It was a Wednesday night, but that did not stop the throngs of people from packing the Wiltern to see the alternative bands Atlas Genius and Passion Pit. Nearly a month before, my friend and I bought tickets on a whim when we saw that two of our favorite artists would be playing so close to USC’s campus, and despite the work we had due the next day, we went anyway. It was my first time at The Wiltern, I did not know what to expect, but I instantly fell in love with the venue’s cozy, intimate feel. Atlas Genius opened up the show with a pulsing song from their debut album, When It Was Now, titled “Symptoms.” This Australian four-piece combined songs from both their freshman and sophomore albums and managed to keep fans dancing along to hits such as “If So” and “Trojans” while also introducing them to newer material off of their recently released record, Inanimate Objects. “Stockholm” and “Molecules” were two songs that stood out the most to me out of all the others from their current album. Atlas Genius' vibrant stage presence matches the upbeat nature of most of their music, and even when shifting from guitar-centered songs to electronically-based ones, the entire set felt like it fit perfectly together.
As good as Atlas Genius’ performance was that night, when Passion Pit took the stage, the Wiltern exploded with the synth-pop sounds of “Little Secrets” and colorful light effects that resulted in a deafening scream from almost every person in the room (myself included). In terms of who put on a better show, Passion Pit succeeded by far. It was impossible to remain seated for even a second because song after song, they played hits from all three of their albums. Michael Angelakos’ falsetto reverberated around the venue, singing his beautifully frank lyrics on love, loss, hope, and hopelessness. My personal favorites from this set include “The Reeling,” “Constant Conversations,” “Where the Sky Hangs,” and – of course – the closing song, “Take A Walk.” The flashing light effects, bright colors, pop melodies and electronic elements all combined to make this one of the best concerts of the year for me, and after seeing them live, they made me fall in love with their music all over again.
CATALINA ACEBAL-ACEVEDO, INTERN