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Passion Pit to headline Tufts’ fall concert

Published: Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Updated: Wednesday, September 22, 2010 07:09

Boston−based electronic indie−rock outfit Passion Pit will headline Tufts' October fall show in Carzo Cage, Concert Board announced Tuesday.

Hip−hop artist K.Flay and Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears will also perform at the first annual "Cage Rage" event on Oct. 26, which merges Tufts' traditional pair of fall semester hip−hop and rock shows into a single, larger event. Tickets will go on sale beginning next Wednesday.

Passion Pit comes to Tufts through the Campus Consciousness Tour, an initiative from Reverb, a non−profit organization that partners with touring artists to "green" their tours and educate fans about sustainable and eco−friendly practices for everyday life.

The contract with the performers was finalized late last week, according to Concert Board Co−chair Nicole Goodwin, a junior.

Goodwin expressed enthusiasm for the headlining act Passion Pit. "From everything I've heard, they give a great performance," she said. "I'm personally very excited about it."

In total, 1,800 tickets will be made available for the show. Tufts students will be able to buy special presale tickets for $10 beginning at 11 a.m. next Wednesday at the Mayer Campus Center's Information Booth. One hundred presale tickets will be available at this price each day for five days. Students can purchase one ticket per student identification card during this time.

Presale purchasers will be entered into a draw to win two backstage passes for the show, Goodwin and sophomore Theodore Finn, the other Concert Board co−chair, said. Concert Board will host a special "launch party" next Wednesday on the campus center upper patio, which will feature a raffle for a large Passion Pit poster signed and donated by the band.

Ticket sales to the general public begin Oct. 6 at $20, or $15 for undergraduate students. Concertgoers can buy up to five tickets for outside guests.

Finn said that because the general ticket price is lower than that for many comparable area shows, the event could attract broader interest from the greater Boston community. Additionally, Passion Pit's contract with Campus Consciousness means that they cannot schedule other performances in the Boston area throughout the duration of the current tour, making the show an exclusive opportunity for Tufts students.

Passion Pit, the tour's headlining act, is a Boston favorite. The indie−rock/electro−pop group was founded in 2007 at Berklee College of Music and got its start playing small gigs at local venues. The band's debut EP, "Chunk of Change" (2008), gained popularity after the track "Sleepyhead" was featured in early 2009 as a free download on iTunes.

"Manners," the band's first LP, was released last year to critical and commercial success. Its singles "Little Secrets," "The Reeling" and "To Kingdom Come" all showcase the band's unique blend of high−energy pop with electronic influences, creating something fresh, exciting and generally joyous. Even when their lyrics are ambiguous and bordering on the darker side — such as on "The Reeling" ("Now I'm dreaming somebody / Would simply come and kidnap me oh no, oh no") — their energy keeps the mood light and fun.

While Passion Pit is a fairly well−known band, K.Flay and Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears are not as big but they are exciting new acts on the verge of breaking into the mainstream.

K.Flay, whose real name is Kristine Flaherty, originally hails from the Midwest but now calls the West Coast home. She has been compared to rapper Lady Sovereign, party girl/hot mess Ke$ha and even Taylor Swift, but the truth is, this Stanford grad is in a league of her own. Her self−produced songs combine a tight flow with well−sung hooks, and her fans — including Snoop Dogg and Ludacris (she's opened for both) — already know what everyone else is about to learn: K.Flay is about to blow up.

Another rising star, Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears, fresh off a major summer tour opening for Dave Matthews Band, will be bringing something very different, although just as exciting, to Tufts' Cage Rage. The band, which formed in 2007 in Austin, Texas, was recently singled out by Esquire magazine as a band set to breakout. Lewis and company specialize in a mix of blues, soul and jazz, blending influences to make contemporary songs that sound like classics.

Reverb was founded in 2004 by two Tufts graduates: Guster guitarist Adam Gardner (LA '95) and his wife Lauren Sullivan (LA '96). This is the second time a Campus Consciousness Tour is making a Tufts stop; the first was the 2006 edition of Spring Fling, featuring Guster.

Campus Consciousness will host an environmental sustainability−themed event at the campus center at noon on the day of the show, according to both co−chairs.

"I'm really excited about the show," Finn said. The band was "the number one choice" among Concert Board members, he added.

Goodwin described Concert Board's methodology in booking artists.

"Ideally, we need someone who fits in our budget but will be popular on campus," Goodwin said. "We try to find artists who are up−and−coming. Our philosophy is that bands are affordable either right before they become famous, or on their way down," she said.

Finn said that Concert Board sought to attract an act with wide appeal. "Since we only have one show, our goal is to please as many people as possible," he said. "Boston is Passion Pit's largest market and we think that students are really going to love the show."

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