“Who are The Beaches?” one concert-goer said as we stood in line to get into The Riv. The band in question opened for Passion Pit, who undoubtedly was the reason that this night was sold out. However, those who didn’t know who The Beaches were before their set certainly changed their tune afterwards. The all female garage rock band wowed the crowd and had them jamming out before the main act. It’s no wonder that they were chosen as the openers for The Rolling Stones’ only Canadian tour date.
Vocalist and bassist Jordan Miller wore a 1960s feather frock and maintained a dead-eye stare during their first song, “Back of my Heart”. Sister and guitarist Kylie Miller stood close by and danced in a robotic manner with each chord. Drummer Eliza Enman-McDaniel flipped her long blonde hair while drumming and made for some of the best photos of the evening (and that’s a hard task for the drummer!) Keyboardist/guitarist Leandra Earl donned a matching Coca-Cola jacket and jeans and kicked her leg up to the ceiling.
The Canadian alt-rock group formed in 2013 and have kept their original lineup since their inception. Opening for bands like Passion Pit have certainly helped get their name out there, but they’ve had their own die-hard fan base for years. Their catchy, White Stripes-esque rhythms align perfectly with their deep and melodic vocals. No one band member stands out as the leader, which is rare; it’s clear that everyone is just as passionate about the group as the next. The Beaches released a new EP, The Professional, that has already been stuck in my head since this show. They played their newest single, “Snake Tongue”, and I can’t recommend it enough. It’s an energetic, deliberately unpolished indie rock gem that will surely help take these women to rock god status before you know it.
Following The Beaches’ stellar performance, the crowd became electric with excitement and anticipation. This Passion Pit show was not only exciting because, well, it’s Passion Pit, but also because it was the 10th anniversary of the release of the band’s first album. Exactly 10 years ago to the day, Manners was released and created so many fans who were right there at The Riv. Vocalist and frontman Michael Angelakos came onstage in a whirlwind of jumps and spins and didn’t stop moving for the rest of the night.
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Manners, Passion Pit played some of their biggest hits from the album, including the iconic “Little Secret” and “The Reeling”. Both of those songs are still on regular rotation on the radio and tons of Spotify playlists, a testament to how powerful they really are. While Passion Pit have only released four albums, their discography recently expanded with the release of their single, “I FOUND U”, a collaboration with Galantis and a bit of hope for fans waiting for a new album.
Angelakos seemed honored and thrilled to be playing to the sold out Chicago crowd and recognized a fan in the front row with a kickass drawing of him. Following “Little Secret”, the crowd burst into applause that didn’t seem like it would end, and Angelakos stood at the front of the stage with a hand over his mouth, fighting back tears. It must be a truly awesome experience to play one of your biggest hits on the anniversary that your debut album was released. Staying humble, Angelakos thanked the crowd for being Passion Pit fans for all these years and promised to make the night special. And it truly was.
Passion Pit are playing Firefly Festival in Dover on June 22nd. For tickets, click HERE.