When I think of the Esplanade, I think of classical music, ballet dancers gracing the stage, I think of musicals and plays. However, on the 21 August, a little band called Passion Pit rocked the Esplanade Concert Hall with their electronic-pop beats and the frontman’s chilling falsettos.
The whole day leading up to the gig was very surreal to me. I thought to myself, “I’m finally going to see Passion Pit.” But the Esplanade is no Glastonbury. As much as I am glad that I wouldn’t have to compete with 150,000 people for a prime spot, I would still have to compete nonetheless. So as a typical Singaporean, as soon as the lights dimmed at around 8:20, I rushed to the front of the stage and got the perfect spot. I was definitely not the only one because before I knew it, the whole Esplanade was transformed into a typical concert venue. Almost everyone were off their seats and on their feet (and rushing to the front). My whole perception of the Esplanade only being suitable for the arts changed immediately.
It still felt like a dream to me until the band came out and everyone cheered and welcomed them on stage. But this state of reverie was well validated when frontman, Michael Angelakos said “I can’t believe we’re playing in f**king Singapore!” Ah, he understands. Opening with their first single of Gossamer, ‘Take A Walk’, the infectious chorus got everyone singing along and of course, dancing. Might be exaggerating a little here, but I actually felt the Esplanade floors vibrating immensely. There were only two things that could have caused that, the heart-hitting bass or the synchronised jumping.
The band really seemed to enjoy performing for the hyped up crowd and that’s what live performances are about. By the time they reached their second single off Gossamer, ‘I’ll Be Alright’, one of my personal favourites, it was only right for me to lose myself. Michael, swinging the microphones as if it was a skipping rope, walked over to my side of the stage and roles switched when he gave us the microphone to sing along to the chorus! Is it safe to say that I have performed to Passion Pit? Hell yes.
Fast forward 14 really good songs later and the crowd finally got what they wanted – to hear ‘Sleepyhead’. Singing along to word to word, even to the vocal sample, clapping, hair swishing, this crowd had officially lost it (in a good way). There was a chair thrown to the ground during the encore before Angelakos opened ‘Mirrored Sea’ and at that single beat, I turned into the equivalent of a Justin Bieber fan girl. They ended off their hour long set with their most loved song after Sleepyhead, ‘Little Secrets’. Everyone was so tired, including the crowd but we did our best in covering the children’s choir in the song by shouting “higher, higher, and higher!” as we jumped like no tomorrow.
Passion Pit expressed their appreciation (we feel the same) and they said they would definitely return to sunny Singapore. I managed to talk to Angelakos after the gig and I told him to come back for the third album and he said, this is verbatim: ‘maybe even sooner’. So there, a glimmer of hope that they’ll be here as soon as you can say “Sleepyhead!”