April 11, 2010 - 8:58 PM
My roommate Jamie came home on Tuesday announcing, "So apparently Passion Pit is looking for a house to host an after party after the show on Saturday. Do you guys think you'd be interested in hosting?"
Obviously, we responded with a resounding "no."
In reality, all of the roommates had been looking forward to the Passion Pit concert for a couple weeks now because the concert fell on Jamie's 21st birthday, and Passion Pit is one of Jamie's favorite bands. The rest of us are fans as well, but Jamie loves these guys. Thus, when we found out that the drummer wanted to do a post-concert DJ set, we quickly stepped up and offered our house (see previous post on Man Cave). Jamie talked to his connection with the band to set things up, and we squared it away for the drummer to play. It would only happen under one condition though: we all had to wear Hawaiian shirts. It was Jamie's wish that we look like a group of Parrot Heads, and we complied. Thus, a group of about 15 of us descended upon McDonald Theatre looking like we had just shoplifted a Tommy Bahama and/or just gotten off of casual Friday from our IT job.
In case you haven't heard of Passion Pit, they are an electronic, psychedelic dance rock band from Boston. Their first feature length album came out last year, Manners, and they have gotten fairly rave reviews. The band was supposed to play a free show on campus in the fall, but they had to cancel when their lead singer got sick. However, they were back in Eugene last night, and put on a phenomenal concert at the sold-out McDonald Theatre.
However, more excitingly for me, Mayer Hawthorne opened for Passion Pit. When I first heard Mayer Hawthorne, I pictured him as a late 30s black man crooning out soulful love tunes, clinging to his nostalgia for Motown's heyday. Then I saw his album cover: he's a nerdy looking white boy in his mid-20s from Ann Arbor. Nonetheless, Hawthorne and his band's first album released last year, A Strange Arrangement, is a fantastic blend of soul and R&B from the slow, suave title track "A Strange Arrangement" through the extremely danceable "The Ills."
Neither band disappointed.
Mayer Hawthorne and his band were as tight as their matching grey suits, accented by red ties, guitar, keyboard, drums, and Nike Air Force Ones on Hawthorne's feet. They played through their new album and really brought the crowd to life with an absolutely spot on rendition of Electric Light Orchestra's "Mr. Blue Sky" (even complete with talk box) and a sing-along rendition of Biz Markie's "Just a Friend." Hawthorne showed that his musical tastes and abilities extend both far and wide. He was definitely the best act of the night.
Finally, Passion Pit put on a great set, playing their album in its entirety. They had really great lights for their set that really enhanced the giant dance party. We danced until our Hawaiian shirts were soaked through with sweat, and my roommate Jeff, girlfriend Melissa, and I opted to make our way to the back for the encore to catch our breaths. Nonetheless, they were pretty solid live, and it was a great time.
As if we hadn't gotten our fill of music and dancing, we quickly hoofed it back home before the party showed up. We did our final party-proofing, and got the dance floor ready. Nate, the drummer from Passion Pit, came in with his laptop and DJ equipment and went on to do a two hour set. People packed the basement, and we danced like crazy until the wee hours of the morning.
So, yeah, we had a nice cleanup job to do this morning. Yeah, we are all pretty exhausted today. So what though? We had Passion Pit play our house! It's definitely worth it to be able to have those memories and be the envy of all of our friends.