The Gossamer Revival Tour: Passion Pit Stuns in Columbus


When Passion Pit goes to Columbus, so do I. Their 2013 Gossamer tour was my first ever live show; while I am by no means nostalgic for my junior year of high school, the memory of shout-singing “Carried Away” in a crowd of strangers remains one of my fondest from my awkward teenage years. So naturally, the six-hour drive and weekend away from Bucknell was well worth the opportunity to revisit the unique experience of a live performance by one of my favorite bands. The Newport Music Hall is an intimate venue located in the historic Short North district of Columbus near Ohio State University’s campus. A rather small stage and floor, along with a balcony section for less involved attendees, provided an appealing space for Passion Pit’s show. Evidently a seasoned performer, Angelakos’s euphoria and triumphant stage presence contributed to the crowd’s constant, driving energy.

On the heels of Gossamer, a deeply personal album that exposes Angelakos’s struggles with bipolar disorder, Passion Pit’s third album appears to be lyrically insubstantial and an evolution towards further commercial success rather than emotional resonance. Despite the relative popularity of Kindred, most Passion Pit fans are far more invested in the band’s old material. The set at Newport reflected this sentiment – rather than simply playing his most recent album for the sake of promotion, Angelakos delivered a genuine experience that prioritized the crowd over presentation of his latest work.

Although several tracks off of their most recent album made it onto the set list, Passion Pit primarily performed favorites from past albums. The band both opened and closed with old tracks – the exhilarating energy of “Make Light” set the tone of the show, while “Take A Walk” provided the perfect opportunity for the audience to lose their voices while joyfully shouting its lyrics at the conclusion.

The set’s effortless continuity, despite the integration of multiple albums, showcased the very subtle nuances of evolution in the band’s style. Old tracks (including my personal favorites: “Cry Like a Ghost” and “I’ll Be Alright”) naturally transitioned into newer material, including “Lifted Up (1985)” – a shimmery, feel-good pop song that suggests Angelakos’s evolution since the release of Gossamer.

Above all else, there exists a notable personal transformation of Angelakos parallel to his music - thematic and stylistic changes suggest his development following Passion Pit’s last tour. Thankfully, I am also a much different person than the confused high school student that watched Passion Pit’s set in 2013. I’d like to think that I, similar to Angelakos, am loyal to that from which I draw influence, and yet I’m becoming a better – more self-assured and content – iteration of myself. Passion Pit’s collective body of work resonates with an audience and lends itself to the presentation of live music as a medium for understanding the euphoric significance of change.

All photos taken/edited by me.