On the last night of 2010, a large crowd at the Wellmont Theatre in Montclair, NJ was able to ring in the New Year with the rising indie group, Passion Pit.
The show started at around 10 p.m. with the band Man Man opening to the nearly-full theater. The band’s chaotic instrumentals and crowd-pleasing stage presence got the audience dancing almost immediately. Even people who had never listened to the band before were able to have fun and enjoy the opening performance.
At one point the lead singer of the band, who were all dressed in white and had war paint on their faces, donned a trench coat and began to throw confetti and glitter at the audience. Later, he put on what appeared to be a woman’s sequined dress as he jumped around on the theater’s large stage.
Another thing about Man Man that was interesting was their use of instruments like the xylophone and melodica, both of which were given solos as transitions between songs.
After Man Man’s set, the crowd was left eagerly anticipating the headliner. Passion Pit came on stage at around 11:15 p.m. and opened with “I’ve Got Your Number.” The falsetto of lead singer Michael Angelakos blended with the voices of audience members as they immediately began to sing and dance along to the music.
The set even included something one does not typically see at a concert: a marriage proposal. In between songs, the band stopped the music to bring a couple onto the stage.
The best part about it: she said “Yes.”
Following that surprise, the band performed a cover of “Dreams,” originally by the Cranberries. It was updated to better fit with Passion Pit’s sound, now including a heavy use of the synthesizer.
The show was interrupted again at midnight when the entire theater stopped for a count-down and champagne toast. Angelakos counted down to the new year as confetti showered the crowd, lights flashed and beach balls were dropped from the mezzanine.
The impressive light displays also made the performance memorable. The entire theater was, at times, flooded with bright lights of changing colors and beams of multicolored lights bounced off the theater’s walls as they were reflected from two giant disco balls above the stage.
The band closed with a performance of their most popular song, “Sleepyhead.” The energetic song was a good way to end the set as all those in attendance danced excitedly along.
After the show, which ended around 1 a.m., crowd members were given the option to stay for a special DJ set by the members of Passion Pit. While most of the audience cleared out, those who stayed were given a fun and interesting way to end New Year’s Eve, as they played everything from classic disco songs to modern hip hop to electronica.
The band announced that they will be taking some time off touring to write and record and that the New Year’s Eve concert would be their last until that process was complete. For members of the audience, that night will certainly be a good way to remember the band until they make their way back to the stage.
Alyana Alfaro can be reached at email@example.com.