You never know what you are going to get when you attend a Polyphonic Spree show. Part concert, part spectacle, a stage filled with close to 20 musicians is not something you are likely to see again. They have been known to play Rocky Horror straight through, bust out unexpected covers, and completely fill a venue with fake snow for Christmas performances. You may remember their big hit Light and Day, with its euphoric “Follow the day and reach for the sun” chorus that was made popular in the film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
Tonight it was the little things- a spectacular light show including a three-song section played entirely in spiraling colors beams through fog; vocalist Tim DeLaughter coming down to the 3rd row while two of the horn players climbed into the rafters; and the band freezing in place while only DeLaughter moved, pilfering a guitar a playing solo. You never knew what would come next. But ultimately it is the music, these songs designed for 20 musicians, that makes these shows unforgettable. Concert DVDs and studio recordings do them no justice. And from the setlist it becomes clear that with their latest studio recording Yes It’s True, they have finally recorded something that give their debut release The Beginning Stages Of The Polyphonic Spree a run for its money.
The band opened behind a large white banner, with letters in marker appearing as the music began. “Keep It Philadelic” was the reveal, which split down the middle revealing consummate frontman/shaman Tim DeLaughter’s big smile as they launched into Hold Me Now from their Together We’ve Heavy release. Other highlights were the new tracks You Don’t Know Me and Hold Yourself Up, great covers of Porpoise Song (Monkees/Carole King) and Live and Let Die (Wings), and of course the hits from their debut Soldier Girl and Light of Day.
Ultimately this music is a celebration of life. As hokey as that sounds, when you experience it it is something rare and unforgettable. You don’t want to miss this extravaganza while it is rolling around the country. It will fill you with joy.
Hold Me Now
Popular By Design
Hanging Around the Day
You Don’t Know Me
Hold Yourself Up
Porpoise Song (The Monkees cover)
Live and Let Die (Wings cover)
Light & Day
Prince Music Theater Music Theater, The Polyphonic Spree