CHICAGO — After taking a few weeks off to allow lead singer Michael Angelakos to, in his words, "improve [his] mental health," dance pop group [artist id="3123014"]Passion Pit[/artist] roared back to life on Friday afternoon on the first day of Lollapalooza.
One of the immediate highlights of the set was the opener, a rousing rendition of "Take a Walk," the first single from the band's new album, Gossamer.
To shouts of "Michael we love you," Angelakos came out looking and sounding strong, his falsetto lifted across the North field on the raised hands of adoring fans, who shouted the chorus as he thrust his mic stand in their direction. He barely had to help them, though, with the euphoric chorus to one of the band's breakthrough hits, the shimmering "The Reeling."
Making no reference to his time off, Angelakos, dressed in a blue oxford, tie and grey slacks, bounced across the stage during the new track "Carried Away," his vocals thickened by a recorded children's chorus on the rubbery New Wave ditty.
The fans were also happy to lend a hand on the majestic Gossamer ballad "Not My Fault, I'm Happy," with the lyrics "It's not my fault I'm happy/ Don't call me crazy because I'm happy" rising up like a mantra.
They kept the fresh cuts coming with the yearning, glitchy ode to a lifetime of mess-making, overindulgence and trying to take the breakup high road, "I'll Be Alright."
His shirt soaked all the way through, Angelakos seemed like he hadn't missed a beat during his time out, literally proving it by joining drummer Nathan Donmoyer for a double percussion jam with a wide smile on his face.
"Mirrored Sea" swung from Motown soul to Kraftwerk machine man vocals and though they seemed to have been TKO'd by the day's brutal sun, the lawn burst to life when the first strains of PP's breakthrough hit, "Sleepyhead," chirped out of the keyboards.
As the wavery groove pumped out, kids jumped in circles on their toes, girls kissed boys, boys kissed boys and, wait, was that a cool breeze blowing through?
With a gracious goodbye and thank you, an elated, pumped up Angelakos did a victory lap with the fan favorite "Little Secrets," sending everyone home happy and shouting "higher and higher and higher" as the setting sun cast a golden glow across their outstretched hands.
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