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Passion Pit gives Midland crowd a sweet dose of synth-pop

Michael Angelakos and his four-piece band gave a Midland crowd of about 1,000 high-energy, sugar-coated electro/synth-pop.
Michael Angelakos and his four-piece band gave a Midland crowd of about 1,000 high-energy, sugar-coated electro/synth-pop.

A Passion Pit concert is a sugar rush, a king-sized box of candy: all saccharine and artificial flavors with no nutritional value.

Tuesday night at the Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland, Michael Angelakos and his four-piece band gave a crowd of about 1,000 70 minutes of high-energy, sugar-coated, electro/synth-pop.

From the opening number, “Little Secrets,” through the encore, “Sleepyhead,” Angelakos was in constant motion, bobbing, twirling and hopping about the stage as he sang in his squeaky falsetto.

Behind him, amid a steady barrage of flashing lights, his mates issued music from several keyboards and synthesizers, drums, electric guitar and bass. Angelakos’ boundless energy was matched by drummer Chris Hartz, who plays with some Keith Moon fury.

Call it simple, primitive or incipient, Passion Pit’s music bears a few irresistible traits, some of them steeped in ’80s synth-pop. It is also indebted to synth-pop titans Phoenix.

The set list drew from all three of the band’s full-length recordings, going back to its debut, “Manners,” released in 2009. The band is touring on “Kindred,” released in April. Its material is generally more crafted and less excessive than songs from “Manners” and its followup, “Gossamer,” but it all dovetailed seamlessly into a steady, joyous blast of bright melodies and throbbing rhythms.

Angelakos is an uninhibited performer, yet he had little to say to his audience, most of which moved along with him to his band’s relentless grooves. Songs from “Gossamer” seemed to get the biggest reaction. That made the end of the set, which featured four of its tracks, the best part of the show.

There was plenty of dancing and singing along, especially during “I’ll Be Alright,” “Constant Conversations” and “Take a Walk.” Like a cheerleader stoking a crowd, Angelakos excited the mood in the room with lots of gestures and antics.

The band finished with “Sleepyhead,” the first single from its “Chunk of Change” EP, released in 2008. It’s another palpitating dance-pop song with cryptic lyrics, an engaging melody and enticing groove, and Angelakos delivered it with aplomb, like a man tossing candy to children.

Timothy Finn: 816-234-4781, @phinnagain

Set list

Little Secrets; Lifted Up (1985); Cry Like a Ghost; Mirrored Sea; Make Light; Five Foot Ten; To Kingdom Come; Until We Can’t (Let’s Go); All I Want; I’ll Be Alright; Constant Conversations; The Reeling; Carried Away; Take a Walk. Encore: Sleepyhead.

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