Nov 6, 2012

Passion Pit plays the LC, teaches us a lesson on fan rentention

When I arrived at the Lifestyle Communities Pavilion around 8:30pm on Saturday I was relatively shocked that there wasn’t a line of concert goers waiting to have their id’s checked and bags searched. However, upon entering the venue it became quite obvious why. An all ages show in Columbus, is seriously ALL AGES! Whomever dropped these kids off got them the fuck out of the house as early as possible! I knew based on my curmudgeon “I’m judging you” attitude toward the obviously drunk middle schooler puking in the open bathroom stall half submerged in toilet overflow that I may be slightly out of my element, so I immediately made my way to the bar.

The GREAT thing about an all ages show? Kids pay substantially inflated prices for beer AND no lines! Ok, so I didn’t scalp drinks like tickets on Saturday, but I had enough to drown the ageist social awkwardness just in time for Youngblood Hawke’s set.

What to say about Youngblood Hawke? Well, they have a hit.

Personally, I’m not loving the auto-tune or the childlike harmonies/chrorus and I’m a bit perplexed with the exotic locale and sky high ($$$) production value of that video. Obviously someone has a bit of cash to throw around which garnered my interest further so I did me some good ole fashioned research… Wikipedia!

Holy shit, two of these guys were in Iglu and Hartly, who I now remember from the Stride party at SXSW in 2010. If you’re unfamiliar with the band, simply have a listen.

The transition from hipster-hop/rap-rock to electro-pop doesn’t require much if you can write a catchy song. It probably doesn’t hurt that someone is connected enough to get the first project on Mercury Records and then the second on Universal Republic. Luck? Talent? Other? Despite being far from a pioneer of any specific genre, the gentlemen and lady in Youngblood Hawke have a catchy single on their hands. It may not be a game changer the likes of Pumped Up Kicks or Sleepyhead, but I highly doubt this will be their last time visiting Columbus… well, maybe as an opener.

Passion Pit took the stage almost immediately after Youngblood Hawke, opening their set with a pitch perfect rendition of Take a Walk. Opening the set with the single off the newest album was exceptionally significant for someone who has been listening to Passion Pit from the Frenchkiss Records days. To me it shows that they aren’t going to burn through all the old material at the beginning of the show while people aren’t quite at full attention, just to berate you with the new material when fans really start getting involved. Even more impressive, Passion Pit ended their set with his first official single Sleepyhead (my personal introduction to the band).

Whether or not these occurrences are of a  strategic nature matters little to the actual fan. Creating a comfortable atmosphere (promptly taking stage, not complaining about sound) and playing what your fans want to hear (not what you think they should want to hear) has obviously cultivated and expanded Passion Pit’s fanbase. When you honestly think about it, the best part about being a fan of a band was the discovery process, promptly followed by sharing with your friends. And regardless of how BIG a band becomes, if they take a lesson from Passion Pit, the fanbase will simply grow with them and turn into something rarely achieved… a career making music.

 

 

  •  Youngblood Hawke will be returning to Columbus to open for Keane 1/26/13… I guess they arent ready to headline just yet

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