daily californian logo


On Tour: The Joy Formidable and Passion Pit

article image



We're an independent student-run newspaper, and need your support to maintain our coverage.

OCTOBER 22, 2013

With the hauntingly sweet piano intro of “This Ladder is Ours” welcoming the Joy Formidable onto the stage, the Welsh band wasted no time in diving right into the song with a full-frontal assault of distorted guitar riffs and pounding drums. Given that the Joy Formidable are not known for being for the silence, the rest of the band’s set proceeded in a similar manner with the volume cranked to eleven. Even with slightly slower — the word slower being used quite lightly — tempo songs like “The Greatest Light is the Greatest Shade”  or the orchestra-level intensity of “Maw Maw Song,” the band never faltered from bombarding the audience with loud and powerful melodies.

However, the loudness also made it difficult to hear singer and guitarist Ritzy Bryan’s vocals. Her voice would get muddled with the instruments, and it would sometimes be hard to clearly hear the lyrics. Even with this audio issue, it didn’t stop the crowd from stomping and jamming to the driving beats of songs like “Little Blimp” or “Cradle.” The band closed their 40 minute set with the upbeat melodies of “Whirring,” and although the set was fairly short, letting fans play the bass at the end of the song combined with Bryan slamming her guitar on a cymbal left a lasting impression on the crowd as they cheered the band off.

Starting off with Manners opener “Make Light,” Passion Pit got the crowd jumping with catchy synth hooks and  singer Michael Angelakos’ signature falsetto croons. Jumping right into classic sing-along tracks “The Reeling” and “Carried Away,” when the band finally addressed the crowd, they were welcomed with an eruption of screams and applause, with Angelakos exclaiming throughout the night how much he loved Oakland and playing shows there.

Though much of Passion Pit’s set consisted of fast-paced dance-inducing tracks, there were mellow hip-swayers like “Constant Conversations” and “Where I Come From” thrown in as well, which served as soothing breaks from the constant bouncing around for both the crowd and Angelakos, who was actively moving around the stage as he switched back and forth between letting the crowd and himself sing the songs.

Passion Pit continued with hits like  “I’ll Be Alright” and “Take a Walk” before ending their set with Manners favorite “Sleepyhead.” The band then came out for a one-song encore of “Little Secrets,” leaving the crowd to dance out of the Fox Theater humming and singing along to the upbeat rhythms of the night.

Contact Ian Birnam at 


OCTOBER 24, 2013

Related Articles

featured article
featured article
featured article
featured article
featured article
featured article