Day Creeper was almost done. I have been wanting to give this band more attention, as they have become basically the Bobo house band over the past few months and have won more or less universal huzzahs from that crowd. By the time I made it inside the bar, they only had a ramshackle rendition of "Women of Age" left in the tank. The future is wide open, kids!

Fortunately, I didn't miss my main objective: them Alabama boys Thomas Function. "Can't Say No" has been my organ-drenched garage rock track of choice for several months now, and I was glad to finally see these guys play it after missing their last couple stops through town. I can't say I was disappointed with what they brought to the table, but I also wasn't enthralled. They churned through their songs like grizzled professionals; it was highly competent and often fun, but there was a distinct absence of joy from the proceedings, like maybe they need a break from the road. (Or maybe I should have downed more booze first.) Also: Although I still think singer Joshua Macero sounds like Alec Ounsworth from Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, he sounds a lot more like David Bowie. Like a Southern David Bowie riding a Hammond B3 to heaven. And you can't go home disappointed by that.