What happens when you put sad lyrics to happy, synthpop music? You get “The Reeling,” or the song Passion Pit opened their Bluesfest set with. Off their first album Manners, the crowd was more than ready to watch lead singer Michael Angelakos bop around the stage. Maybe because they were 10 minutes late, something that’s been rare at this year’s festival.
Something that hasn’t been rare, however, are the issues with sound, and the ever-patient crowd danced through gravelly renditions of the first few songs before it crisped up. Too bad, since that part of the set included “Carried Away”, the super catchy single released early this year off of their second album Gossamer. No matter, everyone was happy to dance like it was a new moon. Since both albums are equally good, the set generally bounced back and forth between them until they finally played “Little Secrets.” People love to sing easy choruses, and Angelakos zipped around the stage to hold his mic for each “higher and higher and higher/higher and higher and higher.”
After that the boys gave their thank you waves, and new fans started to walk off. Encores aren’t generally the norm at Bluesfest, given the schedule and curfew. The rest of us? We cheered. We waited. Something was missing. We knew there was going to be at least one more song, and by golly we were right. The band came on and gave a huge rendition of "Sleepyhead" and everything in the summer festival world was right again.
RBC Ottawa Bluesfest