NEW YORK — Last night, on a cold and blustery May evening, I boarded a boat with a few friends to check out Passion Pit's release party for their new LP, Manners. Despite the weather, hundreds of hipsters and double the amount of leggings came out to dance, drink, smoke and enjoy the new sounds from the Boston based quintet.
First, though, we had to get past the sea-sickness. At the dock on West 41st Street and 12th Avenue, the wind was a bit stronger than we'd all hoped, and much of the early night conversation turned to advice like "just watch the horizon" or "maybe lay off the drinks till we get moving." I even saw one or two dramatic haircuts leaning over the side of the ship.
Finally, the music picked up and the rocking of the boat turned to some of the most creative dancing I've seen since the Knife's concert at CMJ in 2007 (if you've ever watched serious Knife fans dance, you know what I'm talking about).
DJs Turner and Hooch (two girls who are friends with the band — and fantastic DJs) did a very eclectic and energetic mix until, just between Lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty, Passion Pit took the stage and started their set. Playing for over an hour (a very exciting event for PP concertgoers, as they usually play for 25 minutes or less), the band completely lived up to their reputation of being vibrant live performers.
I've been to dozens of record-release parties in the past couple of years (Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Animal Collective, Asher Roth and lots more), and while Passion Pit holding theirs on a boat made it a bit difficult to get into, this was by far the most exciting one I've ever attended. A little seasickness was worth the anarchic dancing that unfolded, and in my opinion, Manners far surpasses the excellence of Passion Pit's EP, Chunk of Change.
The night ended around 11 p.m., and with my friends Josephine and Mike in tow, I stepped off the boat and — dizzy from the waves (and all the plaid I saw on concertgoers) — took a taxi straight to somewhere much more stable and solid: Butter. OK, fine, that place is anything but calm, but we did see Tim Kash there, who was wearing absolutely no plaid at all.