After Twilight cancellation, Passion Pit returns
Published: February 27, 2013 01:55PM
Updated: February 27, 2013 02:48PM
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Last July, Passion Pit was forced to cancel its Salt Lake City show, part of the Twilight Concert Series, because leader Michael Angelakos needed some time to “improve his mental health,” according to a post on the band’s Facebook page.
But the band promised to do “everything we can to try and make it up to you.”
Seven months later, they have come through. The much-anticipated Utah concert is Saturday at The Complex — and it’s a sold out show.
Passion Pit had just released its second album “Gossamer” when it was revealed that Angelakos had suffered from bipolar disorder since the age of 17 and had been on medication as well as through therapy and hospital care.
Despite the setback, keyboard and guitar player Ian Hultquist was confident that Passion Pit — slang for a drive-in theater — still had a future. “I never doubted that Passion Pit would stop,” he said in a recent telephone interview. “I really wanted [Angelakos] to be better, and he is now.”
It was Hultquist who first broached the idea of collaborating with Angelakos. While enrolled at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Hultquist saw Angelakos perform solo around Emerson College, where Angelakos was a student. (Every member of the band — except for Angelakos — is an alum of Berklee.)
Today, Angelakos handles all of the song-writing duties and nearly all of the studio recording.
Hultquist had not heard “Gossamer” until the sprawling, layered album was being mixed. And initially he thought “We can never pull this off live.”
But Hultquist “always believed in the project.” He and his band mates took months learning how to replicate the album’s sound and spirit in a live setting. Much has been made of Angelakos’ delays in finishing the album. But the band was patient.
“I want him to make the best record he can,” Hulquist said. “So we can have as much fun onstage.”
Opening act • The Brooklyn-based lo-fi pop duo Matt & Kim open for Passion Pit. In a phone interview, Matt Johnson said the only thing disastrous about the tour has been the weather, which threatened to derail a Madison Square Garden show. “We’ve been traveling in a blizzard for about 10 days now,” Johnson remarked on Feb. 18.
The current tour includes songs from the couple’s fourth studio album, “Lightning,” released in October. Compared to 2010’s “Sidewalks”— which featured expansive arrangements and expanded into dance-pop — it is a return to the group’s roots.
After “Sidewalks,” “We wanted to keep things simple,” Johnson said. “Some songs got a little too busy. We lost a little bit of control.”
“Lightning,” said Johnson, shows the experience that comes from age. “It has some of the most mature songs I’ve ever done, and some of the most immature.”

Take a walk
Passion Pit with Matt & Kim
When • Saturday, March 2 at 7 p.m.
Where • Rockwell, The Complex, 536 W. 100 South, Salt Lake City
Tickets • Sold out