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Passion Pit is coming to the University of Mary Washington

 Passion Pit's synth-pop sound is a hit with fans and critics alike, but it hasn't always been an easy journey for the band.
Jason Nocito
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Date published: 1/31/2013



The members of synth-pop powerhouse Passion Pit met in college. Guitarist and keyboardist Ian Hultquist met singer-songwriter Mike Angelakos when they were both studying in Boston. Angelakos, a student at Emerson College, was performing solo at the time, using a laptop to create music that Hultquist, a graduate of the Berklee School of Music, was interested in adding more instrumentation to.

"I had always been in guitar rock bands," Hultquist said. "And I wanted to try synth-pop. I thought it would be fun and kind of funny."

Now Angelakos and Hultquist, along with bandmates Xander Singh (synths), Jeff Apruzzese (bass) and Nate Donmoyer (drums), are going back to school. This time, they're hitting the stage instead of the books, bringing Passion Pit to the University of Mary Washington on Feb. 6 alongside like-minded Brooklyn band Matt & Kim.

In a recent phone interview, Hultquist said the band looks forward to playing college campuses because they know what to expect.

"We know that all the kids at the show will have as much energy as we did when we used to go to shows when we were kids," Hultquist said, laughing as he noted that was "way back when, like four years ago.

"We always look forward to the college shows because we know it's gonna be a great crowd," he said.

"It was exciting for me, because I was kind of graduating into Passion Pit," Hultquist said of the band's origin. "I graduated and I worked a job for a few months then eventually quit my job just to focus on the band. And I got extremely lucky that I was able to continue just being in the band."

Passion Pit is touring behind 2012's breakout album, "Gossamer," which debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard charts last summer. On the tour that followed, Hultquist said that the band ended up adjusting their set list to include more "Gossamer" songs in place of tracks from their previous album, "Manners." Critics loved "Manners," but fans weren't as familiar with it. The audience wanted "Gossamer" tracks, so the band had to react to their fans--something they were comfortable doing.

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What: Passion Pit with Matt & Kim and Icona Pop When: Wednesday, Feb. 6, at 7 p.m. Where: UMW Anderson Center, U.S. 1 and College Avenue, Fredericksburg Cost: $30 Info and tickets: passionpitmusic.com; students.umw.edu/student activities; 540/654-1061