Phoenix and Passion Pit Provide "Entertainment" at Radio 104.5's Sixth Birthday Show

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What does it take to make a concert great? A spacious venue, a little bit of the good juice and, of course, energetic acts. On May 12th, the Radio 104.5 Sixth Birthday Show provided all of these things, and more. With acts from Phoenix to Passion Pit, the birthday extravaganza was easily the best concert I’ve been to. Start with the venue: for me, an open lawn space is a must. Besides giving one room to socialize, explore, sit on a blanket and jump around, the sound quality is much more clear and trust me, my eardrums were thanking me by the end of the show. For those who haven’t had the pleasure of seeing a concert in the Susquehanna Bank Center – Camden, New Jersey’s massive Amphitheatre – the lawn is the place to be. Having been to several concerts, both in “the Pit” and on the lawn, the atmosphere on the grass is just perfect.

Now, before I move on let me just say that the Sus Bank Center is the kind of place where you always see somebody you know. Whether its some old high school buddies, a co-worker or in this case, some Bucknell alumni, one of which happened to be my G-Pop in my fraternity, you will more often than not run into somebody that you know.

My friends and I walked in just as Paramore was finishing up their set.   As the sun began to set behind us, Passion Pit came on, which set the mood for the rest of the night. Shards of pulsing synth from their opener, “I’ll Be Alright” hit us like shrapnel as we sat on the lawn, lighting up some of the coolest stage decorations I’ve ever seen (seriously, check this out) and we immediately stood up and joined the quickly growing crowd in front of the lawn’s fence.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5aWYEiIGh8

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Passion Pit tore through their hits during their hour-long set. Having never seen Passion Pit live, but also having watched probably every live video of them on Youtube, I was a bit skeptical about singer Michael Angelakos’ voice. He, however, proved me wrong as he put on a great show. What really hit me the hardest was “Constant Conversations,” a soulful, R’n’B infused love song about his struggle with alcoholism that he simply crooned. The band hit every emotion in the spectrum, getting everybody jumping during “Carried Away,”  “Little Secrets” and finally, closing with their breakout song, “Sleepyhead.”

After a brief pause to change equipment, the headliner, Phoenix, took the stage. Fresh off a spot at Coachella, and touting a handful of new songs from their recently released album, Bankrupt!, the dynamic French five-piece amazed the crowd. Sporting an equally as impressive stage, which revolved through various European backdrops, they put on quite the show that, including the encore, lasted close to an hour and a half. Pumping up crowds with some of their new material such as “Entertainment” and “Trying to Be Cool,” the band then launched into past hits such as “Lisztomania” and “1901,” which really got everybody moving in the cool, summer night.

All in all, the Radio 104.5 Birthday Show went off without a hitch, as usual, and made for an exciting concert, full of great acts, happy fans and one memorable experience.