Passion Pit plays at Cornell

Passion Pit and Robert DeLong electrify student crowd at Cornell’s 2015 homecoming concert

Cornell students put down their homework to turn up for the last event in a weekend-long celebration.

A group of boys, still dressed in Cornell apparel and decorated with red face paint from the afternoon football game, sat in a circle playing cards on the brick sidewalk outside of Barton Hall at Cornell University. Behind them, a growing number of students lined up, all hoping for the chance to snag a ticket when the concert doors opened at 7 p.m.

The sold-out show featured opener Robert DeLong, who came to Syracuse for Juice Jam in 2013, and headliner Passion Pit. The concert, presented by Cornell Concert Commission and Alumni Affairs and Development, was the last event of homecoming weekend.

Over the next hour, nearly 5,200 students dressed in flower-print crop-tops, flannels and white Converse sneakers made their way to Barton Hall. The space, used as an indoor track stadium, transformed from a field house to a dark, humid concert venue over the course of the day.

“Most of the people working here got here really early in the morning to set everything up. It was really cool watching the whole stage come together,” said Samin Foysol, a freshman member of the stage crew. “This stage wasn’t here in the morning. The students put it up themselves. We carried all the equipment.”

Robert DeLong, who dropped his new album In the Cards on Sept. 18, took the stage at 8 p.m. The self-described “dance-pop provocateur and one-man band”  had vibrant green paint in a geometric design on the side of his face. Behind him, two television screens played entrancing gamelike videos, flashing bizarre images like television host and painter Bob Ross.

Most students joined the mob on the floor, pushing closer to the stage and sitting on shoulders for a better view. But even those in the back of Barton on the bleachers could enjoy his performance. DeLong played favorites “Long Way Down” and “Don’t Wait Up,” and closed with “Global Concepts.” After his set, he met with fans at his merchandise stand to talk and take pictures.

“I thought it was so much fun. I like the high energy. I thought that Robert DeLong was very talented because he does a variety of things,” said Grace Zhao, business sophomore at Cornell. “He sings. He plays the keyboard. I just thought it was an awesome experience for homecoming.”

As the lights cut out and the indie electronic band Passion Pit took the stage, the crowd screamed and strobe lights flashed streams of green and purple, then yellow and white and red, onto the students. They opened with “Little Secrets” and also played hits like “Take a Walk” and “Lifted Up (1985)”, which comes from their most recent album, Kindred. The lights illuminated swirls of smoke, creating a haze over the sweaty audience.

Passion Pit played one encore song, “Sleepyhead.” The crowd went crazy, jumping to the beat and waving their arms in the air. “Cornell make some f------ noise!” a band member yelled, prompting the students to chant before filing outside into the rain.

The concert marked the end of Cornell’s homecoming weekend. The series of events included the inauguration of Elizabeth Garrett, 13th president of Cornell University, a firework and laser light show at Schoellkopf Field on Friday and a 5K and tailgates before the Big Red football game against Bucknell on Saturday.

Post new comment

* Field must be completed for your comment to appear on The NewsHouse
The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.