Passion Pit’s profile has expanded rapidly since forming a few years back, moving from frontman Michael Angelakos’ one-man bedroom project to a major-label five-piece with gigs at massive summer festivals like Coachella. The buzz surrounding the Boston-based band’s ascent took a toll on Angelakos, who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at age 18 and who has only recently begun to admit how much it has impacted him and his band.
On a creative level, it has revealed itself in a curiously divergent way: Passion Pit’s jaunty Electro Pop and Angelakos’ perpetually high-pitched vocals belie troubling subject matter that ranges from relatively common stuff like love-life problems and family issues to darker concerns like depression and substance abuse. On a practical level, Angelakos’ mental health issues have resulted in a slew of cancelled gigs, arduous recording sessions and a general anxiety about the band’s future.
It’s also yielded some exhilarating live shows and more than one disturbing quote.
“I’ve told people I don’t see myself living very long,” Angelakos admitted in a 2012 Pitchfork interview that coincided with the release of Passion Pit’s second and most recent full-length, Gossamer. “That really upsets them, but I’m just being honest.”
That honesty extends to his songwriting. “I’ll Be Alright,” Gossamer’s addictive second track, directly addresses the “messes” Angelakos has left for those around him. And, in typical Passion Pit fashion, the acutely personal lyrics are buoyed by an explosive, impressively textured mash-up of glitchy keyboards, pounding drums and an affecting vocal performance from a frontman who is often accused of anything but.
“I was just fucking tired of putting someone through pain,” Angelakos told Pitchfork about the song’s origins. “I was like, ‘Listen, I’m crazy, so get the fuck out. I am never going to get better. The party is over.’ ”
Let’s hope the party’s not over quite yet.(NOTE: This show was originally scheduled for U.S. Bank Arena; tickets from the original date will be valid at the Madison Theater show.)
PASSION PIT performs Wednesday, June 5 at Madison Theater in Covington. Buy tickets, check out performance times and get venue details here.