About halfway through Passion Pit's Hangout Music Festival set, lead singer Michael Angelakos paused for a moment and instructed the crowd to "put their fucking hands in the air." It was a command before they played one of their biggest hits to-date, "Take a Walk," the lead track off of 2012's Gossamer. Naturally, the crowd obliged, but they really didn't need any coaxing. Thousands of Passion Pit-ters showed up for the band's set as the sun set off in the Gulf Shores, Alabama, oceanic background.
Over the course of a few short years, the Boston-based band has become one of biggest synth-pop acts in recent memory. During their 13-song set, they touched on variations of one theme: pound the audience hard with bass lines and chirpy synths, while Angelakos charms the crowd with his falsetto. Dancey numbers like "Hey Na Na," "Love Is Greed" and "The Reeling" were hard-hitting enough, but there were moments where Angelakos and co. slowed things down -- particularly with the R&B-infused smoothness of "Constant Conversations."
Much of Passion Pit's resonance is Agelakos' stage presence; He just can't stand still, though he tries. There were a handful of moments where the frontman put his mic on the microphone stand and attempted seriousness, but even that proved difficult each time. Seconds after his attempts, Agelakos was be-bopping around on stage. He never missed a beat, using his hyperactivity to further frenzy an already-frenzied crowd.
The Hangout Music Festival continues through the weekend with sets from Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Stevie Wonder, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Kendrick Lamar, and many more. Catch full performances, photos and more from the fest over at Hangout Festival 2013.